Dell Explores Next Era of Human-Machine Partnerships

One of the information technological topics/advancements that companies and brands are talking about right now and in the near coming future, is Internet of Things (IoT). I took a strong interest in this area ever since my overseas trip to Canon EXPO Shanghai conference in 2016 and learning first hand on IoT from a company’s perspective, as well as visiting Greenwave Systems during CommunicAsia 2016 and CommunicAsia 2017.

Most recently in 2017, I also attended The Future Workplace with Dell and a seminar on F1 Technology and The Impact on Healthcare, adding on to my reading and understanding on the subject matter IoT. Although I am not a subject expert, I do have a keen interest on how IoT is going to impact and affect how we humans use and consume technology in the future. The future of IoT can help us live and work better, it can also affect us with the possibility of replacing our jobs.

What is the next era of Human-Machine partnerships? How is it going to be like? Are you afraid or are you excited? Will your job still be there in the next 5 to 10 years or will it be replaced by technology and machines? Last but not least, are you ready for IoT to be even more integrated in your work and home in the coming near future (IMHO, it might be as early as 5-10 years away) ?

Dell has partnered with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) and 20 global experts to study the changing relationship between people and technology and how the relationship will manifest itself in society, business and work over the next decade. Dell is sharing the results today from the report titled ‘The next era of human machine partnerships.’

While I am reading up on the reports, their views and analysis, I am also sharing key information and links here for the readers, from the press release below:

Dell Technologies commissioned the study to help companies navigate an uncertain world and prepare for the future. Today, digital disruption is ruthlessly redrawing industries. For the first time in modern history, global leaders can’t predict how their industry will fare further down the line. According to Dell’s Digital Transformation Index,61% of APJ business leaders have experienced significant disruption to their industries as a result of digital technologies. And more than half of businesses believe there’s a possibility their company will become obsolete within the next three to five years.

The report forecasts that emerging technologies, supported by massive advancements in software, big data and processing power, will reshape lives. Society will enter a new phase in its relationship with machines, which will be characterized by:

  • Even greater efficiency and possibility than ever before, helping humans transcend our limitations
  • Humans as “digital conductors” in which technology will work as an extension of people, helping to better direct and manage daily activities
  • Work chasing people, in which by using advanced data-driven matchmaking technologies, organizations can find and employ talent from across the world
  • People learning “in the moment,” as the pace of change will be so rapid that new industries will be created and new skills will be required to survive

Other report highlights include:

  • In 2030 humans’ reliance on technology will evolve into a true partnership with humans, bringing skills such as creativity, passion and an entrepreneurial mindset. This will align with the machines’ ability to bring speed, automation and efficiencies, and the resulting productivity will allow for new opportunities within industries and roles.
  • By 2030 personalized, integrated artificial intelligence (AI) assistants will go well beyond what assistants can do now. They’ll take care of us in predictive and automated ways.
  • Technology won’t necessarily replace workers, but the process of finding work will change. Work will cease to be a place but a series of tasks. Machine learning technologies will make individuals’ skills and competencies searchable, and organizations will pursue the best talent for discrete tasks.
  • An estimated 85 percent of jobs in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. The pace of change will be so rapid that people will learn “in-the-moment” using new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The ability to gain new knowledge will be more valuable than the knowledge itself.

Additional and useful links for further reading

Personal Thoughts and Views

No matter how we want to look at IoT, we cannot avoid it, even if some of you don’t want to look at it or ignore it. The future of IoT is going to impact us in both good and bad ways. Like the Scout’s motto, “Be Prepared”, we have to be prepared, for the upcoming changes, to change, adapt, innovate, learn and re-learn, adopt, move on and grow together with IoT. If not, you might become obsolete and be left behind.

* Information courtesy of Dell Technologies and Cohn & Wolfe Singapore *

AXON Predict by Greenwave Systems @ CommunicAsia 2017

In my own personal technology writing adventures covering and writing in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), this particular maiden journey started in 2016, I was introduced to Greenwave Systems, the global managed services and Internet of Things (IoT) software leader, thanks to my friend Wee Wu of Neo Dimension who invited me to visit Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016 in Singapore.

It was an eye opener to know more about IoT software systems and how they had already started coming into our daily life without us realising it at times.

I shared about my IoT learning experiences to Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016 in this article that I wrote in June 2016, after my visit and listening to Jim Hunter sharing and demonstration of the AXON Platform. For a recap of my sharing, please visit my article – AXON Platform by Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016.

Greenwave Systems was back for CommunicAsia 2017 and it was an honour to be invited back again to visit Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia! I had the opportunity to write and continue my sharing on Greenwave Systems since the article coverage I wrote in 2016. Arriving at Greenwave Systems seminar room, it was great to meet Jim Hunter again, he’s the Chief Scientist and Technology Evangelist of Greenwave Systems. Jim gave me a run through with a detailed and interesting presentation on the AXON Platform and AXON Predict.

AXON Platform – B2C

Listening and watching Jim’s presentation AXON Platform, it was a very good refresher for me. I saw the demonstration of how the AXON Platform works during my visit to Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016. Therefore, I would not be writing too much in detail here because most of the references and notes were written inside my 2016 article coverage.

