So with this acquisition in our pocket, it makes sense for us to look at partnering with companies that are working on public sector projects, large companies that have experience working with the government but not necessarily have great edge analytics capabilities, and we help them with the government projects.
How do you think governments can benefit from IoT?
The opportunities are obviously tremendous. Let’s look at the area of energy, not just electricity but also petrol and consumption. For most countries, fuel is an import and that can be a very substantial import bill. By using IoT from an industrial perspective, if you are able to cut down the amount of fuel consumption by vehicles on the road by even 2 or 3%, that can amount to billions of dollars in savings. It’s the small things that add up.
Similarly, if you look at the power readings, by embedding IoT into power meters, instead of the government sending out someone to read the meters every other month, and incurring a significant delay between consumption and report, the consumer can see what is happening with the energy on a daily or hourly basis, or whenever he likes, because ultimately the meter is reading all the time. It’s a matter of giving more granular access to that information.
If you enable the consumer to save by making him more aware of his consumption, that makes a huge difference again. Take a look at water, the management of water supply and the cases of flooding. If you are able to monitor in real time what’s happening, that gives us the ability to respond faster. In fact, IoT, without being called IoT, has been on Singapore roads for the longest time. Look at the controlled traffic lights. They were actually based on vehicular traffic. They weren’t connected to the Internet but they are networked. So IoT is really about technology that’s been around for a while, with incremental benefits.
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