Smart cities and robots – the new normal?

September 13, 2017 / By  

We’ve all heard about the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is transforming the way we live and work, affecting every industry and going far beyond just the Ubers and Airbnbs of the world. Cosmetics maker Revlon hosts more than 500 of its applications in a private cloud built and operated by its IT team, saving US$70 million over two years. Meanwhile, department-store chain Macy’s leverages on social media tools such as Facebook ‘likes’ to decide on the colours for its upcoming apparel lines[1] – the sheer power and potential of data is mind-blowing.

Singapore has recognised this power of technology and embarked on the Smart Nation initiative to empower its people with networks and data. Some of the key initiatives include:

  • Transport: Self-driving vehicles to support mobility on demand, data and analytics to address transport challenges, and real-time demand-driven intelligent systems that optimise land use and reduce reliance on manpower
  • Healthcare: Assistive technology, analytics, and robotics for improved facilities and care
  • Cashless society: Contactless payment cards and fare payment for public transport, digital wallets, and wearable technologies
  • Environment monitoring: Mobile apps to report issues and access to real-time data to understand how environmental conditions interact with the layouts of towns and houses

Digital initiatives in real estate are also part of the plan. For example, the Building Construction Authority (BCA) has partnered with Microsoft for a two-year pilot with 30 commercial buildings to incorporate smart technologies.

Proptech, the real estate equivalent of fintech, is disrupting the real estate world. Singapore hosted Hood Disrupt, the region’s first prop tech hackathon in August, supported by the largest real estate players in the market. Averspace is Singapore’s first real estate portal that allows homeowners and prospective tenants to enter a digital tenancy agreement on their smartphones, ensuring secure transactions through blockchain technology.

JLL also understands the importance of technology, with “digital drive” forming a critical dimension of our Future of Work model. We’ve been working on harnessing digitisation and rich data to enhance people and enterprise performance, including JLL Spark, our global business to identify and deliver new technology-driven real estate service offerings, and Concrete, our initiative to identify and support proptech start-ups.

We’ve also been thinking about how we can best use design-driven thinking and smart design to create cutting-edge digital ecosystems, through smart buildings, command centres, better facilities, all while driving a great human experience for our clients.

The technological revolution in real estate is imminent. Rather than ignoring it, it’s time to embrace it! Singapore is on its journey, leveraging new tools and technology to gain a competitive edge in a world that is advancing exponentially – what about you?

[1] McKinsey Quarterly May 2013, ‘Ten IT-enabled business trends for the decade ahead’

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