Panasonic Factory Solutions Asia Pacific (Panasonic) announced today its pilot commercial supply of locally-harvested vegetables to Japanese restaurant, Ootoya. The premium Japanese crop varieties, mini red radish; red leafy lettuce; and mizuna (potherb mustard) are cultivated in the country’s first licensed indoor vegetable farm with controlled and optimised conditions. In land scarce Singapore where only 8% of vegetables consumed are grown in local farms*, Panasonic aims to contribute to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority’s (AVA) vision of raising self-sufficiency level for leafy vegetables through its technology and harvest.
Instagram has launched an app designed after Snapchat. The online mobile photo and video sharing and social networking service released an app called Bolt on Tuesday. It’s Instagram’s first venture into speedy and ephemeral one-to-one video and photo-messaging. The company launched Bolt on Android and iOS in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa. Technology website TechCrunch said Instagram is testing the app in these English-speaking and Instagram-fluent countries before rolling it out in the United States.
Just over two weeks ago, cab-booking app EasyTaxi started taking orders within the WeChat messaging app. How’s that working out so far? Joon Chan, EasyTaxi’s regional manager and director for Southeast Asia, tells Tech in Asia that 5,000 rides have so far been taken by people who booked in WeChat. Joon describes the WeChat tie-up as a “fantastic partnership.” It’s only available in Singapore at the moment ahead of rolling out across EasyTaxi’s other markets in Asia. To use it, a WeChat user must first search for the EasyTaxi ‘official account’ in the messaging app (called ‘EasyTaxiSGP’).
SINGAPORE: ST Telemedia and China’s GDS Services (GDS) announced on Wednesday (July 30) that they are partnering to expand and develop the latter’s portfolio of data centres. With the partnership, ST Telemedia agreed to invest an approximate 40 per cent stake into the Chinese data centre services provider. The tie-up will aid GDS accelerate the development of new data centres in key locations in China, according to the companies’ joint statement.
Singapore: The Indian government should look at public-private partnership (PPP) to make its Rs.10,000 crore start-up fund a success, says Amit Anand, founding partner of Singapore-based Jungle Ventures, an entrepreneur-backed venture firm focused on funding start-ups in the Asia-Pacific region. In an interview, Anand said India is among the top five start-up ecosystems in the world and despite limitations such as a lack of sufficient funding, the country is on track to produce several $1 billion companies, riding trends such as cloud computing and mobility.
Asure Software (Nasdaq:ASUR), a leading provider of workplace management software solutions, today announced that it has opened two new international offices in Dubai and Singapore to serve the Middle East and Asia Pacific markets, respectively. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas; its office in Staines, England (southwest of London) serves the European market and is driving global expansion into new markets. Nigel Clarke, Asure Vice President and General Manager, EMEA and APAC, oversees the new locations and the UK office.
Singapore and India plan to partner and share knowledge on how to build successful new cities using technology and data, following a recent visit by Singapore’s foreign minister. India’s Budget has just committed to spend US$1.2bn on building 100 new smart cities across the country . The partnership will focus on water and port management, and infrastructure development, K Shanmugam, Singapore’s foreign minister, has told India’s regional press.
Singtel-owned Optus has signed a deal with global customer service desk 7, which will provide Optus customers live support, seven days a week, via a click-to-chat app. Optus uses the 7 Assist support chat platform for laptops and desktop PCs. This service, according to 7, utilises “big data analytics” to predict a customer’s issue and provide “real-time decision support making abilities”.
SINGAPORE: With growing internet connectivity, there is increasing demand for data centres which house hardware servers to support networks and databases. Industry observers say demand in Singapore is also driven by its status as a regional hub. Keppel T&T already owns two data centres in Singapore and it is building a third. It says growth in internet and mobile usage, as well as cloud computing, is driving demand for data centre space.
SINGAPORE: The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National IT Industry Promotion Agency of the Republic of Korea (NIPA) to support the expansion of Korean tech startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the South-East Asian market. In a statement on Monday (July 14), IDA said the MoU was signed last Friday, after South Korea picked Singapore as its South-east Asian hub to site IT Cooperation Centre.
