Smart Nation: 1,000 sensors deployed to monitor air, water quality and public safety

Eileen Poh Channel NewsAsia 10 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE: As part of the first phase of Singapore's Smart Nation Platform (SNP) rollout, 1,000 sensors will be implemented in six areas across the island to monitor things such as air and water quality and public safety. It is a scheme that aims to provide better connectivity, facilitate the sharing of data among Government agencies and, eventually, allow Singaporeans to better anticipate and react to events.

Environmental sensors - some of which are able to record video - will be installed in the Jurong East estate of Yuhua, potentially allowing authorities to monitor the air quality in the area. At present, the National Environment Agency does not provide PSI figures for specific estates.

Sensors will also be installed in five other "high traffic" areas: the Civic District, Orchard Road, Singapore River, Little India and Geylang. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore announced this in a media briefing on Friday (Oct 10). IDA said it received feedback from agencies that these are the areas that require "immediate operational requirements".

IDA Assistant CEO Khoong Hock Yun said: "Many agencies have different requirements, so we will deploy those first. We want to enhance safety and security requirements in areas like Little India and Geylang. As for the Singapore River, we want to prevent flooding and ensure that the water level and quality can be measured. The environment sensors are for monitoring the levels of air quality in different parts of Singapore due to wind conditions."

Currently, different agencies have their own tracking equipment. For instance, security cameras are already installed at certain spots in Little India. However, IDA said a Smart Nation Platform will support the agencies' existing operations and allow them to share data.

Mr Khoong added: "What is critical for us is to put in the infrastructure fabric. So, you may be able to take sound data, mash it together with video data, mash it together with other forms of sensors to provide a deeper insight. A lot of this is providing the infrastructure so you can then move forward with better services."

A tender for the deployment of the sensors will be issued by end of the year, and works are expected to be completed by end-2015, it added. According to IDA, Phase 2 of the Smart Nation plan will see these sensors being deployed nationwide. To kickstart the process, it will be seeking the industry's views on the design of the entire system. Consultations will be held as early as the first quarter of next year.

The SNP was announced in June. IDA said then that the SNP will comprise of key components such as the communications backbone, sensor networks, data analytics and real-world applications that will empower individuals, government and businesses alike.

- CNA/kk

Sensor network to track range of conditions around the island
Tan Weizhen Today Online 11 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE — From tracking safety and security in public places to monitoring air quality to checking water levels in flood-prone areas, about 1,000 sensors will be deployed by the end of next year under Phase One of the Smart Nation Platform (SNP) to improve the quality of life of Singaporeans, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said yesterday.

For a start, they will be placed in high-traffic areas such as Orchard Road, Little India, Geylang, the Civic District and the Singapore River, the IDA said. Sensors will also be placed at the Yuhua housing estate, as part of a trial in the Jurong Lake District, which will be a live test-bed for the Smart Nation initiative.

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive of development group at IDA, said the SNP common infrastructure, which all government agencies can tap, will translate into cost savings as each agency would not have to build its own individually. “These are places where agencies have come back and said they have immediate operational requirements and they need us to roll out as quickly as possible.”

“In places such as Little India and Geylang, we want to enhance our safety and security requirements. In the Singapore River areas, it is flooding and water quality. And in terms of the environment, (it is) air quality — to see if different parts of Singapore have different air quality,” he added.

The IDA also envisions smart housing estates, in rolling out sensors in the Yuhua area. “You think about anticipatory services, being able to prevent problems from happening, for example, flooding … traffic congestion, (and providing) better healthcare monitoring for patients as they are travelling in ambulances,” said Mr Khoong.

Tenders for the sensors will be called before the year is out, moving Singapore one step closer to its vision of being a Smart Nation, which was announced in June.

The IDA had said then that collecting and analysing data from everyday situations would be a key driver in Singapore’s big push to become a Smart Nation, to enable better delivery of government services.

The SNP Phase One rollout will also include the 100 above-ground boxes in common outdoor areas, such as bus stops, parks and traffic junctions, which the sensors will transmit data to. The information will be sent to the various agencies for analysis, so measures can be taken to improve the provision of services. Fibre connectivity and secure wireless networks will also be built to enhance capabilities, as well as a Smart Nation operating system.

In Phase Two, the IDA will consult the industry from the first quarter of next year on the technical design and architecture of the SNP to prepare for large-scale deployment. Security and data protection will also be discussed, it added.

'Smart nation' sensors here, there and everywhere
Irene Tham The Straits Times AsiaOne 11 Oct 14;

THEY will be on the front line of Singapore's push to be a "smart nation", popping up on roads, in drains or in high places to keep tabs on everything from traffic to water levels and the air.

Up to 1,000 sensors - which can be in the form of computer chips or surveillance cameras - will be deployed across Singapore as the Government officially kicks off its "smart nation" plan.

These sensors will support various government projects, such as one to increase surveillance in Little India and Geylang, and another to better monitor the risk of the Singapore River flooding.

"These are places where agencies have immediate operational requirements and need system rollout as quickly as possible," said Mr Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive of development group at the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).

He said a tender will be called by the year end for the installation of the sensors, as part of Singapore's Smart Nation Platform. To be completed by the end of next year, this system is expected to lead to substantial savings as the infrastructure will be shared by various agencies.

The sensors will be linked to Aggregation Gateway boxes, typically installed at traffic junctions, parks or bus stops to feed data from, say, surveillance cameras or air quality sensors, to the relevant agencies for analysis.

For a start, the sensors and boxes will be mainly in high-traffic areas including the Civic District and Orchard Road.

The rollout will run alongside similar trials in Jurong Lake District, named in June as the test bed for Singapore's push to be a smart nation.

The 15 trials in Jurong include sensors in parks that adjust lighting based on motion and the time of the day, and high-tech cameras that help wardens issue tickets for illegal parking more swiftly.

IDA said lessons from the trials in Jurong Lake District will be applied to the Smart Nation Platform's rollout next year.

Wider applications being looked at for nationwide deployment include flood and traffic jam prevention, and better patient monitoring in moving ambulances. Free public Wi-Fi services can also be deployed quickly throughout Orchard Road, for instance.

Mr Khoong said a common platform could spur better data sharing and coordination across agencies to meet the public's needs.

Separately, Punggol and Yuhua have been picked to provide the first prototypes of what a "smart home" here would look like.

IDA is looking for ideas from the private sector on possible applications, which could include better security monitoring or Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the home.

Engineer John Wong, 36, said he hopes these high-tech installations will solve his daily transportation woes, among others.

"My idea of a smart nation is citizens being able to board a bus or flag down a cab, peak hour or not. This comes with high-tech prediction capabilities," he said.