For too long, we've been held back.
Chastised for our progressive thinking and condemned for embracing the cold hard truths of the future. But no more. The powers that be have accepted the inevitable. We have finally stepped out of the shadows of conservative conformity and jumped straight out into the blinding light of an artificial future.
Sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, doesn't it? Singapore has envisioned a Smart Nation, and we're slowly doing what needs to be done to reach that goal. But what exactly is a Smart Nation? Logic prescribes that a Smart Nation is one where people are empowered by technology to lead meaningful and fulfilled lives, or rather that's what the government has said.
Technology, specifically smart technology, is nothing new. The majority of us have been using smart phones, multiple devices like iPads or tablets and moving many of our traditional daily duties online. Personally, I scan my Apple Watch to make payments at retail outlets and restaurants. Why? Because it's just easier to scan my watch than reach down for my wallet and use my credit card.
Singapore is a first world country with some of the latest and best technology readily available here. However, we have been slightly behind the curve when it comes to building a smart nation.
We've had the technology, we've just taken a very long time to implement it into our daily lives. Cashless transactions are just one part of going 'smart', and Singapore took a while to get on that bandwagon. I understand that rules and restrictions must be in place but if we're going to be a Smart Nation, we need to actually start preparing for it (read: Smart nation's missing link).
Currently, if you visit the Smart Nation Singapore website, you'll learn how the Singapore government is slowly implementing smart technology to aid our lives. At the moment, there are a handful of mobile apps that have been curated to meet their goals. Leading a healthy lifestyle, managing your transport and dealing with some STAT boards are already available.
The question about technology being able to actually help us is not even on the table. Mobile apps and interactive portals allow us to simplify our lives and helps us with many basic daily needs. The question is to what extent is technology going to take over our lives and render the human interaction null. Before long, everything you need to do will be at a click of a mouse or tap of your smart phone.
It might not be such a bad thing really, but one piece of advice I can give anyone who is banking on a smart future, is:
"Smart technology is only as smart as the user."
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