ConnecTechAsia spotlights emerging technologies' role in heralding Asia's digital future

Tan Kiat How, CE, IMDA
Tan Kiat How, CE, IMDA

ConnecTechAsia, comprising BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and NXTAsia officially launced on Tuesday, June 18 at Marina Bay Sands and Suntec Singapore. Held from 18-20 June 2019, the three-day event showcases the latest smart technologies and trends that are shaping Asia's digital future.

Key brands at ConnecTechAsia include Alibaba Cloud, Amazon, Ericsson, Google, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, NTT DOCOMO, Red Hat, Singtel, Verizon, VMware and others, coming together to outline the latest tech innovations, create new business and network opportunities, and impart thought leadership to visitors from around the world.

IBM's Harriet Green delivering opening keynote.
IBM's Harriet Green delivering opening keynote.

Harriet Green, CEO and Chairman, IBM Asia Pacific, kicked off the event this morning with her Opening Keynote on the shift from digital experimentation to large scale adoption of new technologies such as 5G, AI, blockchain and IoT, and how this impacts the reinvention of business ecosystems and is reshaping standard business architectures of entire industries.

Deep Dive into 5G

A key focus at CommunicAsia, the 5G Xperience zone at Marina Bay Sands presented by KT Corporation (KT), South Korea's largest telecommunications company, is an immersive sandbox where visitors can see 5G come to life.

KT, formerly known as Korea Telecom, launched the world's first nationwide commercial 5G wireless network in South Korea in April. The company's showcase includes an AI Hotel Zone demonstrating an AI-assisted hotel room, controlled by KT's AI service platform – GiGA Genie – and a 5G-powered AI robot cafe 'b;eat2E', with a smart robot barista that autonomously provides 47 tailored drinks.

In addition, KT's SKYSHIP Zone demonstrates how 5G can enable drones and robots to carry out search and rescue operations, enhancing disaster relief efforts. Lastly, learn about KT's 5G journey at its 5G history zone, and experience it in Augmented Reality (AR) to understand how the company has been able to break new barriers throughout Korea's technological history.

"The world's first pioneer to bring 5G to reality, South Korea's KT is focusing on developing innovative 5G technologies and services, such as AI, AR, SKYSHIP and satellite communications, showcased here at ConnecTechAsia," says Yoon Jong-Jin, Senior Executive Vice President of Public Relations at KT Corporation. "In the new 5G era, KT will transform from the largest national network operator into the world's leading global intelligence platform by collaborating with innovative partners around the globe."

At the ConnecTechAsia Summit, Seizo Onoe, President of DOCOMO Technology and Chief Technology Architect, NTT DOCOMO delivered the 5G keynote highlighting the possibilities unlocked by 5G in a digitalised space, and why cross-industry collaboration will be key to 5G's success.

The CXO Roundtable on 5G that followed, brought together key executives from Bridge Alliance, Facebook, Huawei, VMware, among others as they discussed ongoing 5G projects, use cases and lessons learnt from 3G/4G in shaping the development of 5G globally.

Across three Summit days, industry experts will discuss how 5G will revolutionise connectivity, the issues that hinder deployment, debunk myths and promises, commercialisation opportunities, and the ways consumers and businesses are set to evolve in a hyperconnected future.

Towards a Digital Future – the Proliferation of Smart Cities

Smart cities have been a focus of governments as they meet rising challenges from growing populations, rapid urbanisation and desire to improve their citizens' quality of life.

At the Summit, The Future Cities Panel on Day One features government and business leaders and analysts from Singapore's Smart Nation Digital Government Group, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, McKinsey & Co. discussing the ongoing challenges around smart city developments, infrastructure and regulatory hurdles, and the need to foster citizen inclusiveness and engagement.

Day Two's opening keynote by Jacob Hook, Managing Partner, Asia-Pacific, Oliver Wyman, will share how policymakers, educators, and industry leaders across global cities are leveraging disruptive technologies to shape smarter cities while enhancing the quality of life for citizens.

OTSAW's O-R3 outdoor security robot
OTSAW's O-R3 outdoor security robot

At NXTAsia, OTSAW is launching its O-R2 indoor autonomous security robot that integrates self-driving, AI, data gathering and analysis capabilities, face recognition and live 360-degree streaming, to boost the capability of security teams to prevent and deter crime when deployed in an indoor environment such as airports, industrial estates, and shopping malls.

Also, experience the power of AR and AI in aiding less tech-savvy citizens overcome digital hurdles with Israel's TechSee. TechSee is showcasing 'Eve', its smart app-based assistant that helps users troubleshoot tech issues, installation and all things gadgets.