While I was listening to the presentation and watching the demonstration of the AXON Platform, I am also thinking about how smart and connected the various types of devices that we might have in our internet/technology connected home using the smartphone app, AXON Platform and using the common language of the AXON Platform, getting the non related techological devices to “talk, connect and work with each other”. I saw security alarms, security monitor cameras, bluetooth speakers, lighting systems, in action, using the AXON Platform to give instructions to them for it to be carried out, thus making the home smart and connected.

I was also thinking of which type of white goods (kitchen appliances) would be suitable to be connected and working with the AXON Platform whereby the home owner can give instructions to the white goods and get them ready when they reach their home. Some of the white goods could be coffee machine, electric kettle, microwave oven (if the home owner place the food inside before they leave the home).

The home of the future is moving towards a technologically smart and connected home and I feel AXON Platform can be the crucial element that brings both technology, products and consumers together in a home.

AXON Predict – B2B

Earlier, you have read on how the AXON Platform makes a difference and impact to the end consumer at home. Now, I am going to share on how AXON Platform extends into the other industries, on a Business to Business (B2B) level.

Greenwave Systems recently acquired Predixion Software, a data analytics company in February 2017. This would allow Greenwave Systems to offer real-time visual edge analytics solution called AXON Predict. This Greenwave Systems AXON Predict performs analytics “at” the edge, giving business owners a new dimension and arena to work with and on. With this level of advanced analytics, intelligence and information to the machines and sensors on every step of the network, the companies adopting the AXON Predict platform is able to take appopriate real-time action at the source of the input. Companies don’t have to wait for the information and intelligence to be pushed to the cloud for processing, saving up precious time and lowering asset management costs.

With AXON Predict working totgether within the Internet of Things (IoT), different businesses such as shipping/logistics industry, farming and windmill farms, are examples of companies using the power and technology of AXON Predict for their daily business operations. Check out the videos produced by Greenwave Systems below, on the AXON Predict and the some of the industries that are currently using their AXON Predict technology platform.

Any company or industry that utilises real time data analytics, intelligence and information gathering, is able to manage their businesses more effectively and efficiently, through cost savings, prevention, maintenance and forecasting.

“We’ve seen a real need for this in the market and our customers have affirmed our belief; smart devices often lack the ability to analyze real-time data at the source, causing latency, compliance and cost issues associated with data loss,” said Arkell. “We’re addressing this pain point head on by delivering intelligence to make devices and ordinary silicon smarter. Our analytics engine provides sharper insights and faster response times for our customers and helps them improve both their top and bottom line.”

Source: Greenwave Systems Press Release

With AXON Platfrom and AXON Predict, we can see where and how IoT is shaping, changing and impacting businesses and consumers. The world of IoT is very big and getting even bigger down the road in the next few years. How fast and how much have businesses (and also end consumers) adapt and adopt changes, innovations and disruptions through the IoT world?

IoT, Big Data, Analytics, AR, VR, MR – Which of them is/are the next revolution?

On this segment, it’s more of my personal thoughts and views of IoT after visiting Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2017, recapping on AXON Platform and learning about their AXON Predict.

My maiden entry into the world of IoT began in May 2016, I wrote a short article here on my this site, it started from my visit to Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai. That was followed by visiting Greenwave Systems in June 2016 during CommunicAsia 2016.

During this period of time from 2016 to 2017 (at the point of time when this article was written) when I was just touching the tip of the iceberg of this huge IoT world, I also saw the world of AR, VR and MR. I also attended a presentation and panel discussion on “F1 Technology and the Impact on Healthcare”.The revolution and evolution of technology is riding and coming faster to you than you can imagine.

From my May 2016 article that I wrote

Internet of Things is the next growth area, revolutionising business and their outreach towards their customers with technology, connectivity and gadgets. This growth area is estimated to be worth a potential of $14.4 trillion for companies worldwide (Source: Salesforce)

Internet of Things, connecting people, connecting technology, connecting eco-systems between people, devices and technology. Is the Internet of Things a whole new world out there or is it a world growing more connected? 

1 year later, I am continuing to learn, experience, write and share on the world of IoT. Seth Godin recently wrote an article (dated 12th June 2017) about accelerating revolutions where he spoke on IoT, revolutions are accelerating, the impacts, the pace and changes to culture and lifestyle with technology.

We’re living right now in the connection revolution, one powered by the internet, in which people connect to people, computers connect to computers and our culture changes ever faster, daily.

Source: Seth Godin

The World Economic Forum recently published an article on 14th June 2017, titled “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about empowering people, not the rise of the machines

The world of IoT is already upon us, whether we like it or not, it will help us, it will also affect us, in work, in our daily life. The growth of IoT will only grow and expand even faster.

In my humble personal opinion, views and thoughts, I see the next revolution of IoT in the areas of data – huge raw data, information and intelligence, followed by the data analytics, through our various cloud networks (storage, processing, analytics) and 5G telecommunication mobile networks.

After learning about AXON Predict during CommunicAsia 2017, my view is that they are already ahead of the current IoT trends and revolution. Although AXON Predict is currently more suitable for businesses and industries (B2B level), I am thinking whether it could reach the end consumer level? Would there be a day when the end consumer is also able to tap on the technological platform of AXON Predict?

