Technology in Singapore
Image adapted from: @lab1886
Singapore’s known for a fair few inventions: the thumbdrive, Razer, and dating sites like Match.com. But with our emphasis on innovation, it comes as no surprise that we already have plenty of futuristic tech in our everyday lives. From flying taxis to self-lacing shoes, here’s everything we can look forward to in the near future:
1. Robot staff
YOTEL Singapore’s robots even sing after completing their delivery
While some worry about losing their jobs to robots, others delight in the novelty of robot staff. It’s getting increasingly common in the service industry, with hotels like YOTEL Singapore and Park Rochester Hotel & Suites. They make for excellent room service and thanks to their handy storage parts, can deliver common guests requests - things like towels and water bottles.
Cruzr, a concierge robot developed by UBTech, is another that comes with plenty of skills: video conferencing, 360° arm movement, and even automatic recharging is all part of the full package - it can even make out who you are through facial recognition.
2. VR game rooms
Board game and arcade games have their own old-school charm, but the world’s moving swiftly to VR game rooms. It’s easy to understand the hype: you’ll just need to pop a digital headset over to be instantly transported to another world.
While some games are as simple as shooting a bow and arrow, others will get you questioning reality - fending off zombies by blasting them to smithereens and medieval-themed food fights are now the new norm.
3. Smart drones
When it comes to drones, we don’t often think of much more than camera drones and the type of bird's-eye shots we can take. But they’ve got plenty of practical purposes, from doubling up as security guards to delivering packages.
SingPost has already successfully trialled the latter but we’re still exploring new ground - Singapore’s very own drone arcade, for one, which comes with various drone flying activities.
4. Smart home controllers
Image adapted from AICO Technologies
During my childhood, it was the norm to have a dozen or so remote controls: one for the aircon, another for the TV - you get my gist. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case with nifty smart home inventions. Take the Smart Egg by Aico. With a Bluetooth connection, this egg lets you control everything you ever need through your mobile, from pausing Netflix to dimming the lights.
The list of smart home gadgets goes on and on: self-operating vacuums, electric locks...it almost becomes acceptable to hashtag #blessed.
5. Flying taxis
Image credit: @lab1886
We’re still gushing over self-driving cars but the world’s already moved on to flying taxis. It’s not just a myth but true: German startup Volocopter will be coming in the end of 2019 to test fly their air taxis. These air taxis look a lot like helicopters, and can be either flown by a pilot or drone technology.
But don’t expect flying Grabs anytime soon. Volocopter only expects the first flying taxi route in the world to be launched in roughly 3 to 5 years. As for Singapore, we’re just reaching the flight test stage - to see how suitable our city is for take-off and landing.
6. Smart lamp posts
We all take lamp posts for granted, but there’ll soon be more than 100,000 smart lamp posts. These will be set up all around Singapore, and they can even monitor all sorts of weather conditions - rainfall, humidity, and temperature. They’ll even have video sensors built in so they can detect situations like car crashes and other emergencies
7. Self-lacing shoes
Image credit: @thepinkmiracle
The comfiest footwear out there? Sneakers, of course. But every now and then, you find yourself crouching down to lace up your shoes. It seems like even double knots aren’t failproof.
And that’s why Nike’s created the world’s first self-lacing shoes: for people whose shoelaces are constantly untied. The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 sneaker is the epitome of futuristic, with digital sensors to automatically tighten the fit. It’s also a brilliant invention for anyone who faces mobility problems, like those with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Tech showcase at SG:Digital Wonderland
The cartoon The Jetsons might’ve been set in 2062, but we’re already rapidly hurtling towards a world just like it. Futuristic inventions like smart homes and robot staff aren’t just topics found at sci-fi conventions - they’re now becoming everyday conversations.
At tech carnival SG:Digital Wonderland from 18th to 19th May 2019, you’ll be able to see several of these cutting-edge inventions with your own eyes. From a synchronised dance by robots to an AR game featuring a Marvel superhero, there’ll be plenty of activities for you to try:
Play a game of AR dodgeball
Image credit: HADO
Dodgeball has always been a game for thrillseekers - or those who don’t mind being smacked in the face - but with the Augmented Reality Dodgeball Challenge, you wouldn’t need to fear physical pain. Form teams of 3 to win prizes like $1,500 in cash and Apple Watches.
Shoot down zombies at the Digital Media Playground
HeadRock VR will be showcasing their Zombie Busters game for you to shoot down impending zombie attacks. This isn’t too scary, so young kids will get a kick out of blasting those zombies into smithereens. Actor Desmond Tan will also be joining in on 19 May for the Special Zombie Busters Celeb Challenge.
There’ll also be a medieval-themed VR Food Fight where it’ll be the only acceptable time to throw food into someone’s face.
Admire futuristic tech
Plenty of futuristic tech will also be on display, like the Smart Egg by Aico and Argon Transform by Whyre. While the former lets you control everything household-related just with one egg-shaped device, the latter is a smart helmet that comes with 2 cameras and an AR navigation system.
Play drone arcade games
Image credit: IMDA
And since we’re all experimenting with drones, there’ll be a ton of drone arcade games to try. The Drone TRY-athlon will get you racing drone-converted race cars and sailing hovercrafts through water while the Space Invaders Challenge* involves shooting down drones with laser tag guns.
We’re also excited for the Arcade Claw Game: Drone Edition! where you’ll put your piloting skills to test to win prizes - this includes wins like a selfie drone.
*Recommended age of 4 years and above. Kids below 12 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Take part in a CSI search
It’s time to channel your inner detective with CSI Experience, where you’ll be roleplaying as interns from infrastructure-based like companies like transport and water supply. You’ll be brought through a series of challenges - all under the scenario that the city is under intense cyber-attack.
At the Lab On Wheels AI escape room themed bus, you can also learn all about AI concepts while solving a series of AI challenges - escape room style.
At SG:Digital Wonderland, both admission and activities are also completely free so head down from 18th to 19th May 2019 to experience what the future could be like.
You can keep updated with the SG:Digital Wonderland App - it lets you book slots for activities, and even redeem a free coffee from Singapore’s first robotic coffee barista.
SG:Digital Wonderland 2019
Date: 18th & 19th May 2019
Time: 11AM - 8PM
Venue: Suntec Convention Centre, Hall 404 - 406, 1 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039593
Price: Free admission
This post was brought to you by Infocomm Media Development Authority.