Category Archives: social

Travellers, Free Up Your Loose Change at Singapore’s Changi Airport!

I am sure everyone had this experience before for not able to change your leftover foreign currencies simply because the amount is just too small for the money changer to do so. Often, you will chuck this leftover currencies into your drawer hoping that you will be able to use it in your next trip but the outcome – you will just forget about it completely!

While this is the exact problem that TravelersBox wishes to tackle! TravelersBox is a Finch company that helps travelers convert their leftover foreign currency, including bills and coins, into digital money with favorite e-Gift cards (iTunes, JD.com, Grab, Tokpedia, Starbucks, Facebook) or e-wallet brands (PayPal and Baidu).

Services that you could transfer your leftover currencies via TravelersBox’s Kiosks

TravelersBox, Gibraltar-registered company, first started at Ataturk airport in Turkey and subsequently expanded their footprints to other parts of the world. Now, they are in Singapore!

Tomer Zussman( @tomerzuss ), CEO of TravelersBox showcases how their kiosk help travelers to change leftover foreign currencies. Source: Instagram user @weewu

TravelersBox kiosks were first installed in Changi Airport in mid-December. When asked about the rationale of entering the Singapore market, Tomer Zussman, CEO and founder of TravelersBox, “Singapore Changi Airport is one of the largest transportation hubs in Asia and the world, and we are thrilled to be able to join an airport of this scale. We believe that this is a service that will be of great value to travelers here and we will continue to bring leading brands and companies onboard as partners.

Where are these kiosks located? 

There are eight kiosks located at Terminal 1 and 3.

Currencies accepted in TravelersBox Changi Airport

In the initial period which will accept nine currencies, including the Singapore Dollar, Indonesian Rupiah, Australian Dollar and Chinese Renminbi.

Visitors will be able to change these currencies into credits with companies such as Grab, Tokpedia, Lazada, Facebook and Amazon.ch, with more to come in the future.

Partners in TravelersBox Changi Airport

Amazon.ch, Amazon.jp, Facebook, Grab, iTunes, Lazada, Qoo10, Starbucks, Skype, Tokopedia, Viber, Changi Foundation.

 

 

Sony Mobile Releases Report on Selfie Behaviour And Its Future Applications

Visitors Taking Selfie with Sony Xperia XZ. Source: The Straits Times News Dated 3 Dec 2016. ST Photo: Desmond Wee

New research finds consumers are ready to embrace ‘selfies’ as a tool for banking, shopping, healthcare and more

  • Futurologist’s predictions, and a survey of 6,500 people, finds consumers are open to the ‘vast number of potential applications’ for smartphone front cameras
  •  Top ten future uses for smartphone cameras will include banking, shopping, healthcare and dating, among others
  •  Over a third of consumers would feel more secure if banks used selfies as passwords, while more than a quarter would prefer to see their GP via a selfie or video call than in-person

16 February 2017: Smartphone cameras could be poised to transform a number of industries, as ‘selfies’ transition from frivolous fad to technological phenomenon, according to a new report from Sony Mobile. The report and accompanying research, released in conjunction with Futurizon and based on a survey of 6,500 European consumers in the UK, France, Germany and Spain, found that consumers are open to the ‘vast number of potential applications’ for camera photography.

Working with futurologist Dr Ian Pearson, Sony Mobile explored a number of sectors likely to incorporate smartphone photography and selfies as a technological function in the future. The potential applications were wide-ranging, from theme parks building ‘selfie-coasters’ that let adrenaline-junkies capture their experience on the latest rides, to shoppers using it as a ‘virtual personal assistant’ to try on multiple outfits at the touch of a button. Once these applications were identified, more than 6,500 consumers provided their thoughts on the evolution of selfies as a social trend, and the appetite for these more functional uses of smartphone photography.

“The project has given us a real sense of how selfies have evolved, and why they could be set to transform so many different sectors”, said Vincent Yip, Director, Market Head for Singapore at Sony Mobile.

“At Sony Mobile we face the dual task of designing smartphones that make consumers’ lives easier today, while keeping an eye on what the future holds and being part of driving innovation and change. We have always seen photography as being a key function at the heart of the smartphone and have already advanced front camera technology in our Xperia™ XZ for superior quality photos, so it’s incredibly exciting to find that consumers are ready to embrace selfies for such a wide range of future uses that enhance our everyday lives.”

