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A Stride Towards A Future-ready Smart Campus

By Ferry Chung, Vice President, Smart and Safe City Centre of Excellence of NCS


Ferry Chung, Vice President, Smart and Safe City Centre of Excellence of NCS

Singapore has gone through  rapid industrialisation and  modernisation to become a  thriving metropolis with a vibrant  knowledge economy over the past  five decades. Indeed, IT has played a  significant role in these developments, from a full-scale computerisation of  its civil service since 1981, to the  strong foundation laid over the past 10 years under the direction of the  Intelligent Nation 2015 Masterplan.  And it’s certainly not resting on its laurels anytime soon - in November  2014, Singapore has unveiled further  plans to become the world’s first Smart   Nation, and now stands at the cusp of  yet another exciting transformation. 

"More often than not, organisations wouldhave key differentfunctionalities, be it building management or administration,managed by disparate systems"

 Transforming future-ready cities is not just about building high-tech  infrastructures and adopting emerging  technologies. It takes a collective,  ‘ground-up’ participation on the part of organisations to examine their own technological advancements from within, and map out their  transformation journeys in tandem   with the Smart Nation vision and  transformation towards a more efficient  and sustainable future.

 The Way Forward: Smart Campusas a Smart City

 More often than not, organisations  would have key different functionalities,  be it building management or administration, managed by disparate systems. This could be further  compounded when new solutions are  layered on existing ones to address changing needs and requirements, at times resulting in data dissonance. It   then takes an agile system to integrate  and make sense of different sets of data  mined, in so far as it aids the user to   draw a meaningful relationship between them to achieve greater situational  awareness and operational efficiency. Over time, we believe that this would  enable organisations themselves to   achieve real performance gains with   insights based on the interconnectivity  of their data.

 So what makes up a Smart Campus?

 While a “smart campus” might conjure   to mind that of a school, college  or university, our vision of a smart  campus is extendable to any grounds  that resemble a campus, such as   hospital grounds, an estate, a shopping  mall and a corporate landscape etc.  Here, it is one that adds an interwoven  intelligence layer over a cluster of   physical infrastructure to create a safer, interconnected and more efficient  space for both working and living.

 The core functionalities of a smart   campus could be better characterised  by five key pillars, namely: facilities, security, administration, utility and  analytics.

 We see the intelligence level  of a smart campus to be an  incremental, progressive one. It thus   takes a transformational journey   which includes the integration and   streamlining of sensors and devices   as well as the wealth of actionable   insights harnessed from the various   data sets into one agile, unified   system. And we would like to believe   NCS’ core expertise and experience  of an ICT system integrator would  help organisations manage their   development over time and realise the   vision towards an integrated Smart  Campus.

 Designing and enabling a ‘Smart  Campus’ with NCS’ IntelliSURF™

 Designed by NCS, IntelliSURF™ is   a scalable, interoperable command   and control platform that facilitates   the implementation and realisation of  a smart campus. Complementary with   this platform is a suite of modules of   various functionalities designed along   the 5 key pillars of a smart campus

  – facilities, administration, utility,  security and analytics. It would be  useful to think of the modules as these  different applications, coupled with   their respective sensorsand devices (if   there are). The insights harnessed and   analysed from these disparate data points  are then integrated and centralised upon  this single IntelliSURF™ platform.

  More so, it is interesting to know that   when select modules ‘interact’ with each   other, the outcome would be improved   situational awareness, operational   responsiveness and future-back scenario  planning for more informed decision making.  Here are a few case scenarios  at play:

 1) If there is a water reading detected   at an unusual hour (unexpected to have   any water usage, such as 3-4 am), video   surveillance data and analytics could be   employed to ascertain the possibility of   human intervention at play (e.g., water   theft). If not, this could suggest the   possibility of a water leakage instead.   Modules of IntelliSURF™ employed:

 Water Meter Data Management, Video   Analytics for Security Accompanying sensors/hardware required:   smart water meters, video cameras

 2) Crowd detection systems to monitor   crowd density within a building,  especially in the case of unplanned   scenarios. This could signal a need   to divert traffic or enforce crowd   management control on a timely   manner. Complementary to this, social   media analytics (e.g., trending topics on   the incident) and video analytics could   be employed further to get a stronger   sensing of the situation on the ground in   real-time.

  Modules of IntelliSURF™  employed: Crowd Detection (VCA)/  Crowd Detection (WiFi), Social   Media Analytics, Video Analytics   for Security Accompanying sensors/  hardware required: video cameras/WiFi   infrastructure (routers, switches and   access points)

 In all, while it is certain that  organisations could harness the value   from the wealth of insights wrought   by Big Data, it is imperative to   improve the inter connectivity of the  information mined by various sensors   and devices onto a single dashboard of  IntelliSURF™ in a greater bid towards a   truly agile, flexible smart campus of the   future.

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