New $42m corporate lab set up

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Traditional surveillance technology requires the transmission of data back to a central server for facial recognition to take place.

A new laboratory here is working on a faster way to do this, using artificial intelligence (AI).

This enhanced surveillance camera, called Claritas, is one of the projects researchers will be working on in a $42.4 million corporate laboratory set up by telco Singtel and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to develop and commercialise digital technologies.

The new Singtel Cognitive and AI Lab for Enterprises (Scale@NTU) will focus on AI, data analytics, robotics and the Internet of Things.

The collaboration, which will last for five years, will work on commercialising such technology for use in areas such as public safety, transportation and healthcare.

The Claritas system, developed by Singtel, uses a new technology called edge analytics, where camera sensors can process and recognise faces in real time.

At Scale@NTU, researchers will look at ways of augmenting this facial recognition process.

One such software will let a computer recognise the same person from different angles taken from different cameras to make tracking people down more efficient.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was at the signing of the laboratory's research agreement at the Singtel Comcentre in Orchard Road yesterday, said Scale@NTU is expected to train more than 200 engineers, researchers and students.

Mr Bill Chang, chief executive of group enterprise at Singtel, said some projects could hit the market as early as a year from now.


Another project the lab is working on looks at how the elderly who live alone at home can be monitored in an unobtrusive manner to detect problems.

Using light, heat and motion sensors, a computer software can model what an elderly person is doing without visually monitoring him - by using an avatar (virtual character), for example.

Singtel will also work with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) on a master research collaboration agreement. Under this five-year agreement, A*Star and Singtel will use robots and automation to improve manpower efficiency.