 

Credit Card Authetication. Source: Sony Mobile

The report identified the top 10 ways consumers believe selfies could evolve in the next five years:

1. Dating: Taking a selfie with your date to find out what they really think

2. Medical: Over a quarter of people would prefer to see their GP via a selfie or video call, in the first instance

3. Banking for the selfie generation: Nearly half of 25-34 year olds would feel more secure if accessing their bank through a ‘selfie password’

4. In leisure: Around half of thrill-seekers would like to try a ‘selfiecoaster’ – a rollercoaster that puts you in control of capturing your experience on the ride

5. In a gym / fitness: selfies that work with AI (Artificial Intelligence) to capture body monitoring e.g. testing heart rates and even suggesting how to improve on technique and how accurately a move is being performed

6. Made to measure clothes: taking a 3D body image for made-to-measure clothes

7. In retail: using your smartphone camera to try on different outfits suited to your body shape, at the touch of a button

8. Social currency: paying for entry to the cinema or a tourist attraction through a selfie

9. Robots: Using your smartphone to control drones or robots to take selfies from other or extreme locations

10. Home: Using selfies to secure and access our homes and cars

Dr Ian Pearson, Futurologist and creator of the Future of Selfies report, added: “Through this report, it has been fascinating to chart the evolution of selfies and smartphone photography with the team at Sony Mobile. But even more encouraging has been the response from consumers, who have shown they are open to the range of future uses for selfies and video calls.”

“The results clearly show that selfies are well on their way to transitioning from frivolous fad to technological phenomenon, and provide food for thought to a number of industries. The potential is huge, and it will be exciting to watch this unfold over the coming years.”

Lamch & Co, Brings Klokers Watches Into Singapore

The Swiss made KLOK-01 and KLOK–02 unisex timepieces by Klokers, is making its debut in Southeast Asia with Lamch & Co, at Antė @TANGS Plaza and Antė @Takashimaya.

Starting from the left: KLOK-01 (RRP SGD 699) and KLOK-02 (RRP SGD 1,499). Source: Instagram user @weewu

KLOK-01: Inspired by the side rule
Klokers timepieces are neither vintage nor retro but part of a transverse reality. They offer a means to travel between yesterday and tomorrow, being resolutely focused on the future. These are the Klokers Machines To Travel Through Time.

Before the advent of cheap pocket calculators, slide rules were the fastest method for working out complex calculations. Travel through time as Klokers pays homage to this iconic, form-followsfunction instrument with the brand’s first watch, the KLOK-01, featuring three rotating disks displaying time along a vertical line.

The KLOK-01 display is a graphical representation of a slide rule using three rotating concentric rings to display the time along a vertical red line. The rings — one each for hours, minutes, and seconds — rotate at different speeds, making the whole dial a symphony of motion.

 

KLOK-01 is Swiss Made and features a high-tech movement with a high-precision quartz movement. The rotating disk displays are driven by high-efficiency, bi-directionally functioning Lavet micromotors that boast low power consumption. These disks display the time on a vertical red line at the top of the dial. An integrated magnifying lens in the crystal ensures maximum legibility when reading the time.

 

The 44 mm case of KLOK-01 is made from a composite metal polymer offering high strength and low weight and ensuring that the timepiece fits comfortably on wrists of all sizes. What’s more, the KLOK-01 is also waterproof up to 5m. A pusher at 8 o’clock on the case band releases the watch from the docking “jewel” for ease of changing watches and bracelets.

KLOCK-02: Push button time travel

Until the end of the 19th century, most towns and cities throughout the world had their own time.  And while that might seem a recipe for chaos now, back then the fastest form of transport was the horse and here was no need to a more structured system. However, with the advent of the railroads opening up much of America, it became evident that train timetables needed to be harmonized, not just for travelers but also avoiding trains travelling in different directions on the same track at the same time.

 

Then in 1884, the timezones we know today was established. While time zones were essential in enabling fast and reliable train transport, they were even more so when international aviation (quite literally) took off. Today, many if not most of us have regular connections, either physical or digital, with friends, family, and colleagues in various locations and time zone around the world and KLOK02 makes it easier than ever to know not just where they are, but when they are.

 

 

While it may be the large arc of the retrograde minutes and seconds sweeping across the top section of KLOK-02 that first catches the eye, it’s the small windows underneath where the real magic happens. A circular opening displays jumping hours, to the right of which is a window showing cities, each city in one of 24 time zones around the world. A short press of the pusher on the case band at 4 o’clock changes the city/time zone and the hour in that city’s time zone automatically synchronizes.  A longer press of the pusher causes the date to display.

KLOK-02 features a high-precision, quartz regulated, Swiss Made Soprod SOP 813 mechatronic movement with displays driven by high-efficiency/low power consumption, bi-directional Lavet micromotors. The KLOK-02 just like the KLOK-01 is also waterproof up to 5m.

 

The slim 43 mm case of KLOK-02 is made from a composite metal polymer offering high strength and low weight, ensuring that the timepiece fits comfortably on wrists of all sizes. A pusher at 8 o’clock on the case band releases the watch from the docking “jewel” for ease of changing watches and bracelets.

 

Klokers watches are highly evocative, triggering memories and personal stories from iconic objects of our past. They are like time shuttles for the wrist, reviving timeless style elements and channeling them into fresh, contemporary, playful timepieces respecting the origins of their inspiration.

 

Klokers will be available on 14th February 2017, for the first time in Southeast Asia, at Antė @TANGS Plaza and Antė @Takashimaya. The KLOK-01 retails for $699 and the KLOK-02 retails for $1,499.

 

Geylang International FC Renews Sponsorship Deal with Epson & Announces 2017 S-League Squad

Toshimitsu Tanaka Managing Director of Epson Singapore (left) and Ben Teng Chairman Geylang International FC (right). Source: Instagram user @weewu

Geylang International FC (GIFC) announced that it will be partnering with Epson for another year. The one-year sponsorship extension will see increased partnership between the Club and Epson Singapore, now GIFC’s Platinum sponsor, with new initiatives in the pipeline.

As part of Epson and GIFC’s commitment to develop youths through football, both parties have agreed to work hand-in-hand to further utilise the partnership with Matsumoto Yamaga FC, by sending talented youth footballers for a training stint with the Japanese club later this year. Epson Singapore Cup 2017, co-organised by GIFC and Epson, will also be part of the activities in the upcoming partnership.

The signing ceremony between Mr Toshimitsu Tanaka, Managing Director (Southeast Asia) of Epson Singapore, and Mr Ben Teng, Chairman of GIFC was held as part of the press event today at Jalan Besar Stadium.

The 2017 Epson-Geylang International FC team. Source: Instagram user @weewu

“War and Peace: Miniatures 2017” By NUS Symphony Orchestra & Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

NUSSO will be collaborating with Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music to put up a performance of specially curated pieces to showcase brilliant young musicians, War and Peace: Miniatures 2017. Members of the public are invited to come and listen to the youth musician’s new interpretations of some of the most popular and beloved musical narratives throughout history.  (Free Admission) 

The team will be performing one of Singapore’s homegrown, and immensely talented young composer Peter Gale’s Space Movie Other pieces include a stunning harp duet, performing The Rain of Castamere & Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold; a percussion quartet performing the dazzling Fractalia; Holst’s Mars, (the Bringer of War) will be performed by NUSSO’s talented brass section. Many other well-loved pieces include Overture in C Major Op.24, String Quartert No.3 Mvt 1, Sweet Dreams and Dancing by The Streams, and String Quarter No.1 Mvt 1. As finale a rearrangement of Jay Chou’s famous Ju Hua Tai (Chrysanthemum Terrace) will be performed jointly by NUSSO and YST Conservatory musiciansMore details of the performance:

Date: Friday, 20th January 2017

Time: 7:30pm

Place: Conservatory Concert Hall, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

Featured Soloists: Leo Dohyung Kim (cello), Pamela Koh (cello), Concerto for 2 Cellos in G Minor.

Free admission. RSVP at: rebrand.ly/miniatures17

Contributed Article by Cloudera – 5 Ways to Be Successful with Open Source Software: Hadoop Creator Doug Cutting’s Advice for 2017

By Doug Cutting, Chief Architect, Cloudera

Doug Cutting at the launch of BASE Initiative in Singapore last year. Source: Instagram user @weewu

Because of my long-standing association with the Apache Software Foundation, I’m often asked the question, “What’s next for open source technology?” My typical response is variations of “I don’t know” to “the possibilities are endless.”

 

Over the past year, we’ve seen open source technology make strong inroads into the mainstream of enterprise technology. Who would have thought that my work on Hadoop ten years ago would impact so many industries – from manufacturing to telecom to finance. They have all taken hold of the powers of the open source ecosystem not only to improve the customer experience, become more innovative and grow the bottom line, but also to support work toward the greater good of society through genomic research, precision medicine and programs to stop human trafficking, as just a few examples.

 

Below I’ve listed five tips for folks who are curious about how to begin working with open source and what to expect from the ever-changing ecosystem.

 

  1. Embrace the Constant Change and Evolution of Open Source

 

Constant change: this is the first lesson anyone who is new to open source technology needs to learn and one of open source’s biggest differentiators from traditional software. The nature of open source is fluid and flexible with new projects regularly being invented for specific use cases. This dynamic cycle propels products to get better faster. So, in order for companies to reap the full benefits of open source, they must be open to this change. The Spark vs. MapReduce debate is a perfect illustration of why this is important:

 

It’s true that folks are building fewer new applications based on MapReduce and instead are using Spark as their default data-processing engine. MapReduce is gradually being replaced as the underlying engine in tools like Hive and Pig, but that doesn’t make MapReduce obsolete. It will continue to work well for existing applications for many years, and, for certain large-scale batch loads, may remain the superior tool. This trend follows the natural evolution of open source technology: MapReduce was the 1.0 engine for the open-source data ecosystem, Spark is its 2.0 engine, and someday there will be a 3.0 that will make Spark the legacy engine.

 

 

  1. When Introducing a New Technology Stack, Start Small and Go From the Top Down

 

Rather than architecting and deploying point solutions, we now have general-purpose data platforms with many tools that can be combined flexibly for search, streaming, machine learning and more. Together these aspects require not just a different set of skills but a cultural shift around management style and organizational structure. For this reason, it’s important to gain high-level support within an organization and introduce data management as an important boardroom-level discussion. I’d also recommend gradually building a new culture around a few new applications rather than replacing everything all at once to help everyone acclimate and starting with one specific use case.

 

 

  1. Avoid Cloud Vendor Lock-in by Opting for Open-Source Software

 

As more enterprise organizations and industries embrace the cloud, they should consider open-source software that’s not only becoming more robust, scalable and secure, but which can also help them avoid cloud vendor lock-in. By building on an open-source platform, organizations can employ cloud-vendor arbitrage to keep costs down, use different clouds in different regions, or use a combination of cloud-based and on-premises systems. In fact, open-source platforms have also proven technically superior and will likely gain more ground in 2017. It’s difficult for a single vendor to compete against a large number of institutions collaborating in open source. In addition, open-source data systems now lead in performance and flexibility, and they’re improving more rapidly.

 

 

  1. For Job Seekers, Focus on the Forest and not the Trees in the Open-Source Ecosystem

 

Job hunters in the fields of IT, programming and data science shouldn’t fixate on mastering individual technologies, but focus instead on understanding the best use of each of the components of the open source data ecosystem and how they can be connected to solve problems. This high-level architectural understanding is the most valuable skill to companies innovating in technology. Because as new technologies arrive, it’s crucial to understand how they fit in, what they might replace and what they might enable.

 

  1. Seek Opportunity in the Skills Gap

 

The skills gap in big data will remain relatively constant in the next year, but this shouldn’t deter people from adopting Hadoop and other open-source technologies. As most of us know, when new technologies are created and vie for users, they are known by few. Only once a particular type of software is a mature standard part of the canon do we begin to have a substantial number of folks skilled in its use — but even then the skills gap can persist. It will disappear only when we stop seeing big improvements to the stack, which I doubt we want. In short, the skills gap is one of the primary factors gating the rate of platform change, but it’s also a sign innovation is at hand.

Conclusion

The open source ecosystem and its implementation in meaningful projects will continue to expand over the coming years. As an impetus for collaboration, it brings together today’s brightest minds to move software development forward at a pace not possible ten years ago. If you have an idea for improving existing technologies or want to rally behind a notion for breaking the status quo, this is the place. I encourage everyone interested to get involved and for those open source veterans to keep committing to the cause. Click here more information on joining the ASF community.

Sony Donates 9,600 Books to South African Children

The 2016 South Africa Mobile Library Book Donation organised by the Sony Group of Companies in Singapore has concluded, with a donation of 9,600 English language children’s books to the South African children. This was made possible by generous contributions from schools, members of the public as well as Sony employees in Singapore. The books will be shipped to Durban, South Africa at the end of this month by K-Line which provides free transportation of all the books collected by Sony companies around the world.

South Africa Mobile Library

“I am very happy to see the continued partnership and support from Sony and the Singapore community for the South Africa Mobile Library project. Over the years, we have reached out to thousands of children in South Africa, fostering a love for reading and a hunger for knowledge among these children and helping them to develop their literacy for a better future,” said Tad Hasunuma, head of South Africa Primary Education Support Initiative.

This is the ninth year which the project has been organized in Singapore and this year saw an increase in the participation of schools from seven (in 2015) to 12.  Sony in Singapore would like to acknowledge the following schools for their involvement:

Students and teachers from the participating schools were involved in collecting, sorting, tagging and packing the books. Several schools also encouraged their students to write book reviews and personal messages which are appreciated by the South African children who receive the books.