Future Enterprises, Intelligent Industries

As industries continue to undergo digital transformation, emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, blockchain, cloud and big data are increasingly being integrated into business processes. This presents enterprises with the golden opportunity to harness new technologies to improve their efficiencies and transform into smart, digitally-first organisations.

Witness how the workforce of the future will be supported by innovations such as Solustar's VAL II Concierge and Surveillance robot, providing front-line service and guiding visitors in three languages, printing badges and collaborating with fellow robots.

Catch a glimpse of the industry of tomorrow with Siemens' industrial 5G showcase at NXTAsia, and how next-generation wireless communications will enable a new era of manufacturing. This is demonstrated through a showcase that is similar to the hammer machine seen at carnivals when the pressure sensor is hit, data generated is transmitted and uploaded through 5G into MindSphere – cloud-based, open IoT operating system.

"Industrial 5G opens the door to the comprehensive, wireless networking of production, maintenance, and logistics. High data rates, reliable and powerful broadband transmission, and ultra-short latencies will enable a significant boost in efficiency and flexibility in industrial value creation," says Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. "That's why Siemens is embracing this new communication standard right from the start and is supporting its standardisation and industrial implementation by developing a corresponding portfolio," he adds.

Organising a series of workshops for enterprises at ConnecTechAsia, Alibaba Cloud experts will be sharing insights on AI, big data, and how data intelligence is powering solutions from smart cities to new retail and beyond.

"At Alibaba Cloud, we have made it our mission to help enterprises capitalise on digital transformation in the Asia Pacific. As the largest public cloud provider in the region and our role as the data intelligence backbone of all business units in the Alibaba ecosystem from e-commerce to payments, logistics and supply chain management means we have the proven expertise and experience to help businesses grow," says Derek Wang, General Manager, Singapore, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

Media and Broadcasting's Converged Future

At BroadcastAsia in Suntec Singapore, besides previewing the latest professional audio and video technologies, visitors can also experience how the production, broadcasting and consumption of video content is being revolutionised through digital technologies.

At the Summit, the Media and Telco Arena panel on Day One discusses how this convergence will drive profound changes to the way media is produced, transmitted and consumed in Asia's increasingly digital future. Catch panellist Ed Barton, Chief Analyst, Consumer and Entertainment, Ovum, as he discusses the evolution of TV, media and entertainment, and how traditional broadcasters can re-capture audiences in a digital era of OTT.

With 5G set to revolutionise media consumption and transmission, The 5G Saga panel on Day Two brings together experts from Huawei, Korea Broadcasting System, Vice Media, to discuss how 5G would enable new types of remote productions, and coverage of more live events, news and sports in higher 4K/HDR quality.

"Thanks to TV digitisation, networking everywhere has totally transformed the TV industry including tying in social media with video on demand. 5G will only further accelerate this, especially with 4K. Just like with the Internet, video will be the stimulus towards the establishment of 5G, yet there will be a larger future impact due to healthcare, gaming, automotive, AI, public transport, utilities and IoT devices," says Stan Moote, Chief Technology Officer, IBM, who is presenting a session on Day Two on the reality of 5G in broadcasting.

Be sure to visit the Avid suite and VSolutions booth and catch Matt Holmes, supervising VFX editor at Weta Digital, who will share his 28-years experience working on the visual effects of more than 40 feature films and episodes including Avengers Endgame, Game of Thrones, King Kong, The Hobbit Trilogy, and more recently Gemini Man and Avatar sequels.

"As we continue to witness the convergence of technologies that are blurring the lines between the technology, media and telecommunication sectors, ConnecTechAsia is committed to its vision of empowering businesses and helping them navigate the changes that are unfolding over the digital economy," says Ian Roberts, Regional Executive Director - ASEAN Business, Informa Markets.

"ConnecTechAsia continues to be the regional Telecom, Media and Technology event to look out for. I look forward to engaging with industry thought leaders and companies to exchange views on emerging technological trends and how we can collectively seize new opportunities in the Digital Economy," says Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority.

ConnecTechAsia saw its debut last year as an event comprising three pillars of BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and NXTAsia. Besides 1,700 exhibitors, over 200 Summit thought leaders, and an estimated 40,000 turnout including government officials and professionals from tech and non-tech industries, ConnecTechAsia2019 also offers more than 30 activities and networking opportunities to facilitate more interactions between two venues and keep attendees on the forefront of technological innovation.