Security firm Certis boosts technological transformation with new research centre

An artificial intelligence demo based on security camera footage at the new Certis Centre for Applied Intelligence.
An artificial intelligence demo based on security camera footage at the new Certis Centre for Applied Intelligence.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Security provider Certis signalled its continued intention to integrate cutting-edge technology into its traditionally manpower-heavy operations with the launch of a research centre on Wednesday (July 3).

The centre has 120 employees including software developers, data engineers and data scientists who are currently working on about 20 projects.

It also boasts facilities where detection tests under various lighting and sound conditions can be run.

"In Singapore the biggest challenge for us is having enough people and we hope developing these technology solutions will alleviate some of that strain," said Certis president and group chief executive officer Paul Chong.

The suite of solutions being developed at the centre combine elements of artificial intelligence, data analytics and robotics. They include an application that identifies people based on body proportions and gait, as well as fish-eye cameras that can zoom in on small objects such as licence plates.

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing was the guest of honour for the launch of the 810 sq m Certis Centre for Applied Intelligence at the Certis building in Commonwealth Lane. The cost of setting up the facility was not disclosed.

Certis is collaborating with both local and foreign universities on a number of projects, including in advanced robotics with China's Zhejiang University and on an algorithm to improve the deployment of manpower with the Singapore Management University.


Mr Fuji Foo, Certis technology services' vice-president of business digitalisation, said this was a win-win arrangement for Certis and its partners, as Certis gets access to researchers with a range of different specialities while the researchers get a real-world environment to test their products in.

"No one solution can cover all our needs. For example, you have to put together conversational artificial intelligence with advanced robotics to make a talking, mobile security robot. That's the role of this centre," said Mr Foo.

Certis started building up its operation technology capabilities three years ago, and has begun to roll out high-tech solutions in recent months.

A robot traffic cop that conducts patrols is currently on trial at Changi Airport, while a security platform called Mozart that takes in data from more than 5,000 sensors, 200 mobile devices and 700 closed-circuit television cameras was unveiled at Jewel Changi Airport last month.

The company is the largest private-sector player in Singapore's security industry and provides security services at Changi and Seletar airports, and at various shopping malls around Singapore.

Certis has 34,000 employees worldwide, including 16,000 in Singapore, with operations in Australia, Hong Kong and the Middle East. It had revenue of $1.2 billion last year.