S'pore govt deepens infocomm push

Together with Intel, Microsoft and Fujitsu, the country's infocomm body launches showcase displaying technologies likely to be used across the public sector in the future.

SINGAPORE--By the year 2010, public officers in the island-state can look forward to higher work productivity and efficiency with the help of advanced technologies, such as biometric authentication systems and virtualization.

A selection of these technologies were unveiled today by Peter Ho, head of civil service in Singapore, at a public sector showcase jointly put together by the country's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and multinational tech companies such as Intel, Microsoft and Fujitsu.

Speaking at the event, Ho said: "The showcase is a vision of how such technology could be exploited to transform the way public officers work in the next three to five years."

As part of the collaboration, IDA will work with Intel, Microsoft and Fujitsu to develop solutions for the government workplace using current and emerging technologies and products. However, officials clarified that many of these technologies are still prototypes and will only be commercially available in three to five years.

Dubbed Genie (Government Executives in the New Information and Knowledge Era), the showcase is in line with one of "the key thrusts of the iGov2010 masterplan", which was initiated to raise the capabilities of public officers and enrich their work experience through innovative use of IT, Ho explained.

Officials at the showcase demonstrated 16 technologies, including Fujitsu's contact-less palm-vein biometrics security systems, Intel's Active Management Technology and Virtualization Technology from the chipmaker's soon-to-be released VPro systems, as well as predictive collaborative software that will be featured in Microsoft's upcoming Vista operating system.

The 16 technologies were weaved into scenarios to demonstrate how seamless technological innovations and applications could be used to support public officers in their work. The scenarios depicted activities that would likely take place in offices and homes of the future.

During a press briefing this morning, IDA CEO Chan Yeng Kit revealed that the showcase had a "one-time set up cost of S$500,000 (US$310,000)", which was sponsored by the partners.

Along with the three multinational corporations, IDA is also partnering local company GT&T in the provision of RFID (radio frequency identification) products for the Genie showcase.

Over the next three years, the showcase will aim to achieve the following targets:

  • ramp up the Genie showcase to include 30 new and relevant technologies and products for the public sector;

  • pilot at least three new technologies and products at public agencies; and

  • adopt at least two new technologies and products in the public sector.

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