Showcase of latest home-grown technologies

Mr Heng Swee Keat (sixth from left) at the topping-up ceremony of Our Tampines Hub on Feb 21, 2016.
Mr Heng Swee Keat (sixth from left) at the topping-up ceremony of Our Tampines Hub on Feb 21, 2016. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

A digital "receptionist", a system that monitors how often toilets are used, and a mobile app that retrieves information based on images.

These are some of the home- grown technologies developed by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) that will be adopted at Our Tampines Hub, Singapore's first community and lifestyle hub.

These ready-to-go technologies aim to improve how local businesses engage with the public, as part of an agreement signed yesterday between A*Star's Institute for Infocomm Research and the People's Association.

For instance, a system will monitor how often toilets are used and alert janitors when they should be cleaned, so that cleaning workers can be deployed more effectively.

Typically, toilets are cleaned at regular intervals, regardless of how clean they are.

The technology may include ammonia sensors and an alert system if a toilet requires extra attention.

A mobile application, SnapARise, which combines image recognition technology and augmented reality, will allow users to scan images with their smartphones and get relevant product and service information.

And instead of approaching the reception to ask for directions or operating hours of shops, residents can go to a digital kiosk to get the same information by speaking to it or typing in questions.

The system uses an intelligent dialogue agent technology developed to interact with people.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2016, with the headline 'Showcase of latest home-grown technologies'. Print Edition | Subscribe