 

Besides the schools and students, members of the public were also invited to donate books at the Sony Store @ NEX. Books were once again contributed by the National Library Board as part of their continuous support towards this project.

Since the project’s inception in 2008, more than 190,000 books have been collected through joint initiatives by 17 Sony Group companies in 11 countries worldwide. The mobile library services now cover all nine provinces in South Africa, with 49 mobile libraries in operation, reaching out to over 900 schools. For more information on Sony’s support for this project, please visit: www.sony.net/library

Newstead Technologies Raised $10,000 from Gift Your Tech

Newstead Technologies, a major consumer electronics retailer in Singapore, announced that they have raised $10,000 from the Gift Your Tech campaign for TOUCH Community Services. Sky Chen, Head of Operations, Newstead Technologies presented the donation to Lawrence Tan, Manager, TOUCH Young Arrows at the Gift Your Tech event at Marina Square Shopping Mall yesterday.

Sky Chen, Head of Operations, Newstead Technologies (right) and Lawrence Yap, Chief Procurement Officer, Newstead Technologies (middle) presented the donation of $10,000 to Lawrence Tan, Manager of TOUCH Young Arrows (left)

Many stepped forward to contribute their unwanted devices for the trade-in, in support of the campaign’s aim to e-recycle and donate to charity. “I like that the campaign is for a good cause. Instead of letting the old gadgets sit at home, they can now be used to make a difference in someone’s life,” said Shirley Mok, Marketing Manager who was at the event to trade-in her old laptop.

During the campaign which runs till January 27, 2017, consumers can trade-in PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones for cash vouchers at 12 participating Newstead Technologies stores.  Newstead Technologies will donate 20% of the trade-in value and aim to raise a total of $20,000 for TOUCH Young Arrows to help disadvantaged children.

“We would like to thank our partners for their contributions in making this campaign a success so far. We are heartened that the campaign has received such positive support from the public and hope that they will continue to bring in their e-waste for recycling,” said Mindy Tan, Chief Executive Officer, Newstead Technologies.

 

Samsung launched #BeFearless campaign To Help Millennials Fulfill Their Potential

Samsung launched the #BeFearless campaign in Singapore, an initiative targeted at helping millennials overcome their fears to unleash their fullest potential with the help of VR technology. Millennials will be able to participate in a series of trainings using Samsung’s #BeFearless VR app to help them overcome their fear. This year’s campaign focuses on two common fears – fear of heights and fear of public speaking. #BeFearless is a program that is part of Samsung’s Launching People campaign.

Conquering the fear of height. Sky is the limit. Source: Instagram user @weewu

The VR training programme available on the #BeFearless VR app is designed with situations that one might encounter in daily life customised to each fear. For example, participants who have a fear of public speaking would be exposed to situations such as a job interview, a team meeting or a management presentation.

 

To participate, individuals simply need to submit a story sharing what they hope to achieve should they overcome their fear on the #BeFearless official site at www.samsung.com/sg/launchingpeople. Registration closes on 4 January 2017 and 10 finalists, five per fear, will be shortlisted to take part in a five-week training programme. The 10 finalists will each receive a set of Samsung products consisting of a Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung Gear VR and Samsung Gear S3.

Samsung Gear VR, Galaxy S7 Edge & Gear S3 Classic. Source: Instagram user @weewu

You Can Help The Needy By Trading In Your Unwanted Gadget

newsteadNewstead Technologies (“Newstead”) is currently running the Gift Your Tech campaign from December 5, 2016 to January 27, 2017  to help its charity TOUCH Community Services (TOUCH). Through this campaign, anyone that wishes to trade-in their old electronics item could bring  them  down to any of the 12 Newstead’s stores to exchange for vouchers that could be used in the participating stores.  On top of that, Newstead will donate 20% of the trade-in value of old electronic items brought in to TOUCH.

Through Gift Your Tech, Newstead Technologies aims to encourage e-recycling and proper disposal of e-waste. PC Dreams, Newstead Technologies’ partner for the campaign will cleanse all collected devices of data securely. For end-of-life electronic items that are not eligible for trade-in, Newstead Technologies will recycle them through an e-waste recycling company.

Newstead Technologies will organise a Gift Your Tech event on December 28, 2016 at Marina Square. To highlight the importance of personal data security, Newstead will organise an educational live demonstration together with PC Dreams to show how erased data can be easily retrieved. Consumers will also be able to trade-in their devices or e-recycle during the event.