When Xiaomi first came to Singapore to sell its flagship phone, the Mi3, every single phone from the first batch was snapped up in two minutes flat. Today, Xiaomi went one better with the inaugural launch of the Redmi Note. All 5,000 units of the 5.5-inch screened ‘phablet’ were sold out in an astonishing 42 seconds. On the Xiaomi Singapore Facebook page, a representative was quick to note that their ‘sold out timing’ refers to the time when all inventory is cleared, and is not indicative of orders placed.
SINGAPORE: Orbiting in space, some 650 km above Earth, is Singapore’s first nano-satellite. Named VELOX-I, it was launched on Monday (June 30), in what is touted as a step forward for the country’s aerospace industry. Designed and built by students and researchers from Nanyang Technological University’s Satellite Research Centre, the satellite was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, on a space rocket owned by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), one of Taiwan’s leading integrated circuit designers, said Wednesday that it is planning to expand its research and development in Singapore and set up an innovation center in the city state. MediaTek said it is committed to spending S$250 million (US$200 million) over the next six years to expand its R&D operations there. The IC designer added that the center will focus on development of applications to explore business opportunities in the consumer, medical and Internet of Things areas.
SINGAPORE: 1-Net Singapore is launching a new centre to meet growing demand for data hosting and other data-management services, to be ready by the last quarter of 2015. The new data centre, 1-Net North, will be Singapore’s first Tier III data centre certified by the Uptime Institute, a research organisation and consultancy focused on improving data-centre performance and efficiency. A Tier III data centre allows for any planned maintenance activity to take place without disrupting operations of hardware located in the centre.
BBS Group and EnVerv, Inc. announced today their collaboration on a range of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) products. The Metator Smart Meter family covers applications for residential, commercial and industrial AMI metering in which EnVerv’s EV8010 Power-Line Communications (PLC) modem will be employed as the communication platform. “We selected EnVerv as our AMI technology solution due to the superior performance of EnVerv’s modems under challenging network conditions and the fact that EnVerv offered the highest density and the lowest bill of material for its external circuitry”, said Behrouz Gholamrezaey, Chairman and CEO at the BBS Group.
Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act goes live today: organisations must now get the consent of individuals when their data is collected. Although public agencies are exempted from the Act, the government has told FutureGov that it has introduced its own set of rules which are based on the same principles as the new law. From 2 July 2014 “organisations will have to notify individuals of the purposes for which their personal data is being collected, used or disclosed, and obtain their consent to do so”, said a statement by the Personal Data Protection Commission.
SINGAPORE: Taiwan semiconductor firm MediaTek on Tuesday (July 1) unveiled plans to invest another S$250 million in Singapore by 2020 in a sign of continued confidence in the city-state’s electronics industry. Economic Development Board (EDB) Chairman Leo Yip said MediaTek’s expansion – along with investments announced by firms such as Realtek and International Rectifier earlier this year – showed that Singapore’s semiconductor industry remained globally competitive.
Big data analytics innovator Mu Sigma, based in Chicago and Bangalore, has acquired the Singapore-based social media analytics firm Webfluenz. Mu Sigma, one of the most successful Indian tech startups, with a billion-dollar valuation, counts more than a quarter of Fortune 500 companies among its customers. Its USP is to conflate data from multiple sources – people and machines, processes and platforms – to help its clients make intelligent decisions in critical areas like risk, supply chain, and marketing. Mu Sigma employs over 3,000 decision scientists with experience across 10 verticals.
MOUNTAIN VIEW — Gigya, the Connected Consumer Management Suite, today announced its overseas growth in Australia, Asia and Latin America through the expansion of sales teams based out of Melbourne, Singapore, as well as a dedicated headquarters team focused on México, Brazil and South America. The company’s global expansion follows a year of torrid growth for the company, which processed more than 800 million logins in 2013 through its Registration-as-a-Service and Social Login products. Currently powering logins and registration in over 46 different countries, Gigya already has a large international footprint with customers such as Tommy Hilfiger, The Independent, The Globe and Mail, KLM, L’Occitane, Next Media, Japan Airlines and Canon.
Direct insurance business DirectAsia.com launched in Singapore in 2010, aiming to disrupt traditional Asian insurance models, bypass agents, and deal direct with the customer. After the successful launch, it expanded into Hong Kong in 2012, and Thailand the following year. The acquisition by specialist insurer, Hiscox, at the end of Q1 2014, signalled the start of a new chapter in DirectAsia.com’s development.