16 innovative projects win infocomm awards

Concorde Security's I-Man Facility Sprinter security van, managed by three people, connects wirelessly to the security feeds of buildings around it, cutting the need for each building to have its own security guard.
Concorde Security's I-Man Facility Sprinter security van, managed by three people, connects wirelessly to the security feeds of buildings around it, cutting the need for each building to have its own security guard.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Companies which are riding on the data wave by collecting and analysing it have come up with award- winning projects which have benefited thousands of Singaporeans .

Take, for example, the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) POLARis system, which snagged the top prize for the Most Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology (Public Sector) at the National Infocomm Awards 2016 last night.

This system provides the data for smartphone apps that tell users when the next bus is coming and how crowded it is - with an accuracy rate of more than 95 per cent.

Under the project, all 5,400 public buses here were fitted with SIM cards that transmit information such as their location and bus load three times a minute.

This contributed to shorter waiting times for commuters, as bus operators can be instructed to inject additional buses on busy routes based on real-time data.

It was among 16 projects recognised at the biennial awards.

The awards are jointly organised by the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) and trade body Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation to encourage innovation in local companies.

"Today we already have different sources of data mined individually - taxi analytics, bus, vehicular movement, CCTV.

"What we want to do now is to fuse the different types of formats and put them on a map, so that during incident management, we can see what the impact is on the roads," said Mrs Rosina Howe-Teo, LTA's group director for innovation and infocomm technology.

Another winner which makes use of data analytics is e-payment security firm CashRun. Its anti-fraud software CashShield, which uses data analytics to protect firms from fraudulent online transactions, took the prize for Most Innovative Infocomm Product/Solution.

There were 179 entries for this year's awards, up from 164 two years ago, across four categories.

Jurong Port won a prize for the Most Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology in the open private sector category for its Smart Gate system. It makes use of biometric readers and video analytics for lane management to cut down processing time at their gates by more than half.

Meanwhile, security firm Concorde Security won an award in the small and medium-sized enterprise category for its I-Man Facility Sprinter - a security van that connects wirelessly to the security feeds of buildings around it, which cuts the need for each building to have its own security guard.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who handed out the awards at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, said that the Government has new programmes in place to encourage innovation.

"IMDA will support innovation by facilitating regulatory sandboxes for companies to experiment with new technology," said Dr Yaacob.

One such technology is Light Fidelity (Li-Fi), which uses LED lights to transmit data up to 100 times faster than average Wi-Fi speeds.

The IMDA will waive frequency fees for Li-Fi trials, which lowers the cost of entry for companies that want to experiment and innovate with such new technology.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2016, with the headline '16 innovative projects win infocomm awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe