Driverless taxis and robotic hospitals? The Foreign Minister is developing an ambitious project to make Singapore the world’s first smart country. An innovation laboratory that aims to raise education, agriculture, health and mobility to a “smart” level.
We all want to live in a smart country. What we could expect from a city 20 years ago is that it had democratic institutions, good public transport or good infrastructure. Singapore’s dream goes much further, its Foreign Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, aims to elevate the country to another level. Remember the futuristic episode of The Simpsons? This enthusiastic minister wants to do something similar.
Did you know that the Simpsons have hit many of their technological predictions? In 1995 The Simpsons already talked about smartwatches, specifically in their chapter on Lisa’s wedding. They even went ahead with 3D printing, in the 2005 episode, in which Marge takes a picture of Bart and Lisa before the prom. This photo is then transformed into an edible cake. Did you think the selfies had they emerged from the front cameras of smartphones? Well, Bart was quite a pioneer, getting selfies of Homer eating a chocolate cake.
The dream of being a smart country
In this context, the road to being the first smart country has only just begun. Agriculture, mobility, health and education will carry the adjective ”Smart”. It’s all going to revolve around technology, Simpsons style. Have digital hospitals, children who will program drones, autonomous taxis, or even vertical farms. Do you think that’s fancy? Some of these projects have been active for more than a year.
But the future is something else, and Singapore continues to advance its dream of being the world’s first smart country. Your foreign minister thinks big, including a robotics program and millions of smart objects for 2020. Watches, refrigerators, thermostats, cars, fans, bracelets, and even shoes can be connected to the network. Objects can be commanded remotely, without specific technologies, only through the Internet.
The sovereign island country of Asia, consisting of sixty-three islands, and with a government that has been in power for more than 50 years, dreams of being the pioneer in digital development. Therefore, it is committed to Big Data, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The real challenge will be to change the mindset of people, as there are still people who do not advance, considering that technology does not go with them. But technology will have to be conceived as the necessary tool to achieve the intended goals.
An Asian Silicon Valley
Imagine the skyscrapers of Dubai, the police of Geneva and the weather of Mumbai. Singapore has created a Silicon Valley – style innovation environment: One North. A place that serves as a meeting point for entrepreneurs with startup, networking and business workshop, surrounded by the National University of Singapore and other colleges of creation and design.
In the epicenter of Asian innovation coexist leading companies such as Apple, Intel or Microsoft with new startups created by young talent. The new generations aspire to change the world, using new technologies to achieve their goals. Thus, new applications based on Big Data or new products connected by the Internet of Things emerge.
Can you learn to be an entrepreneur? It is certainly an innate skill, although you can learn from the greatest to become a successful entrepreneur. In this context, Singapore wants to continue to grow and aspires to be the world’s first intelligent nation.