The IoT world, the revolution, the changes, disruption, we can change, adapt and adopt, embrace and grow with IoT helping us to lead a better life and doing our work more efficiently and effectively.

Welcome to the world of IoT, if you haven’t heard of this term.

* I would like to thank Greenwave Systems and Ying Communications for the invitation to visit during CommunicAsia 2017 *

NGMN Forum 2017 hosted by Singtel

In January 2017, Singtel hosted Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Forum in Singapore, held at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore. Although this article post is a bit delayed, the progress and plans for the next generation mobile networks, technology, infrastructure, usage and growth are ongoing, building and expanding towards 5G in Singapore, coming soon in a few years time.

I was at the NGMN Forum 2017 on the first day, listened to the opening address by Assistant Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecom and Postal) Ms Aileen Chia. She shared some key pointers for the participants at NGMN Forum 2017, the future and growth of mobile networks, in Singapore and around the world. While the content and topics looked like they were only for Business to Business (B2B), in reality, the journey towards 5G for Singapore and around the world affects and impacts everybody (in both good and bad ways), from the businesses to the end consumer in the society. The future of the world, also for Singapore, are about technology changes, disruption, innovation and transformation from the business organisations to the end consumers. The information communications sector, economy and society are able to embrace opportunities and challenges. The next big thing is Data, the “new oil” of the 21st century. The future digital economy, IoT (Internet of Things), devices and how we consume data, use data in our daily life and work, this is going to be massive.

After listening to the opening address, I had a tour around some of the partners showcase of their 5G technology and infrastructure. Singtel is making a lot of progress in their 5G journey in Singapore and during an earlier event in August 2016 organised by Singtel that I attended – Singtel and Ericsson were the first to showcase 5G in Southeast Asia. The changes, impacts and opportunities with 5G are coming soon to us in Singapore, on both the B2B and B2C level.

On the B2B level, the partners exhibiting their 5G infrastructure and application of the 5G technology, I saw drones in action that could be activated during natural disaster, robotics obeying the commands of the human hand movement, traffic light control, security and surveillance, all of them powered by the upcoming 5G technology networks.

On the B2C level, as the consumer on the street, what do you think? How would 5G change the way you consume data, communicate with family, relatives and friends? How would 5G help, impact or even affect your work?

5G in Singapore is arriving in a few years time, the groundwork and infrastructure are being prepared and it’s building up speed and momentum.

5G in Singapore by year 2020, maybe it might even be earlier?

Touche – World’s 1st Biometric Loyalty & Payment Solution

Imagine one day in the very near future, you are out dining with your friends, having a great time at the restaurant, awesome food, drinks and company. At the end of dinner gathering, you called for the bill.

The staff at the restaurant asked “Would you like to pay for the bill just by the touche of your fingers?”. You replied, “Yes, sure!” The staff brings out a small tablet device, showing you the total bill to confirm that it is verified and correct before you place your fingers to process the payment. The next moment, you received an email informing you of your confirmed bill payment at the restaurant.

Is this possible? Yes, it is now possible, a fintech product made in Singapore, making her debut and official appearance recently and I had the opportunity to view it for the first time and had a short hands on experience on the process and payment, from a customer perspective.

Let me introduce Touche, the world’s full fledged biometric loyalty and payment solution platform –

“ … Touché is proud to present the world’s first biometric loyalty and payment platform, which is activated by just your fingers. In Singapore, within a span of three months, 150 restaurants, 15 local hotels and 5 private social clubs have shown interest in implementing this solution. The homegrown company aims to foray into Japan, with a market size in excess of US$200 million.

“Touché is a world first. It is not a better mousetrap, but a brand-new idea,” says Sahba Saint-Claire, CEO of Touché. “At its core, it aims to make people’s lives easier by removing the need to carry things such as credit cards, loyalty and membership cards, vouchers, coupons, etc. while ensuring they get all the benefits to which they are entitled. You register on Touché once at anywhere that offers the service and you can use it globally.” … “ 

(Via Press Release information)

I would like to share some of my personal views from both sides, an end user/customer and a business perspective

For end user/customer

This Touche biometric loyalty and payment platform is probably going towards a boom and rise in convenient, fast cashless and card-less payment system in the near future. With the proposed integration of loyalty rewards program in the near future, the customer payment and rewards experience would be enhanced in this area in the future (in my personal humble opinion).

Security and privacy are definitely concerns by the end users/customers when using the Touche platform. I had these questions at the back of my mind too when I attended their presentation. From their presentation, I am satisfied and glad to hear from them on the aspects of security and privacy procedures in place for the Touche platform.

For a business entity

I worked in the retail and hospitality industries previously, therefore, I had the experiences of the payment system commonly used, the machines for the electronic funds payment e.g. NETS, VISA, MasterCard, Diners, AMEX, JCB. I understood and knew about the costs involved in those machines.

While I do not have the costs and numbers from the business operation side of the Touche system, my personal view is that adopting the Touche platform device is definitely a worthy consideration, not just in terms of cost savings, there would be time savings (e.g. from the service staff printing out the bill, brining it to you, take your credit card, process the payment and back to you for your signature) and administrative time (change the roll of paper, change the ink cartridge)

The integration of this fintech with the entity’s own loyalty/reward system might be a good stepping stone for growing customer relationship management system, rewards and loyalty points system.

If you are in the hotel, hospitality, food and beverage industries, take a look at the Touche platform, have a chat with them.

The following information below were provided via the press release information, that explained my thoughts on Touche –

Efficient Loyalty and Payment through A Simple Device, Made in Singapore

Made in Singapore, the hardware of Touché is an elegant rectangular device that is certified and capable of multiple payment options including a magnetic stripe reader, chip reader, and 2.2-inch (diagonal measurement) biometric sensor with the highest resolution in the market to detect two fingers for efficient payments. Most customers will choose to pay with just two fingers after a simple registration, but they may also choose to pay with their physical credit cards. The device works over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Convenience is key

You will no longer need to carry anything around when shopping — this includes your cards, phones, vouchers or wallets! Look forward to fast transactions, as there is no need to look for your payment or loyalty cards, count dollar notes or wait for paper receipts and signatures to be processed. Imagine checking your bill on the device, placing your fingers on the Touché device and you’re out of the restaurant in just a few minutes. You will then receive an email detailing your experience. No more paper!

Security is at the core of Touché

The company’s brainchild scans any two of your fingers to extract around 40 to 45 specific points of each fingerprint. It does not store images of your fingerprints. The information is encrypted on a cloud system. It is virtually impossible to create a replica of your fingerprints with this information. The anti-spoofing and live detection technology at Touché also ensures that the fingerprints are real. Credit card information is tokenised, and the card details are not stored in the database. No information is stored on the device, and it communicates with the server using the highest encryption levels to protect our users’ privacy.

With one simple registration, users can use the system globally

The first time you visit a merchant, you can pay with your credit card and use Touché’s solution to link the card to your fingers. You then update your particulars online, and even add your profile picture! For subsequent visits to any merchant that uses Touché, there is no need for further registration, and you can even choose between multiple credit cards in your Touché wallet to make payment.

Smart shopping and increased savings with Touché

The Touché wallet offers you more than just payment methods. Wherever you go, your favourite offers, loyalty programmes, vouchers, coupons and memberships follow. Access to your shopping or dining experiences and expenditure history is readily available via the Touché journal. Touché ensures that your entitlements are applied automatically at every interaction. You will also be notified of the loyalty benefits or credit card promotional offers at one glance, making it easier for you to choose your preferred payment method for greater savings.

Supercharging businesses with a gentle touch

For businesses, this platform is time saving and efficient. It adapts to existing technology and process environments, so integration is a cinch. It can be utilised to create long-term relationships with their customers. They can tailor loyalty programmes and create unique offers for different customers. Businesses can also curate data about their customers, and the insights can be used to create moments that wow at every turn.

(Press Release Information)

Personally, in my personal humble opinion, I believe this Touche platform has a huge growth and expansion potential in the whole world. If the opportunity arises in the future, I hope that I can write and share more on both sides of the story, customer/end user and business.

I would like to thank Touche and Brand Cellar for the invitation to Touche launch event in Singapore.

* Photos and information courtesy of Touche and Brand Cellar *

Journey to 5G: Singtel is a step closer to 5G

In August 2016, I shared an article on Singtel and Ericsson leading the way in Singapore and Southeast Asia, being the first to showcase 5G technology. Today, in January 2017, Singtel is now a step closer to 5G with the launch of nationwide 450Mbps mobile data speeds. With a step closer to 5G, it’s going to change how we work and live with our mobile data usage.

Having to work on the move and outside, the high speed 5G networks in the near future would help us a lot when we are working outside away from the office. The 5G networks are now a step closer to us in Singapore with Singtel’s launch of the 450Mbps mobile data speeds.

Let me share with you more information on the launch of nationwide 450Mbps mobile data speeds by Singtel from the press release information below –

Singtel launched Singapore’s fastest mobile network with the nationwide deployment of a 450Mbps 4G LTE-Advanced service. Delivering up to 50% faster download speeds than prevailing LTE services, this enhanced peak speed will allow customers to download a full length HD movie in less than two minutes1 over mobile data. The 450Mbps service is available to all Singtel 4G customers at no additional charge.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “Singtel is investing ahead to deliver faster speeds and wider connections with the steady deployment of innovative technologies on our live network. With more customers consuming and sharing mobile videos, 450Mbps speeds will enable them to download movies in a flash and give them a better entertainment experience while on the go.”

This speed enhancement is made possible by Singtel’s nationwide LTE network upgrade to support 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, or 256 QAM. A pre-5G technology, 256 QAM increases the number of unique radio waveform shapes to carry up to 33.33% higher data and elevates spectral efficiency.

Customers with Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge can enjoy 450Mbps speeds starting today. LG V20 users will also be able to harness the higher speeds with a soon-to-be released software update. More compatible smartphone models are expected to be launched by early 2017.

