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New exhibitors make up half of TechInnovation 2018

· TechInnovation

Jay Nair, co-founder and director of OutofBox Solutions, wants to help farmers around the world deter feral animals from attacking livestock. OutofBox team came up with Alfie, a high-accuracy feral animal trap enabled by artificial intelligence, after learning that farmers in Australia often lose their lambs to foxes.

The device, which uses sensors and night vision, is placed around the perimeter of a farm. Using high-accuracy detects feral animals like foxes nearby, the device sends an alert to the farmers and can selectively activate trapping or baiting of the animal.

His first-time participating at TechInnovation, Nair hopes to educate investors and potential collaborators about Alfie, and ultimately expand Alfie’s reach into other countries, such as the US, Canada and Europe.

“The best place for us to come in is to a global hub, like Singapore,” said Nair. “We are looking to launch our product into the next wave of commercialisation. We are also looking to get partnerships and collaboration for our go-to-market plan,” he explained.

Alfie is not just used by farmers. Wildlife conservation groups use it to trap and tag vulnerable animals. With Alfie’s recognition AI, it eliminates the odds of trapping the wrong animal, thereby saving conservationists a lot of time.

“If you trap the wrong animal, you will be traveling two hours one way and two hours back, just to get replace a cage. This happens in the Australian bushland, which often has dangerous terrain and extreme temperatures,” said Nair. “Conservationists can utilise their time and resources effectively by using our solution Alfie,” he continued.

Nair is just one of the many new exhibitors at this year’s TechInnovation. Organised by IPI, the seventh edition of the premier technology-industry brokerage conference and exhibition attracted plenty of new faces, with first-timers making up half of the 165 exhibitors.

Innovate UK and the Slovak Business Agency make their debut

It was Innovate UK’s first time at TechInnovation too. The United Kingdom’s innovation agency brought with it a host of 15 UK SMEs with innovative technologies to explore business and collaboration prospects at the event, which saw a new high of over 4,900 participants this year.

Innovate UK also inked a memorandum of understanding with IPI to promote UK-Singapore technology transfer, R&D collaboration and support in mutual events. The organisation has expressed interest in continuing their participation at TechInnovation in future, to showcase new innovations from the UK.

Tim Luft, CEO of Virtual Reality Simulation Systems, wants to bring his host of VR services to Singapore and possibly Malaysia. Set up at Innovate UK’s booth at TechInnovation, Luft demonstrated to keen observers what his VR platforms can do.

“We are in Singapore on a fact-finding visit, and to explore opportunities to set up an operation here. We are trying to show our technology to Singapore to see if this is what they would embrace. So far, we’ve had a lot of interest in blue chip clients and interest from people in the training industry,” said Luft.

He has 15 years of experience in simulation and data visualisation clients, and his clients include names like Rolls Royce, as well as rail operators and local police forces. Luft has made VR simulations that emulate smart city projects, police and emergency scenarios, and augmented reality training platform for fault diagnostic purposes.

“In the old days, when they’ve got a fault in a piece of machinery, you have to go back to the manual and flip to the right page that explains how the machine works. And then walk miles to another department to check if they have the stock on site to fix the particular problem,” he said.

“With the augmented reality headset, we can recognise the part and check what stocks are there on site to solve the problem. We are speeding up the process significantly,” he continued.

Maroš Michvocík, consultant of ChatboTech, a software that allows entrepreneurs to deploy chatbots on existing messenger and chat apps, is exhibiting at TechInnovation for the first-time too. That way, entrepreneurs can save on costs from building a chatbot from scratch, while ensuring they are in tune with customers’ needs.

He is doing this in conjunction with the Slovak Business Agency, which supports small-and-medium enterprises by enabling access to European and non-European markets.

“We are looking mainly for business partners and also customers. We already have some experience in Europe and I think Singapore is the gateway to the Asian market. E-commerce is a good market to start with. We are also looking at shopping malls and other businesses where they need to communicate with their customers,” said Michvocík.

“The user who is looking for a specific shop in a mall can use the mall chatbox to easily find it. The advantage is the mall itself has data from the customer. If the shop has a discount, the mall can send a notification to the customer. Through the Mallbot, you know what the user wants and how they operate,” he added.

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