Open Gov Asia recently had the opportunity to speak with the Co founder of RESYNC, a cloud-based energy management solution, Dr Jyantika Soni. RESYNC have been shortlisted for this years DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition (LKYGBPC) will be awarded to the most innovative business plans / start-ups / early-stage ventures that address pertinent urban challenges faced by cities of today.
“The grid and buildings are evolving faster than ever, with localised generation using solar on their rooftops, electric vehicles in their parking, dynamic pricing from the grid, and a ton of data that can be collected without knowing how it can be utilised. The more troublesome thing is one user is seldom the same as another.”
RESYNC looked at how the grid was changing in areas which lack infrastructure and other expanding urban areas such as Singapore. They looked at diversification and the huge reliance on unsustainable sources of energy and the changing dynamics in the grid required a modern solution and that’s when RESYNC was incepted.
“We saw that multiple mixes of energy in the ecosystem can be very disruptive to the grid and at RESYNC we’re trying to solve that using an AI driven energy cloud which will ensure reliability and resilience to whatever source you are connected to” said Dr Soni.
This is where RESYNC comes in and solves the problem with a simple goal in mind. They figure out how to run a customer’s energy system at the lowest cost possible while maintaining reliability and sustainability when or if applicable. Taking into account your energy assets, both generating like solar and battery and consuming like air-conditioning and electric vehicles, grid pricing, and your appetite to keep your energy supply carbon neutral.
“It is not just about controlling where your energy is coming from but how you are consuming it as well” added Dr Soni
Our machine learning algorithms figure out your evolving consumption patterns and run it through an optimization algorithm to run your electrical systems at optimal cost and energy-efficiency. Using our on-ground real-time control, we provide action on the insights generated by the machine learning algorithms. And all of this can be visualized and analysed from our platform.
RESYNC provides sustainable solutions through forecasting, load shifting and developing a long term energy saving plan.
It is extremely important to forecast and to understand the demand profile of the business. If the only way you get to know about your peak usage is through your electricity, then you are already too late to take corrective actions. It’s essential to be able to forecast, with reasonable accuracy, your maximum consumption.
Load Shifting – with an established platform of ongoing measurement and management, businesses can take energy savings to the next level. Most business have peak as well as off-peak hours. By spreading the electricity usage over longer durations, businesses can lower their maximum energy demand. And RESYNC’s Energy management system solution will help automate this process without compromising on the operating activities.
A comprehensive long-term energy saving plan enables much better capital investment decisions. Armed with detailed data and realistic energy consumption estimates, managers can rationally weigh the benefits of energy-efficient new equipment versus their purchase costs and other related expenses such as decommissioning and disposal cost, production downtime, etc.
Business continuity through the pandemic and future plans
The business has been successful even during the pandemic, “the plug and play aspect really plays to our advantage especially during these times when movements are really restricted but the technology is not.” They are able to ship the product and bring customers on remotely
RESYNC are involved in many projects across Asia such as India Singapore and Indonesia. They operate in the B2B area selling technology to reliable energy developers, for example, Sembcorp in Singapore. Many of the companies they are working with already work with government to improve real time energy efficiency. So far they have been making strides towards many strategic partnerships with utility providers in the region.
In the future they hope to expand to Europe and further in Middle East. They are currently in discussions in the Middle East, regarding energy monitoring for smart buildings. In Europe they have been a finalist for Seedstars and they have deservedly been a recipient of many awards internationally. And now shortlisted for this years DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize.
The Singapore Government has announced that they will combine the power of TraceTogether and SafeEntry, two technologies dveloped by the government to help prevent or slow the transmission of COVID-19 in Singapore
In order to resume larger-scale activities and further reopen the economy in a safer manner, TraceTogether-only SafeEntry, known as TT-only SE, will be progressively expanded to more venues.
The use of TT-only SE will provide added assurance that everyone present at these largerscale activities is better protected by effective contact tracing through participation in the TraceTogether Programme.
“TT-only SE ensures that if a COVID-19 case is identified, we can quickly inform close contacts in those locations through the TT Programme. The close contacts can immediately take the necessary precautions to keep their loved ones safe.”
By end of this year, we plan for all popular venues that currently require SE to transit to TT-only SE. The current scanning on-site QR codes with a phone camera, using SingPass Mobile for SE check-in, and scanning of personal IDs, will be disabled at venues where TT-only SE is implemented.
Instead, SE is allowed only if one uses their TT App to scan the on-site QR code, or if they let the on-site entry staff scan the QR code on their TT Token.
Staged Rollout of TT-only-SE
Since August 2020, TT-only SE has been trialled at selected venues where people are likely to be in close contact for prolonged periods, or where human traffic is high, to ensure that individuals at these venues are covered by the TT Programme.
From now till mid-November, TT-only SE will be implemented in venues with activities that involve larger groups of people. These include live performances, business events, places of worship conducting congregational and other worship services with more than 100 people and cinemas. Members of the public who intend to attend these activities are encouraged to download the TT App or collect their TT Token as soon as possible.
By December, TT Tokens would already have been widely available for a substantial period of time. TT-only SE will be implemented at all popular venues where SE is currently mandatory. This would include workplaces, schools, shopping malls and F&B outlets. The latest list of venues which will transit to TT-only SE will be updated on an ongoing basis at www.safeentry.gov.sg/deployment.
TraceTogether Programme Crucial for Effective Contact Tracing
TT and SE are critical digital tools that allow us to quickly contain the spread of COVID19 the moment it is detected, so that we can safely ease our measures and continue to resume economic and social activities.
These tools help to stem multiple generations of spread and prevent large clusters from forming. We seek everyone’s cooperation in using SE and participating in the TT Programme, to make Singapore safer from COVID-19.
In collaboration with
The TraceTogether App was launched in March by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and GovTech, as part of the world’s first national digital contact tracing effort.
Since then, it has been used extensively by the MOH and the product team has been busy improving its effectiveness and building enhancements, without compromising on security. We took a look behind the scenes to learn more about the testing process:
The first thing we realised? They use a lot of phones. Like a lot.
How many smartphone models can you name? Our guess is not a lot, especially beyond the flagship models of Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Google, am i right?
In reality though, the phone population in Singapore isn’t just made up of more prominent models (the iPhones, the Galaxies, the Pixels), but also less glamorous models – say, like the humble Oppo A5.
Why does this matter? Because for TraceTogether to work effectively, the team has to make sure that ALL devices can be detected by each other – not just the popular ones. To help with this, the team maintains a ‘device farm’ – a collection of over 100 different devices representing the majority of the devices used in Singapore by market share.
The new TraceTogether tokens also go through the same stringent testing
In case you’re wondering whether or not there will be compatibility issues between smartphones and the newly introduced Tokens, the team has also been working hard to ensure that this communication is smooth.
TraceTogether Tokens, also based on BlueTooth proximity tracing, are tested alongside the App to ensure interoperability. This is done by calibrating distances to account for close contact range.
As the team conducts more trials and in turn collects more data, they are able to make more refined estimates that help improve the accuracy of digital contact tracing when used by MOH.
Indeed, in the eyes of Team TraceTogether, there’s no Apple vs Android, Token vs App – all devices are the same.
The GovTech office doubles as a makeshift testing ground
When the team needs a conducive environment to simulate real-world conditions, it’s fortunate that they have the GovTech office at Sandcrawler! This space has a wide variety of different office layouts and is divided into different zones, each simulating different types of areas that TraceTogether needs to operate in.
The GovTech office as a testing ground
For example, one zone with wide-open spaces can simulate, say, a void deck or a mall’s atrium, while a more intimate space can simulate tight spaces, such as public transport.
Both phones and tokens are then placed randomly in each zone. The goal here is simple:
1) Devices in the same zone must be able to detect and classify other devices in close proximity via TraceTogether
2) TraceTogether should not deem other devices in different zones as being in close proximity.
This process is repeated again and again, with varying combinations of phones and tokens in each zone, until the team is satisfied. Intense!
The testing never stops:
“One of the mistaken impressions that people have is that TraceTogether is a static programme. It’s not. It was developed in a very compressed period of time. And we’ve been working hard with MOH contact tracers to support their workflow and processes, while also constantly making the app more convenient for citizens,” explained Jason Bay, Senior Director, Government Digital Services.
“We also urge users to continue using SafeEntry and TraceTogether, which are complementary products – and not substitutes. One focuses on the locations you have been to, and helps jog your memory if you are asked to help in contact tracing; the other looks at person-to-person interactions.”
So to keep safe, remember to update your app to the latest version, and keep it open in the background whenever you head out!
The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) and a wholly-owned subsidiary of a Hong Kong-based telecom, have introduced a jointly developed Augmented Reality (AR) solution designed to transform field engineers’ operations and maintenance processes.
Called DataHOUSE AR Remote Hand Service (AR Remote Hand), the solution leverages wearable Augmented Reality (AR) technology and brings the telecom subsidiary’s field engineers and its customers to a new era, enabling them to slash the time and cost of troubleshooting and maintenance for achieving better results.
The AR Remote Hand Service employs AR glasses to stream real-time intelligence, troubleshooting logs, graphics and encrypted data from back-end systems to on-site engineers and maintenance staff, boosting field productivity by up to 50%.
By wearing the glasses, field engineers do not have to stop their work to communicate with back-end support teams via a laptop or phone, nor to refer to a paper manual. The AR Remote Hand provides field engineers with a heads-up display for remote visualisation in real-time as they install, maintain or troubleshoot equipment, thus speeding up the whole process.
The solution enables field engineers across multiple locations to overcome the challenges of multiple languages and skillsets in multi-technology environments; as well as to manage installation and maintenance issues more efficiently and cost-effectively, resulting in improved customer satisfaction. This ability to work effectively from remote locations is also helping the telecom’s customers and staff stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
To ensure safe operations and maintain service infrastructure availability by the global remote service support teams, the subsidiary is using DataHOUSE AR Remote Hand Service in its China Data Center operations to assure regional customers’ business operations continuity.
The CEO of ASTRI stated that the strategic collaboration has demonstrated the success in leveraging next-generation technology in real-life applications that benefit Hong Kong’s people and society, in this case, smart industrial applications and field service management solutions for Hong Kong enterprises.
The CEO of the telecom’s subsidiary stated that DataHOUSE AR Remote Hand is an innovative remote maintenance service adopted in data centre scenarios, which leverages AR intelligent operations and maintenance technologies. Going forward, the parties, through further collaboration and more innovative thinking, expect to enhance the service to cope with more scenarios and bring more value and better customer experience to enterprises.
In their collaboration, ASTRI focused on developing the software platform and customisation, while the subsidiary provided related information and opinions based on its experience with business cases in various scenarios and applications. This ensured the solution could effectively address enterprise customers’ needs across a range of industries. The result is a solution that offers a wide array of benefits in service provisioning and remote location visualisation and communication capabilities:
- Intuitive AR-Guided Installation, Troubleshooting and Maintenance: With AR Remote Hand, field engineers recognise any device with a designated QR code and access real-time intelligence, graphics, and encrypted data from back-end systems streamed on-site. Field staff can access virtual step-by-step guides or even 3D manuals via AR glasses, without the need to interrupt work to check information on a laptop or in a manual.
- Historical Records Analysis: Using a pre-set routine (e.g. gestures), on-site engineers can review a device’s historical record (e.g. customers’ network traffic or cloud CPU history), speed up data analysis and troubleshooting, while cutting downtime and cost.
- Seamless Communication and Collaboration with Back-end Support: Field engineers previously communicated with back-end support via email or phone, making it difficult to describe a troubleshooting situation. Removing distance and language barriers, back-end engineers now view real-time images streamed via AR glasses through an AR operations console, improving operational speed and quality. Its powerful video conferencing feature also offers engineers instant support and fosters off-site collaboration between global operations and maintenance teams. Also, back-end engineers can give field engineers clear instructions via 3D AR labelling.
In exceptional circumstances, such as the current pandemic, it is difficult for enterprises’ IT staff to travel to data centres and manage their equipment. Equipped with the latest AR glasses development, the DataHOUSE AR Remote Hand serves as customers’ remote hands. It not only shows the status of on-site equipment as customers watch in real-time from offices or other locations but also lets customers provide live instructions to the subsidiary’s on-site engineers as they troubleshoot equipment issues without physically being in the data centre.
The team has plans to extend the AR Remote Hand service for further customer use and will enlarge the list of equipment support. Adding AI applications for the AR glasses will be the next milestone as we work to deliver even more intelligent diagnoses.
For example, when a field engineer sees the status of the target-fixing equipment through the AR glasses, they will be shown several possible causes for the problem, with each cause ranked with a percentage according to how likely it is to be the source of the problem.
Indonesia is very serious about Intellectual Property rights and this is reflected in their policies and initiatives that have significantly revamped their IP landscape.
The Directorate General of Intellectual Property falls under the Ministry of Law and Human Rights DGIP Vision and Mission. With a vision to be an Intellectual Property Institution that guarantees legal certainty and a driver of innovation, creativity and national economic growth, it serves to achieve quality intellectual property services and enforcement.
There are three important pillars to improving intellectual property management in Indonesia including filing, commercialisation and law enforcement. The DGIP continues to communicate these three pillars to the regions and ministries of the relevant institutions, which in turn has had an impact on increasing IP applications with the DGIP, including patents, copyrights and trademarks.
Interestingly, Intellectual property registrations in Indonesia have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic
“It can be seen from the intellectual property registration income, that where we have implemented an online system, there were around Rp 250 billion (US$ 17 million) entries during March and April this year, up from the same period last year at only Rp 130 billion (US$ 8.8 million). This is beyond our expectations,” said Freddy Harris, the Director-General of the Intellectual Property, in the IP Talks From Home online talkshow via YouTube, as quoted from official information received by Kontan e-paper.
While only 3,000 copyrights were registered a few years ago, currently registrations have reached 21,000. Earlier domestic patent registrations formed about 10% of overall patent registrations but now makeup about 15%.
The DGIP has been successful in setting up virtual counters, the first virtual IP registration counters in Indonesia. “People have been very enthusiastic about the virtual counters, as seen from recent transactions. They no longer need to come to the physical counters because it is very risky for spreading the virus. With these counters, people are being adequately serviced and the DGIP’s acceptance rate has increased,” said Mr Harris.
Most recently, the Minister of Law and Human Rights, Yasonna Laoly graduated 139 new Intellectual Property Consultants (KIs). With this inauguration, Indonesia has 964 IP consultants. The inauguration of the batch of KI graduates is considered important by as IP consultants are a strategic piece to help protect the intellectual property rights of the community. Yasonna advised all KI consultants to always maintain integrity and trust – becoming consultants who maintain integrity, professional code of ethics, follow principles and obey the law.
The existence of KI consultant is intended to help and represent the public, especially intellectual property rights applicants such as creators, inventors, designers, rights holders or other parties who have the right to apply for registration in the field of intellectual property expounded Yasonna explained during the inauguration ceremony for KI consultants.
Not only in the intellectual property registration process, Yasonna said that IP consultants also have a moral responsibility to introduce the importance of IP protection to the public. IP consultants encourage Indonesians to protect their work as well as regional property through intellectual property registration.
KI consultants mobilise and encourage people to continue to be creative. According to him, research shows that the number of intellectual property applicants, be it brands, patents, industrial designs, or others, has a positive correlation with the economic growth of a nation. He exhorted the batch of consultants to encourage regions to register communal intellectual property as well as geographical indications.
In this connection, the Minister of Law and Human Rights (Menkumham) praised West Java’s contribution in terms of protecting communal intellectual property. West Java is one of the important economic pillars that contributes greatly to the field of intellectual property as a province with the largest brand ownership and geographical indication in Indonesia.
In addition, West Java is an exemplary province in developing regional regulations in the field of intellectual property, including communal intellectual property in the form of dances, traditional clothing and other cultures. These are all legacies that we must preserve because the progress of the times does not need to erode local wisdom.
Minister Yasonna is also optimistic that the Alam Santosa tourism village will further increase West Java’s contribution to the preservation and protection of communal intellectual property. With the Alam Santosa tourism village as a learning centre based on Indonesian culture to develop local policy insights as a contribution to the development of national cultural values, Kemenkumham is optimistic about West Java’s potential and contribution in the field of intellectual property in the future.
An incubatee at the Hong Kong Smart Government Innovation Lab has announced the launch of a new solution. It is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
The solution, called the NB-IoT/LoRa Dual-detection parking occupancy sensing system, can accurately sense the occupancy status of parking space or spaces through its fully integrated dual-detection from Radar/mmWave and magnetometer sensing.
Equipped with leading NB-IoT and LoRa WAN technologies, the end-to-end system is easy to use and can be rapidly deployed. The solution also provides cross-system integration for various payment methods including self-help automatic payment, membership payment, and on-site payment. Data is displayed on the parking operation platform including parking space status, vehicle status, turnover rate, illegal parking behaviour and much more.
The solution was designed to enhance areas including City Management as well as Transport.
The innovation is equipped with the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
The solution has the following benefits:
- Privacy: the system does not use the camera data to identify license plates or individuals’ faces, thereby eliminating privacy concerns;
- Low-cost: the parking timer sensor installation and maintenance costs are much lower camera installation costs;
- Mobile app: an interconnected app has been developed to help drivers navigate the parking areas;
- Special Parking Management:
- Detects and alerts users of no parking zones and U-turn area.
- Can Interlink with a speaker those with disabilities and for enhanced night safety parking.
- Charges different commercials accordingly (the system can be set to charge vehicles by number, hour, and time – for example, taxis, vehicles in temporary parking, and those in loading zone parking can all receive different rates).
- Detects scooter and heavy motorcycle parking spaces.
- Detects and manages shared parking.
- Can confirm whether a VIP or special user has parked in the appointed space.
The smart parking market
The global smart parking market is expected to rise from its initial estimated value of US3.38 billion in 2018 to an estimated value of US12.60 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 17.85% in the forecast period of 2019-2026. This rise in market value can be attributed to the increasing concerns of parking amid growth in the number of vehicles. The high cost of implementing and subsequent increase in the cost of the vehicles is expected to act as a restraint to the market growth.
Known as the “super project“, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Zhuhai Port has the most complex technology and the most difficult implementation in the history of Chinese bridge construction. It has 18 lanes and about 2500 parking spaces so far.
Additionally, a smart parking management system has been developed for the port. The all-in-one smart transportation solution for the car park of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Zhuhai Port includes a license plate recognition/card system, a video parking guidance system, and more to achieve unattended parking. It also has a license plate scan to go system, parking guidance and voice IP intercom. Car owners can experience rich multimedia functions, such as pictures, videos, animations, and instructional information.
Thus, as the number of vehicles continues to rise, so will the need for bigger, better, smarter parking and Hong Kong is at the epicentre of innovations in the field.
About the Smart Government Innovation Lab
In 2018, the Government established the Smart Government Innovation Lab to explore hi-tech products such as AI and relevant technologies, including machine learning, big data analytics, cognitive systems and intelligent agent, as well as blockchain and robotics from firms, especially local start-ups.
The Lab is always on the lookout for innovation and technology (I&T) solutions that are conducive to enhancing public services or their operational effectiveness. I&T suppliers are encouraged to regularly visit the Lab’s website to check on the current business and operational needs in public service delivery and propose innovative solutions or product suggestions to address them.
The Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group, in partnership with the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, the Building and Construction Authority, the Economic Development Board and industry partners such as The Singapore Contractors Association, will be distributing more than 450,000 contact-tracing devices to all migrant and local workers living or working in dormitories, as well as those in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors.
The distribution of the devices will be carried out in phases from 18 October 2020 and is expected to be completed by early November 2020.
Contract Tracing Devices purpose built for worksite environments
The contact-tracing devices, BluePass tokens, are purpose-built for the dormitory and worksite environment. They are compact and water-resistant, and can be worn at all times.
They will be interoperable with and complement the use of the TraceTogether app on migrant workers’ smartphones, as some workers may not always be carrying their phones at work and at the dormitories.
The ACE Group and sector agencies will trial and evaluate how these tokens function and perform in the rugged work environments, and how the data from the tokens can help improve contact tracing and the quarantine process when new COVID-19 cases are detected.
Tokens will help minimise COVID-19 transmission and work disruptions
This will benefit employers and workers because only close contacts will be isolated, thereby minimising any work disruptions.
Data can also be extracted from the tokens, to assess the extent of intermixing amongst the workers. This can help employers and workers better understand how preventive measures can be taken to minimise intermixing and potential transmission of the virus.
The contact-tracing devices will be distributed with the support of the Forward Assurance and Support Teams to migrant workers living in purpose-built dormitories.
Workers living in other types of accommodation will be issued their devices at Regional Screening Centres for Rostered Routine Tests.
Self-collection points will be set up for workers residing in decant sites and other forms of accommodation. Employers and workers will be informed of the collection dates subsequently.
Photo Credit: www.gov.sg
From 2021, Vietnam plans to provide digital transformation ranking to ministries and provinces each year, measuring the extent to which national and local authorities have developed online activities in all areas of the society and economy.
The country’s administration is prioritising e-government as a central pillar of its ambitious national digital transformation strategy to increase digital infrastructure, solutions, and capacity in the government, industry, and society.
The aim is to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with every branch of government operating in a digital technology environment. Two important national databases will digitise information about the population and land, enabling e-identification and authentication to be in place by the end of 2021.
Other measures include capacity development and digital skills training for both government and businesses. Vietnam is set to rank among the top four ASEAN countries on the United Nations (UN) e-government rankings by 2030 – and among the top 70 worldwide.
With a population of about 100 million and a consistent GDP growth rate of around 7% over the past 30 years, Vietnam is rapidly digitising its infrastructure. The national broadband rollout and 4G/5G deployment are keys to digital transformation and international economic competitiveness.
Starting in major urban centres such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, affordable 5G will be critical in building smart cities and powering the fourth industrial revolution to increase economic growth, generate jobs, and work towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Scientific and technological innovation, including new applications like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR), underlie this strategy. They are dependent on international cooperation in research, development, and the transfer of new technologies and commercial models in Vietnam.
According to a press release, all of this will be on display at ITU Virtual Digital World 2020. It is an online three-day event from 20 to 22 October. The first-ever virtual event from ITU Telecom, Virtual Digital World 2020 will build the foundations for the next physical event, ITU Digital World 2021 in Hanoi, next year.
Vietnam has hosted high-level virtual conferences before, including the online 36th ASEAN Summit earlier this year. The focus was on cooperation and unity in recovering from the health, social, and economic impact of the pandemic – a theme expected to underpin discussions at ITU Virtual Digital World 2020.
This October, the emphasis will be on how national digital strategies have changed or are changing in the era of COVID-19. The critical importance of digital technologies to governments, economies, society, and individual lives has never been clearer, and neither has the digital inequality gap, the release stated.
The event will explore questions that will be discussed during the roundtables and forum debates, including:
- How can governments and private sector players work together with the help of the international community to invest in network deployment, redirect resources and refocus strategies to close the digital divide?
- Which new or emerging technologies might be the most cost-effective or fit-for-purpose?
- Will the pandemic stimulate sufficient demand, or are other demand-side initiatives needed – and who should then take the lead on developing them?