Singtel and Ericsson demonstrate up to 1Gbps LTE downlink data speeds on live network

Singtel and Ericsson have also demonstrated download speeds of up to 1Gbps in a live 4G network pilot at two sites in Pasir Ris. This ultra-fast download speed was achieved by deploying 256 QAM downlink, 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (4×4 MIMO) and triple carrier aggregation technologies. 4×4 MIMO doubles the number of data paths between a cellular base station and mobile phones, delivering a speed boost of up to two times normal speeds.

Singtel will progressively rollout 4×4 MIMO technology on its network starting next year to deliver up to 1Gbps speeds at selected high-traffic locations. Supporting mobile devices are expected to be ready by end 2017.

Mr Yuen added, “Achieving 1Gbps speeds on our live network marks a significant milestone in our journey to 5G. We’re focused on driving further network innovation to extend our leadership and deliver the benefits of the latest technological advances to meet our customers’ digital lifestyle needs.”

Mr Martin Wiktorin, Country Manager of Ericsson Singapore and Brunei, said, “As user expectations for high speed internet and the ability to use apps on the move increase, network innovations with new advanced technologies are required to enable superior network performance. Ericsson, as a long-standing strategic partner of Singtel for over 20 years, is pleased to collaborate with Singtel to deliver innovative and advanced services to their customers and to further explore the opportunities that will arise with 5G.”

Singtel and Ericsson are leading the way for 4G and 5G in the country, in support of Singapore’s “Smart Nation” vision and the anticipated four-fold growth2 in connected devices. Recently, Singtel and Ericsson jointly won the “Advancing the Road to 5G” accolade at the Global Telecoms Awards 2016 for Singtel’s nationwide IoT-ready 4G LTE network.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Thuraya finalises plans for next generation constellation

I first got to know more about the products and services of Thuraya Telecommunications when they introduced the Thuraya SatSleeve during CommunicAsia 2013. A product that brought consumer devices to the satellite industry, ideal for those not just in the maritime, heavy industries, it’s also suitable for those in the outdoors/travel industry too.

Thuraya is finalising their plans for their next generation constellation plans. Let me share with you more information from the press release information below –

Leading mobile satellite services (MSS) operator Thuraya Telecommunications Company confirmed it has finalized its next generation constellation plans, and is set to deliver a unique, multidimensional program of expansion and diversification.

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Building on its strong track record for product innovation and convergence, lead positioning in the EMEA market and growing presence in Asia, Thuraya will extend its geographical reach, move into new market sectors and launch new services and devices.

Thuraya’s L-band network will undergo extensive evolution. While continuity is assured with both existing satellites Thuraya-2 and Thuraya-3 continuing to operate as planned, the current satellite footprint will be enhanced significantly with the planned launch of next generation satellites from 2020.

Thuraya’s next generation system will focus on delivering high mobility services in core and new markets. These will be complemented with High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services for bandwidth-hungry applications in land, maritime and aeronautical markets.

samer-halawi-ceo-thuraya

Samer Halawi, Chief Executive Officer of Thuraya, said: “Thuraya will become the provider of choice for unified connectivity through an extensive program of expansion and diversification. Unrivalled and uncompromised new generation L-band and complementary HTS form the basis from which we will aim to innovate, disrupt, and redefine. Our portfolio will transform Thuraya into a one-stop shop for L-band, HTS, IoT and GSM. New markets are now accessible to us, and new technological capabilities will deliver an unparalleled portfolio of mobile products, applications and services.”

Thuraya has already achieved a substantial turnaround of business performance while operating within its current sphere of operations. Its team has overcome obstacles of limited coverage, legacy issues, and a challenging market, to consistently outperform the MSS industry from 2011 to 2015.

Thuraya’s future proposition allows it to present next generation plans against the backdrop of a distinctive and unique set of core strengths that demonstrate an understanding of growing and future trends. Convergence is a notable example, and the integration of terrestrial and satellite communications is already well established at Thuraya. With more than 360 roaming agreements with mobile network operators around the world, end-users already use devices interchangeably both on Thuraya’s satellite network and on GSM networks worldwide.

Building upon its acknowledged reputation for innovation, Thuraya has developed a roadmap for the launch of new and innovative devices, terminals and modules, designed for enterprise, government and consumer markets. Thuraya has already demonstrated a clear understanding of the value for end users of easy, convenient access to satellite connectivity. The creation of the Thuraya SatSleeve introduced the Bring-Your-Own-Device concept to the satellite industry, for instance, reflecting both an appreciation of the demand for consumer-focused devices and an ability to offer products outside the traditional range. This approach is also reflected in recent developments and partnerships in consumer wearables technology, and is reinforced by a unique and innovative distribution model that is augmented by online retail channel agreements.

Having prepared and finalized its next generation plans with global management consultancy A.T. Kearney, Thuraya is now in the process of appointing a financial adviser to begin its fundraising activities. Discussions are already in progress with a number of potential strategic investors who are interested in the unique capability Thuraya has to offer.

“We are preparing for focused and sustained growth, new market opportunities and exciting new sectors,” Halawi said. “We have laid the foundations in recent years from which to build a considerably larger and stronger business for the future. The true potential of Thuraya can now be unleashed. Ours is a unique approach, with a powerful combination of continuity and expansion. Meanwhile, our plan for the next few years is to pave the way for transition, ahead of launches from 2020, whilst continuing to serve our current customers with state-of-the-art connectivity solutions. We are excited at the prospect of being able to demonstrate the full extent of what we can achieve.”

* Information and pictures courtesy of Thuraya Telecommunications Company *

Singtel and Ericsson first to showcase 5G in Southeast Asia

The journey to 5G has already begun, with Singtel and Ericsson leading the way in Singapore and Southeast Asia, being the first to showcase 5G technology. I was at the Singtel and Ericsson joint demonstration event recently, witnessing the potential and capabilities of the upcoming 5G technology and mobile networks.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is gearing up towards a higher level on all fronts, with 5G being an integral part of IoT technology and growth in the local, regional and international context. In recent months, I started to learn more about IoT even though I had been an avid consumer, user and practitioner of technology products and services over the years through my photography, social media sharing, using smartphones, tablets and laptops. Here are some of my earlier articles relating to IoT – Internet of Things, AXON Platform by GreenWave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016 and The Next Wave and Trends (From Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai).

Our current network is 4G/LTE and it’s pretty fast for me to use it when I am on the move, maybe except in places where there are huge crowds and everybody wants to share something on their social media channels thus the 4G/LTE network gets jammed up and slows down. With this upcoming 5G technology and networks, it’s going to a lot faster! The arrival of 5G is not too far away, just a few years away from 2020. This is going to impact how we users consume mobile data, digital content and digital lifestyle.

On a personal, B2C, leisure and consumer level, for those who spend time on their mobile devices (smartphones or tablets) watching videos, entertainment, dramas, playing online games etc, I reckon you would love 5G network when it is finally here. On a commercial, B2B level, 5G has some potential big impacts on how businesses would be changed and operated differently. At the Singtel and Ericsson event, I had a glimpse into these 2 areas on the impacts of the upcoming 5G.

How is Singtel and Ericsson leading the way with 5G ? Let me share the news with you from the press release information below –

Singtel and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) have joined forces in Singapore to bring 5G innovation to Southeast Asia for the first time with a live demonstration of the potential of 5G.

The “Making 5G Innovation A Reality” demonstration features Ericsson’s 5G Radio Prototypes to showcase some of the ground-breaking capabilities offered by the new technology, achieving a peak throughput of 27.5Gbps and latency as low as 2ms. Singtel and Ericsson also demonstrated the world’s first end-to-end (from the time the video is captured at the server end to the time it is displayed at the device) low latency live video streaming over 5G.

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This milestone is a result of the 5G memorandum of understanding signed by Ericsson and Singtel last year, which involved evaluating and testing technologies that are strong candidates for future 5G standardisation.

Singtel and Ericsson are leading the way for 4G and 5G in Singapore, in support of Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and the anticipated four-fold growth1 in connected devices. As 5G offers greater throughput and lower latency, it will bring more use cases to Internet of Things (IoT), enabling massive connectivity and allowing new applications for consumers and enterprises such as smart vehicles and transport architecture, remote healthcare and new levels of human-IoT interaction.

Mr Tay Soo Meng, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel, says, “We strive to upgrade our networks with cutting-edge enhancements, constantly offering our customers all the possibilities that technology brings. Singapore is at the forefront of the most connected cities in the world and now we want to take it to the next level. 5G is very important to the Singtel Group as it will support advanced communication needs. To ensure the Group continues our technology leadership in the mobile communications domain, we are exploring, studying and trialling pre-5G technologies with Ericsson.”

Dr Magnus Ewerbring, Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson APAC says, “5G will enable the full potential of Ericsson’s vision of the Networked Society and 5G performance will benefit consumers, business users and entire industries in Singapore. Together with Singtel we have launched many world-first and nation-first achievements with the 4G network since 2011 and we will be together at the forefront of 5G as well.”

The aim is for 5G networks to be highly efficient, faster, support more users, more devices, more services, and new use cases without a corresponding impact on cost or carbon footprint. 5G will revolutionise five key industries including TV and media, manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation and infrastructure.

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Singtel is progressing well on its 5G journey, deploying key pre-5G technologies such as LTE-Advanced (Carrier aggregation, 256QAM) on its live network and taking the next step to LTE Advanced Pro (LAA, NB-IoT). These radio technology upgrades deliver superior connectivity, characterised by faster and more consistent speeds, to its customers.

With 5G expected to be standardised and commercially available by 2020, Ericsson’s 5G Radio Prototypes enable operators, ecosystem partners, academics and analysts to test 5G capabilities live.

Some key capabilities include multipoint connectivity with distributed multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) and 5G-LTE dual connectivity, to ensure a smooth evolution to 5G and rapid adoption of new 5G-based services.

The Ericsson 5G Radio Prototype has demonstrated not only record-breaking throughput, but also the tight interworking between network layers, frequency bands, and technology standards that will be critical to ensuring seamless connectivity for billions of connected devices, machines and things, supporting consumer, business and industrial applications.

*Information and pictures courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications*

* I would like to thank Singtel for the invitation to the Singtel and Ericsson “Making 5G Innovation A Reality” demonstration event. *

Most Admired Asian Cities – Microsoft Survey

At the recent World Cities Summit 2016, there was a dialogue session titled “Microsoft CityNext Asian Mayors’s dialogue session” whereby they revealed findings from a study titled “Microsoft CityNext Asia Pacific Survey: Your City, Your Future”.

In this survey, there were some interesting findings that I would like to share with my readers and followers. Singapore comes out top as the most admired city in Asia Pacific from the Microsoft survey yet the majority of Singapore’s residents are not very optimistic about seeing further improvements over the next decade.

Here are the information and findings from the press release –

At the Microsoft CityNext Asian Mayors’ dialogue session held at World Cities Summit 2016, Microsoft revealed findings from a study titled Microsoft CityNext Asia Pacific Survey: Your City, Your Future, which showed that one in four residents in the Asia Pacific region named Singapore as their preferred city to live in, outside of their home country. Key reasons for this preference include: the city’s cleanliness (44 percent), discipline (22 percent), safety (18 percent), as well as Singapore being a modern and exciting city (13 percent).

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The table below shows the list of most admired cities, as voted by the 2,000 survey respondents from 13 cities in the region:

Most Admired Cities in Asia Pacific

1. Singapore

2. Tokyo

3. Sydney

4. Melbourne

5. Osaka

6. Hong Kong

7. Seoul

8. Taipei

9. Bangkok

10. Kuala Lumpur

11. Shanghai

12. Ho Chi Minh City

13. Beijing

14. Jakarta

15. Manila

16. Mumbai

17. Delhi

18. Others

However, despite Singapore coming up tops as the respondents’ favourite city in Asia Pacific, the majority of Singapore’s residents are not very optimistic about seeing further improvements to their quality of life over the next decade. 43.5 percent of the Singapore residents polled expect a decline in the quality of life, contrasting against the views of a smaller group of residents – 31 percent – who expect improvements in the quality of life in the next decade. In addition, 25.5 percent of Singapore’s residents expect the city to maintain its status quo over the next decade. The residents polled also cited employment opportunities (73 percent), housing (71 percent) and transportation (70 percent) as the top three areas most in need of improvement in Singapore.

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In view of the areas outlined for improvement, a large number of Singapore residents agree that technology can play a crucial role in improving living conditions in Singapore. According to the survey, 85 percent of Singapore residents view technology’s most important role as creating better connectivity, while 79 percent of residents see technology as a means to generating greater economic opportunities such as creating employment or starting a technology startup. Other key roles for technology cited include improving information dissemination to residents about government services (78 percent), improving citizen engagement through better communication with government (76 percent), and Big Data analytics (65 percent) which can facilitate city development and planning.

Jessica Tan, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore said: “As Singapore accelerates towards realising its Smart Nation vision, technology will play an even more important role in cementing Singapore’s position as the most admired nation in Asia Pacific. Our ability to nurture a vibrant public-private ecosystem that harnesses the power of technology to co-create innovative and citizen-centric urban solutions that will improve residents’ quality of living will be key in ensuring the continued success of the nation. The future of Singapore is a “future of us”, one that the government, businesses and residents have a stake in to collectively achieve inclusive growth.”

The Microsoft CityNext Asia Pacific Survey: Your City, Your Future was conducted with over 2,000 residents across 13 cities in Asia Pacific including Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Jakarta, Manila, Mumbai, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo and Osaka.

About Microsoft CityNext

Microsoft CityNext is a partner-led initiative that empowers cities to be more sustainable, prosperous, and economically competitive—with a simplified approach. It helps cities unlock their potential by delivering innovative digital services that can help citizens lead safer, healthier, and more educated lives.

More information about CityNext is available at http://www.microsoft.com/citynext/.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

*Information and pictures courtesy of Microsoft Singapore and IN.FOM*

Echelon Asia Summit 2016

Echelon Asia Summit took place on 15th and 16 June 2016 at the Singapore Expo, I was invited by my friends from the public relations agency, SPRG, to attend the two days summit and I was glad that I attended this event. This post comes a bit late and I apologise for the delay in sharing my thoughts and feelings from attending Echelon Asia Summit 2016.

Echelon Asia Summit 2016 is a two-day summit that brings over 5,000 top-tier digital professionals and entrepreneurs, to create and expand their opportunities in the various fields such as technology, business and investments across Asia.

It was an eye-opener for me to know more about start ups from various industries and not just technology start ups. Although I am a photographer, I am also interested in financial industry, technology, small medium enterprise (SME), fin-tech, just to name a few of them. Having attended Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai, learning and understanding how a world famous brand brings their products and services across the world, I am able to learn and understand from the other end of the spectrum, the start ups and SME on how they plan to grow their business and growth. I visited Echelon Asia Summit 2016 as an attendee, my first time visiting an event of this nature.

