Students tour Certis' new command centre

Certis' group chief executive Paul Chong explaining the centre's operations to beneficiaries of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund yesterday.
Certis' group chief executive Paul Chong explaining the centre's operations to beneficiaries of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund yesterday.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Mr Paul Chong presenting a mock cheque for $20,000 to Ms Tan Bee Heong, general manager of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
Mr Paul Chong presenting a mock cheque for $20,000 to Ms Tan Bee Heong, general manager of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Twenty-one secondary and pre-tertiary students caught a rare glimpse of cutting-edge technology in an exclusive tour of security firm Certis' new command centre in Commonwealth yesterday.

During the visit, Certis' group chief executive Paul Chong presented a mock cheque for $20,000 to Ms Tan Bee Heong, general manager of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

Inside the facility, which opened in October last year, the students' first stop was the Executive Briefing Centre. Surrounded by projections screened on three walls, they listened to the history of Certis and the types of operations it undertakes.

For example, a live demonstration showed the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to conduct facial recognition on someone loitering outside the building. The technology lets staff track how long the person has been there, helping them to monitor and ensure the premises' security.

The students also saw footage from thermal sensors and radars, which can identify trespassers even at night.

Certis said the technology is used in other ways across Singapore, such as at the Choa Chu Kang bus interchange that opened last year.

There, closed-circuit TV cameras, through software provided by Certis, use AI to spot wheelchair users in need of help. Staff are then alerted and dispatched to offer it.

Mr Chong, 55, told the students: "(Certis) believes every child should have the opportunity to grow and fulfil his or her ambitions."

He said this was why the firm supports The Straits Times' fund, which provides lunch and transport money for students who need it.

He added that as one of Singapore's largest employers, with about 16,000 people on staff, Certis has a role for everyone.

Springfield Secondary student Mohamed Izz Rizwan, 13, said that he had never been interested in technology or security services, but would consider a job in the industry after yesterday's tour.

NUS High student Dominic Cho, 15, was impressed by the advanced technology. About the bus interchange, he mused: "I thought it was just a normal interchange; who would have thought it would be tech-ready and future-ready? Hopefully, it will be a basis for future interchanges."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2019, with the headline 'Students tour Certis' new command centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe