Singapore creates drone zone

R&D centres will be able to test drones such as the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum at one north.
R&D centres will be able to test drones such as the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum at one north.

With concerns over privacy, security and safety, drone flying has been limited to only certain areas and heights. However, recognising the need to test unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), the Singapore government has established the nation’s first drone estate.

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Tantalising line-up of speakers at NVIDIA AI Conference

More than 1,000 participants attending the NVIDIA AI Conference in Singapore next week are in for a treat as the organisers are bringing in a tantalising line-up of speakers.

The two keynote speakers are Dr David B Kirk, NVIDIA Fellow and inventor of more than 60 patents and patent applications relating to graphics design; and Dr Wanli Min, AI scientist of Alibaba Cloud, who will touch on A Revolutionary Road to Data Intelligence.

Besides these two, there are special guest-of-honour Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, and a panel discussion on AI for the Future of Singapore Economy.

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Google sets up online Singapore store

Hurray, Google has finally set up an online store for Singapore! Amid the flurry of announcements made yesterday, this is probably the most significant for those in Singapore. After all, what’s the point of reading and hearing about all the launches in recent years without being able to buy the products anywhere in the country.

The bad news, however, is that only three products were listed on the Google Wifi, Google Chromecast and the newly-launched Google Pixel 2 XL.

Google’s latest smartphone sports front-facing stereo speakers, and front and rear cameras capable of producing amazing shots using fused image stabilisation of optical and digital zoom. Though the headphone jack is gone, Google has introduced Pixel Buds that can translate up to 40 languages on the fly. Continue reading “Google sets up online Singapore store”

NVIDIA to hold first AI-focused conference in Singapore in October

With artificial intelligence (AI) being a hot topic this year, NVIDIA is organising its first AI-focused regional conference in Singapore on October 23 and 24.

The event will be held in two parts with the first day focusing on Deep Learning Institute (DLI) workshop where participants will received hands-on training on deep learningl and the second day filled with keynote addresses, panel discussion and three tracks. It is targeted at data scientists and senior decision makers in the field of AI in both public and private sectors.

“Singapore is aiming to be the world’s first smart nation and AI is playing a critical role. NVIDIA is well positioned to help drive the government’s Smart Nation initiative with the development of solutions based on AI. Our GPUs are making headlines across the world by enabling many breakthroughs in various industries using deep learning,” said Raymond Teh, Vice President of APAC sales and marketing at NVIDIA.

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New Apple iPhone is real X — for eXpensive!

Even though the X in the newly announced iPhone X is supposed to be pronounced as “10”, it can be interpreted as eXpensive. At S$1,648 for the 64GB version and S$1,888 for the 256GB iteration, the new iPhone X is a costly device, bringing it right into the price range of notebook computers.

Apple seems to be pushing the price ceiling on how much consumers are willing to pay for a high-end smartphone. It may even cause some die-hard fans to consider if it’s really worthwhile upgrading to this new rendition. The iPhone X comes with a six-core A11 Bionic processor, GPU, a bezelless super retina display, wireless charging, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras with optical image stabilisation, and Face ID. Most of these are already available in other high-end smartphones without such a hefty price tag.

Face ID, which lets users unlock and pay with the device, is probably the most unique value proposition but is this enough to justify the high price?

Guess the answer will be known when the iPhone X becomes available in Singapore on November 3.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 available in Singapore from Sep 15

After missing a beat with the Galaxy Note 7, which resulted in a massive recall and lots of bad press, Samsung has launched the Galaxy Note 8 with availability in Singapore from September 15.

Sporting a similar look to the Galaxy S8, the new smartphone’s key differentiator is the S Pen, which is designed to communicate in more personal ways. It has a finer tip, improved pressure sensitivity, and features such as Live Messaging that enable users to better express themselves.

The always on display allows users to stay on top of notifications without unlocking their phone. Screen off memo lets them take up to one hundred pages of notes as soon as they remove the S Pen. Users can also pin notes to the always on display and make edits directly.

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Singapore to trial on-demand bus service

Bus commuters are currently using apps such as MyTransport to plan their journey.

Bus commuters have always been dependent on fixed bus routes and timings. What if you can customise your own time and route? That’d be a bus commuter’s dream come true.

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) is calling for a tender to seek proposals to trial on-demand, dynamically-routed public bus services.

According to the LTA press release, the trial will enable LTA to evaluate the feasibility of operating public bus services based on real-time commuter demand and along dynamic routes, instead of plying on the basis of pre-determined and fixed timetables and routes. Through a mobile application, commuters will be able to request pick-ups and drop-offs at any bus stop within a defined operating area.

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Amazon Prime Now makes first SEA stop in Singapore

The online grocery market in Singapore has just gotten hotter with Amazon’s launch of its Prime Now service. It is the e-commerce giant’s first stop in the region.

Prime Now offers tens of thousands of products, such as groceries, chilled beer, ice-cream, household, and home essentials, baby, beauty, electronics, and toys.

 Those interested can download the Amazon Prime Now app from iTunes and Google Play stores and enjoy free two-hour delivery service for orders above S$40. For orders under S$40, the cost is S$5.99 for the two-hour delivery or S$9.99 for one-hour delivery.

 

Singapore and Shanghai among top autonomous vehicle cities

Shanghai and Singapore are among the world’s top four cities that are ready for autonomous vehicles, according to Canalys.

San Francisco is out in front while London is also among the top four. These rise to the top of a group of cities that, due to their size and populations, have some of the most complex transport networks in the world. The top four have a high need for autonomous vehicles to revolutionise their transport systems, combined with the ability to make it happen.

“Naturally, San Francisco leads the way and is the city best able to implement autonomous vehicles. The Bay Area is renowned as the world’s AV testing capital,” said Chris Jones, Chief Analyst of Canalys.

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Singapore to focus on 4 technology areas

Singapore will be focusing on four technology areas to build the foundation for its digital transformation. These are artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, cybersecurity, immersive media, and Internet of Things and future communications infrastructure.

At the opening of Infocomm Media Business Exchange at Marina Bay Sands Singapore Convention Centre, Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim noted that “they are exciting fields with bright prospects in their own right, and they have great potential to transform other industries and enhance people’s lives”.

Artificial Intelligence and Data Science
The nation has established AI.SG, a national programme with funding of up to S$150 million to boost Singapore’s AI capabilities.

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Singapore goes big on AI

Singapore is banking big on artificial intelligence to provide solutions in finance, city management and healthcare. The National Research Foundation (NRF) will be investing up to S$150 million over the next five years in AI.SG, a new national initiative that aims to develop Singapore’s AI capabilities.

“The potential gains from an enabler technology like AI are massive,”said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information.

AI.SG will address major challenges that affect both society and industry. The investment in deep capabilities is also about riding on the next wave of scientific innovation and growing AI innovation and adoption in companies.

Singapore universities deploy deep learning supercomputers

First, it was Singapore Management University (SMU). Now two other Singapore universities — Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) — have also deployed the NVIDIA DGX-1 deep learning supercomputer for their research projects on artificial intelligence (AI).

SUTD will use the DGX-1 at the SUTD Brain Lab to further research into machine reasoning and distributed learning. Under a memorandum of understanding signed earlier this month, NVIDIA and SUTD will also set up the NVIDIA-SUTD AI Lab to leverage the power of GPU-accelerated neural networks for researching new theories and algorithms for AI. The agreement also provides for internship opportunities to selected students of the lab.

“Computational power is a game changer for AI research, especially in the areas of big data analytics, robotics, machine reasoning and distributed intelligence. The DGX-1 will enable us to perform significantly more experiments in the same period of time, quickening the discovery of new theories and the design of new applications,” said Professors Shaowei Lin and Georgios Piliouras, Engineering Systems and Design, SUTD.

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Public cloud service in mature APAC region to hit US$10b in 2017

GartnerThe public cloud services market in the mature Asia-Pacific (APAC) region — Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea — is forecast to grow 17.7 percent in 2017 to total US$10 billion, up from US$8.5 billion in 2016, according to Gartner.

By 2019, Gartner predicts that total public cloud services spending in these countries will rise to US$13.6 billion.

Public cloud services are shared, meterable, elastic and scalable multi-tenanted IT offerings delivered as a subscription-based service to external customers using internet technologies.

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SMU uses NVIDIA DGX-1 supercomputer for food recognition project

salted-egg-yolkd-prawnsSingapore is renowned as a food paradise. And with so many mouth-watering dishes to pick from, sometimes even locals have difficulty identifying a specific dish.

Singapore Management University (SMU) is working on a food artificial intelligence (AI) application that is calling on a supercomputer to help with recognising the local dishes to achieve smart food consumption and healthy lifestyle.

The project, developed as part of Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, requires the analysis of a large number of food photos.

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Bye, bye Galaxy Note 7

samsuing-galaxy-note-7-page

The Galaxy Note 7 page on Samsung Singapore’s website says it all. It’s a dark day for Samsung.

Just two months after the Korean giant announced its newest Galaxy Note, the smartphone has gone into history, in possibly the shortest lived model. The company has discontinued production of the smartphone.

The Galaxy Note 7 had the features to take on the Apple iPhone 7 but somehow things didn’t work out properly. Exploding phones while charging led to recalls and even bans from airlines. Even newly-exchanged phones were reported to be facing the same problems.

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Samsung launches 2-in-1 Windows 10 tablet in Singapore

Samsung Galaxy TabPro SSamsung Electronics Singapore has introduced the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, its first 2-in-1 premium tablet featuring seamless integration of laptop and tablet capabilities.

As the first premium tablet range to be powered by Windows 10 to support LTE Category 6 capabilities, the Galaxy TabPro S comes with enhanced features and long-lasting battery life, making it suitable for on-the-go individuals seeking convenience and performance.

Encased in a 6.3mm slim and sleek exterior, it weighs just 696 grams. The tablet also comes with a full-sized keyboard and cover – the touchpad of the keyboard emulates that of a laptop. The Pogo pin on the Galaxy TabPro S keyboard eliminates the need for pairing or charging separately.
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Alibaba to take US$1b stake in Lazada

AlibabaLeading e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced that it would pay US$1 billion for a controlling stake in Singapore startup Lazada, which has e-commerce operations across Southeast Asia.

Established by Rocket Internet in 2011, Lazada is a popular e-commerce platform for a wide range of consumer products.

“With the investment in Lazada, Alibaba gains access to a platform with a large and growing consumer base outside China, a proven management team and a solid foundation for future growth in one of the most promising regions for e-commerce globally,” said Michael Evans, President of Alibaba.

Clock ticking for Challenger flagship store

Challenger saleA sale offering products at up to 80 percent off will certainly catch the eye. But, it could also bring a tear or two to the generations that have frequented Challenger Technologies’ megastore at Funan DigitaLife Mall over the years.

An icon in Singapore’s IT retail scene, the 53,000-square foot store will close for good when the mall begins redevelopment from the third quarter of this year.

The sale ends June 30, just after the mid-year school holidays.

Samsung introduces Galaxy A smartphones in Singapore

Samsung Galaxy A 2016Samsung has launched its Galaxy A (2016) smartphones – the Galaxy A3 (2016) 4G, Galaxy A5 (2016) 4G+ and Galaxy A7 (2016) 4G+ – in Singapore. These additions come in three screen size options: 4.7-inch for the Galaxy A3 (2016) 4G, 5.2-inch for the Galaxy A5 (2016) 4G+ and 5.5-inch for the Galaxy A7 (2016) 4G+.

The ultra slim unibody sports a 2.7mm narrow bezel for an immersive viewing experience.

The smartphones pack a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera with brighter f1.9 aperture lenses. Innovative smart selfie features such as wide selfie, palm selfie and beauty face embedded in the Galaxy A (2016) allow users to capture high-resolution and vivid selfies with ease. The Galaxy A5 (2016) 4G+ and Galaxy A7 (2016) 4G+ rear cameras are also enhanced with optical image stabiliser for blur-free images.

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NVIDIA brings VR to SEA

The HTC Vive takes users to another dimension adding freedom of movement to VR.
The HTC Vive takes users to another dimension adding freedom of movement to VR.

As the year heads to a close, the anticipation for virtual reality (VR) is gathering momentum. And NVIDIA has helped to raise the tempo by bringing VR to Southeast Asia in a closed door event for analysts, the media and enthusiasts.

Held on December 11 at Crown Plaza Changi Airport in Singapore, the event gave participants the opportunity to try out two of the hottest VR products — Oculus Rift and HTC Vive — powered by NVIDIA technologies.

Oculus Rift lets users immerse in three three-dimensional games (details are under embargo from the content owners), taking gaming to another level.

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Samsung Gear VR available in Singapore

Samsung Gear VRPowered by Oculus technology, Samsung Gear VR will be available for S$148 from November 28 in Singapore. The headset is fully optimised and compatible with the latest Samsung flagship smartphones, including the Galaxy Note 5 4G+, Galaxy S6 edge+ 4G+, Galaxy S6 edge 4G+, and Galaxy S6 4G+.

It leverages each device’s SUPER AMOLED display to provide the colour, clarity and performance needed for a virtual reality (VR) experience. Along with access to an ecosystem of content options, the ergonomic design and ultra-high resolution display of the Gear VR allow users to enjoy an immersive and cinematic VR experience.

An improved and refined version targeted at the everyday consumer, the Samsung Gear VR is 19 percent lighter than its predecessor. This new edition also includes a new foam cushioning that makes the device more comfortable to wear. It features an improved cross-shaped touchpad which provides users with greater ease of control while enjoying the extensive selection of film, gaming, 360-degree video and experiential content available on the Samsung Gear VR.

Bringing desktop gaming power to the notebook

Members of the press checking out gaming notebooks powered by the GTX 980.
At the regional press conference in Singapore, members of the press had the opportunity to check out gaming notebooks powered by the GTX 980.

Mobile gamers have always had a performance trade-off on their gaming notebooks. No matter how powerful the GPU is, it’s always a tad slower than its desktop cousin. But, not anymore!

NVIDIA has announced the GeForce GTX 980 for the notebook, giving mobile gamers nearly the same GPU performance they get on their desktop gaming PCs.

Built on the Maxwell architecture, the GPU can run the latest games, power multiply screens and even support VR. Aorus, ASUS, MSI, and Clevo are among the notebook vendors that will be rolling out gaming notebooks packed with this GPU in the coming days.

 

NVIDIA establishes APAC’s first Deep Learning Technology Centre in Singapore

Marc Hamilton announces the establishment of the NVIDIA Technology Centre Asia Pacific at GTC South Asia.
Marc Hamilton announces the establishment of the NVIDIA Technology Centre Asia Pacific at GTC South Asia.

NVIDIA has established the NVIDIA Technology Centre Asia Pacific, the first of its kind in the region to focus on deep learning research and development (R&D).

Located at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the centre will leverage the power of NVIDIA’s graphics processing unit (GPU) platforms to develop innovative solutions for both the private and public sectors.

NVIDIA will invest more than S$20 million (US$14.2M) in the centre over a three-year period. This will include the deployment of a broad range of NVIDIA technologies — from the NVIDIA DRIVE PX platform for automated driver assistance systems and self-piloted vehicles, to the NVIDIA Tesla platform, which powers deep learning on the world’s top 5 public clouds as well as some of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

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