Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at the IoT Asia+ Virtual Conference

Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at the IoT Asia+ Virtual Conference

1. A very good morning to all our distinguished guests who have joined us virtually today. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 8th IoT Asia+ Conference.


2. Just as how it’s almost impossible to picture living without our smartphones today, it is increasingly hard to imagine a future where most devices are not connected to the Internet.


3. In 2021, it was estimated that the average household already had 50 connected IoT devices. We can expect this to grow exponentially, given McKinsey’s estimate that we now have 127 new devices hooking up to the Internet for the first time every second.


4. This proliferation of IoT devices will be a game changer for many industries. It is thus timely that today’s conference will spotlight how innovative IoT solutions are deployed across a variety of sectors.


5. One example is in the area of supply chain management, where IoT has made us much nimbler, helping to improve the resilience of supply chains and cutting logistics costs. Take Singapore-based Neuphonix Technology Pte. Ltd. It has developed a tagging and sorting system, combining IoT sensors and an imaging recognition system which is AI-enabled for inbound parcels. This technology is able to capture the parcel’s weight, shipping details, and customer data within a single scan. Operators can now select the optimal packaging and then estimate shipping costs more accurately.


6. The ability for logistics providers to tap on real-time data was especially crucial during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies could achieve business continuity during a time when global supply chains were experiencing significant disruptions, even now.


7. Another example is how the integration of IoT into brick and mortar stores is starting to change consumers’ retail experience, and making the retail experience more purposeful, efficient, and convenient. Anewtech Systems licensed facial recognition technology from A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research to develop intelligent digital signage that can tailor messages to consumers, based on their age and gender profile. This technology has assisted more than 200 local retailers to analyse consumer data and carry out more effective in-store marketing.


8. A third example is in the area of agritech. Companies such as local SME Linkwise Technology have developed advanced farming solutions using IoT tech, boosting the efficiency of producing both fresh and processed agriculture. The company’s Centralised IoT Platform, or CIP, receives live data from sensors placed through different stages of agricultural cultivation, from seeding, to planting, to harvesting. By utilising the data collected, farmers can determine the optimum temperature, nutrient, water, and light intensity settings for healthier plants. This solution is already being used at several rooftop agricultural facilities in Singapore.


9. As Singapore continues to encourage the development of local agriculture to bolster our food security, I very much look forward to seeing such innovative IoT-based solutions being deployed across more local farms.


10. The future of IoT is bright, but our enterprises need to resolve real-world challenges. In particular, interoperability challenges due to the lack of standard IoT operating systems only serve to impede how we integrate different IoT solutions for complex tasks. Cybersecurity and privacy concerns are also growing. Connected devices now offer more points of vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.


11. But despite these challenges, the potential economic value of the IoT industry is significant. The IoT market size in Singapore alone is expected to grow from US$643 million in 2019 to US$1.1 billion this year, driven by the increased adoption of facial recognition, remote working, and the deployment of 5G.


12. As more businesses choose to adopt IoT solutions to emerge stronger and be more resilient in a digital future, Singapore is quickly establishing a robust IoT ecosystem across the value chain. We are proud that major IoT solutions providers such as Cisco, Amazon Web Services, IBM, and MediaTek have chosen to set up their operations here in Singapore.


13. SIAA has also been encouraging member companies to build up their IoT capabilities and forge business collaborations with one another. As SIAA’s flagship event, the annual IoT Asia+ has provided a platform for components and equipment suppliers, connectivity service providers, and IoT solutions providers to learn from one another across different industries.


14. I would like to encourage enterprises to continue investing in IoT, and to build and forge partnerships within this growing ecosystem, so that we can all develop solutions that will meaningfully address the challenges, but also the opportunities, that we face today.


15. Let me conclude by thanking SIAA and Constellar for your efforts to organise today’s programme. I wish all participants a fruitful conference ahead, and I look forward to the many exciting new ideas, partnerships, and opportunities that will be born from today’s IoT Asia+ Conference.


16. Thank you, keep healthy, keep safe.

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