The list of exhibitors present at Echelon Asia Summit 2016 were interesting and diverse, it’s not just technology start ups. There were a number of key speeches and sharing on the Future Stage, Build/Reach Stage, Create Stage and Community Lounge. The topics and agenda that I want to listen and relate a lot to were at the Future Stage. Over the two days, I had learned some great insights and knowledge from the sharing by the panel of speakers in their respective industry. Although I wasn’t able to visit all the exhibitors present there, I saw a few exhibitors that caught my attention –

FOMO Photo Booth by FOMO Digital Pte Ltd

Being a photographer myself, I can’t do and cover everything at major events if they are big scale and the requirements include photo booth. FOMO Photo Booth caught my attention and if the opportunity to collaborate together arises, I would have a chat with them!

Cafebond

A coffee lover myself, I saw their booth and went up to know more about their coffee business. They are bringing in Melbourne’s best coffee to Singapore and you can order coffee online and ship it over to your place. This is something that I would check out one day!

TripInsiders

This is something that suits me perfectly what I love to do, travel and photography. You can become an Insider to bring travelers from all around the world in your city and you can get paid too for your time! Becoming an Insider might just be the job that slots in between my photography assignments and marketing work for Wills & Wills.

Grab showcasing Grab For Work

Grab has a pretty big booth at Echelon Asia Summit 2016, you will see definitely see them when you are inside the Singapore Expo Hall. I read about their story and origins before on how they were founded, grown and transformed over time. I had a good chat with one of their guys there during Echelon Asia Summit 2016, Grab For Work is a great initiative for companies that have staff that are on the move and have to claim transport allowances. If I am currently working in a job that needs to do transport claims, I would use Grab For Work.

During the two days of Echelon Asia Summit 2016, the start ups are not just confined to technology industry, they have expanded into other industries such as F&B, travel, photography and financial. It was a great pleasure, a wonderful learning experience for me to attend Echelon Asia Summit 2016, there is always something new to learn from people from all walks of life and industries.

Thank you e27 and SPRG for the invitation to Echelon Asia Summit 2016!

AXON Platform by Greenwave Systems @ CommunicAsia 2016

During the recently concluded CommunicAsia 2016 held at Marina Bay Sands from 31st May to 2nd June, I visited Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016, courtesy of my friend Wee Wu from Neo Dimension, who invited me along to learn and understand more about Greenwave Systems, who they are, what they do and their award winning AXON Platform.

Greenwave Systems is a global Internet of Things (IoT) software and services company whose disruptive Greenwave360 engagement model and scalable AXON software platform solution enables category-leading brands to profitably deploy managed services.

What is AXON? This question is probably in your mind right now as you are reading this article.

The AXON platform is a managed, modular platfrom, upon which services and applications can be deployed and maintained. AXON is a hortizontally designed software platform capable of translating the communication of various IoT devices into the same standard IP-based language (Source: Greenwave Systems press release for CommunicAsia 2016)

Let me share a YouTube video below by Greenwave Systems ~

YouTube Source: Greenwave Systems

At CommunicAsia 2016, Greenwave Systems brought connected environments to life through interactive IoT demonstration stations. We were hosted by Jim Hunter in person, Chief Scientist and Technology Evangelist of Greenwave Systems. Jim gave us an excellent presentation, sharing about Greenwave Systems and their award winning AXON Platform, through his interactive demonstration and experiential technology experience with the push of a button, words, command through the AXON Platform between devices and person.

My friend Wee Wu, recorded the demonstration with his Canon DSLR and shared it on his YouTube channel, here is the video clip of Jim Hunter presenting and demonstrating AXON Platform to us at CommunicAsia 2016

YouTube Source: Neo Dimension

With Greenwave360 engagement model and AXON Platform, Greenwave Systems has revolutionised the way customers/people create, manage and deliver IoT devices and services by translating the communication of various IoT devices into the same standard IP-based language, in a centralised control of different controls, protocols and standards on a common platform (Source: Greenwave Systems press release for CommunicAsia 2016)

During Jim Hunter’s demonstration, I was pretty engrossed by how the AXON Platform is “talking and directing” the devices through the voice of the person. When I watched the demonstration on how your house can be plugged, connected, communicating and talking in a common internet/technology language, this would make our life better and easier with the ease of IoT technology such as the AXON Platform.

One of my dream is to own my home that is connected, plugged in with my technology devices e.g. lights, cameras, air-conditioning, television in the living room, bedroom and kitchen, with a common internet/technology language that can communicate and execute my commands to make my home a better and cosy place.

IoT and M2M areas are huge areas of growth and development in the years ahead. These two key areas are exciting, strategic and economic growth areas for businesses, companies, technology firms in the very near future, not just in Singapore, but also in the region. The devices in your home may not be from the same brand/manufacturer, with the Greenwave360 engagement and AXON Platform, they can talk and communicate with each other in a common language and lingo.

Would the Greenwave360 engagement model and AXON Platform soon be a part of our future homes in Singapore soon? Greenwave Systems have opened a Research and Development Centre in Singapore last year, to further expand its innovation capabilities in IoT offerings. Maybe it’s coming soon to the future homes in Singapore!

If you like to know more in-depth about Greenwave Systems and their AXON Platform, check out the links below

Greenwave Systems

Website

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedIn

I would like to thank my friend Wee Wu of Neo Dimension for the invitation to visit Greenwave Systems together with him at CommunicAsia 2016. It was also nice to meet the folks from Ying Communications for the first time.