Tech marvels to take spotlight at Chingay 2018

ST VIDEO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Above: Ms Susan Teo, 64, a volunteer leader with the PAssionArts guitar contingent, dressed up as 1950s American celebrity Marilyn Monroe in front of an e-trishaw. Left: Robots dancing along with performers during a media preview yesterday. There wil
Above: Robots dancing along with performers during a media preview yesterday. There will be 6,500 performers at the Chingay parade next year.ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG
Above: Ms Susan Teo, 64, a volunteer leader with the PAssionArts guitar contingent, dressed up as 1950s American celebrity Marilyn Monroe in front of an e-trishaw. Left: Robots dancing along with performers during a media preview yesterday. There wil
Above: Ms Susan Teo, 64, a volunteer leader with the PAssionArts guitar contingent, dressed up as 1950s American celebrity Marilyn Monroe in front of an e-trishaw. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

Dancing robots and floating carpet among features at 'cultural funtasy' parade

Robots that trip the light fantastic, cars on the move with no one at the wheel and a floating carpet are among the technological marvels that will take centre stage at next year's Chingay parade.

Singapore's drive to be a Smart Nation will get a big push at the annual street parade of floats and performers in colourful costumes.

Compared with recent parades, the next one will be twice as long, stretching up to 1.5km.

There will be 6,500 performers, and a major attraction is the long list of floats, one of which will carry a blind insurance agent who makes a living using a laptop.

Mr Khoo Kong Ngian, 71, told The Straits Times: "There's a lot of technology that synthesises words into sounds for you; it's very easy. Braille is now a thing of the past."

He added: "If I can do it even though I am blind, I may (be able to) convince others to embrace technology too."

He was speaking at a press conference, organised by the People's Association (PA), on what to expect next year.

The theme is "cultural funtasy" and spectators are asked to bring along their smartphones for interactive activities.

Mr Julian Aw, a PA director and vice-chairman of Chingay 2018, said: "We are going to show that everybody can be part of the technology experience."

Mr Nah Juay Hng, a PA group director and Chingay 2018 chairman, said: "We are encouraging parade contingents to interact more with the spectators during their performances."

A skating group will do so while performing on their longboards as an electronically controlled carpet floats alongside them as if it were Aladdin's magic carpet.

A free carnival will be held for the first time, with various performances, games and food at the Singapore Flyer area.

The parade, a ticketed event, will begin at the F1 Pit Building, wind past the Singapore Flyer, head towards Raffles Avenue and then end at the Marina Bay floating platform.

Chingay 2018 will take place on Feb 23 and 24, from 8pm to 10pm each day.

Ticket prices start at $28.50 and will go on sale from today.

Mr Nah said: "The aim next year is to make it more fun, spontaneous, lively and a different experience for all."


Dancing robots at Chingay 2018. http://str.sg/roboching

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2017, with the headline 'Tech marvels to take spotlight at Chingay 2018'. Print Edition | Subscribe