Students view tech behind security in exclusive tour of Certis command centre

Mr Paul Chong, group CEO of Certis, explaining to beneficiaries of the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund the operations in Certis' new command centre in Commonwealth on April 23, 2019.
Mr Paul Chong, group CEO of Certis, explaining to beneficiaries of the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund the operations in Certis' new command centre in Commonwealth on April 23, 2019.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Mr Paul Chong, group CEO of Certis, presents a cheque for $20,000 to Ms Tan Bee Heong, General Manager of the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
Mr Paul Chong, group CEO of Certis, presents a cheque for $20,000 to Ms Tan Bee Heong, General Manager of the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - 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 on Tuesday (April 23).

During the visit, group CEO of Certis, Mr Paul Chong, presented a cheque for $20,000 to Ms Tan Bee Heong, General Manager of the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF), the charity benefiting the students present.

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 currently undertakes. For example, a live demonstration showed the use of artificial intelligence to conduct facial recognition on someone loitering outside the building. This lets staff track how long the person has been there, helping them to monitor and ensure the security of the premises, while saving on physical manpower.

The students also saw the footage from the facility's thermal sensors and radars, which enable the identification of trespassers even at night, and information on the speed and movement of nearby entities to be collected.

But the technology is not useful only for security. Certis said it is employed in various industries throughout Singapore for different reasons, such as at the Choa Chu Kang bus interchange that opened at the end of last year. There, closed-circuit TV cameras, through software provided by Certis, use artificial intelligence to spot wheelchair users in need of help. Staff are then alerted and dispatched to offer assistance.

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

He said this was why the company supports STSPMF, which provides lunch and transport money for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

 
 
 
 

He said that as one of Singapore's largest employers, employing about 16,000 people, Certis has "a role for everyone".

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

Meanwhile, Dominic Cho, 15, from NUS High, was impressed by the advanced technology Certis employs. On the Choa Chu Kang bus interchange, he mused, "I just thought it was a normal interchange, who would have thought it would be tech-ready and future-ready. Hopefully, it will be a basis for future interchanges."