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Making payments with a watch, 3D map among Smart Nation projects

SINGAPORE — As efforts to turn the Republic into a Smart Nation get further underway, Singaporeans can look forward to using a watch to make payments or turn to a 3D map to find the best nasi lemak in town, among other things, in the near future.

Making payments with a watch, 3D map among Smart Nation projects

Pedestrians at Orchard Road. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE — As efforts to turn the Republic into a Smart Nation get further underway, Singaporeans can look forward to using a watch to make payments or turn to a 3D map to find the best nasi lemak in town, among other things, in the near future.

Under the blueprint laid out by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today (Nov 24), the Government will focus on enhancing citizens’ lives in four key areas: Mobility, homes, lifelong needs, and daily transactions.

For example, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is looking into streamlining different modes of payment into a single instrument — which may take the form of a watch, ring, or even an identity card, fitted with a chip. Consumers will thus be spared from having to carry too many cards around.

Over time, Singaporeans will be able to use the same payment device to settle transactions made while they are abroad, as the Government works towards promoting interoperable e-payment solutions in the Association of South-east Asian Nations and other countries around the world.

Then, there is Virtual Singapore, a project that will culminate in an integrated 3D map with layers of data about local buildings, land and the environment. It was launched today by the National Research Foundation, Singapore Land Authority and Infocomm Development Authority.

Virtual Singapore will be an upgrade of the current OneMap (www.onemap.sg), an online map that includes more than 8,000 data sets — such as traffic information, census data and unemployment rates — from over 60 Government agencies.

The 3D upgrade will not only allow users to access the Government’s wealth of geo-spatial data, but also to contribute information, such as animal sightings, potential cycling hazards and even where one can find the best nasi lemak.

Virtual Singapore creates a platform that “brings the Government, citizens, industry and research institutions together to solve problems”, said Mr Lee. It will also be a framework “for all of us to contribute (towards the Smart Nation vision)”, he added.

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is also working with industry players and other Government agencies to study digital infrastructure needed to support smart devices in HDB flats. Trials will start next year.

To enhance eldercare, the HDB is piloting the Smart Elderly Monitoring and Alert System sensors in 12 flats. The sensors monitor the movements of the elderly folks in the flats, and alert family members when they detect anything unusual.

Researchers from the National University of Singapore are also evaluating a tele-rehabilitation system with community hospitals, which allows therapists to monitor their patients’ progress remotely.

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