Mobile apps that contribute to national security and community bonding were featured at the Enjoying A Digital Lifestyle roadshow.
Contributed By Christal Ong
Mention mobile apps and the first thing that comes to mind is “games” or “entertainment.” But through the Enjoying A Digital Lifestyle roadshow jointly organized by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, National Family Council and Singapore Police Force from Oct. 21 to 23 at Toa Payoh Hub, the Singaporean public learned that mobile apps can also be used to promote community and family cohesiveness as well as safeguard national security.
Supported by organizations including NTUC, Touch Community and Corporate-i, the roadshow featured three distinctive exhibition sections labelled “islands” by the IDA, SPF and NFC. Each “island” introduced visitors to a total of more than 25 community applications and online services in real-world environments (see box story below).
The public outreach event also showcased a variety of informative and action-packed games, competitions, lucky draw, talks, digital art exhibition and performances. Prior to the roadshow, a series of social media initiatives and activities was also launched, namely the Digital Lifestyle Junior Art Competition, Digital Life Junior Art Digital Wall Exhibition, as well as the Digital Lifestyle Photo Me and I Love Digital Lifestyle Paparazzi contests. The events were organized with one purpose: to offer an immersive experience of the digital world.
The grand opening was graced by guest-of-honor Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, the former Minister of Home Affairs and chairman of the Home Team Volunteers Network. He highlighted the growing trend of a digital lifestyle ingrained among Singaporeans, evident through the widespread popularity of smartphones, mobile apps as well as social media. Expressing his belief that the possibilities one can achieve is limited only by one’s imagination in this digital era, he said, “It is good to see the public and private sector organizations working together to explore these opportunities in order to engage their target audiences more effectively.”
Not to be left out, the young were engaged through the Digital Lifestyle Junior Art Contest, the results of which were unveiled on the second day. The contest was aimed at encouraging children to imagine how digital gadgets and applications can improve their daily lives. All paintings were uploaded to the Enjoying a Digital Lifestyle Facebook event page, which garnered more than 1,000 enthusiastic votes from fans over one week. Winners were selected based on the number of likes each piece of artwork received, creativity and skill. The judging panel comprised Christopher Tan, the SEA tech specialist and enterprise manager of Intel Technology Asia, Ng Wansin, a senior consultant from IDA and Yuan Wenling, Mrs. Singapore Queen of Hope 2010.
One of the visitors, Theresa Chan, found the event informative and interesting. “I am not a very IT-savvy person, hence this road show definitely created more awareness for some of the apps that I can look forward to download and apply later.”
Another visitor, Yeh Jen Hao, a bank officer, discovered the usability of the MobileRead app is particularly useful for his young child, who was with him at the road show. “Using my iPhone app makes reading easier for both my kid and I since there is free access to National Library Board content. I didn’t know there were so many practical apps until I came here today,” he shared.
For more information, log on to www.digitallifestyle.sg.
Apps That Make A Difference
THE IDA ISLAND
Theme: Engage. Educate. Enrich.
Apps: With widespread mobile access and rapid take-up of social media tools, IDA aims to engage Singaporeans through community-based apps and services in order to enrich their digital knowledge and experience. Examples of apps include Mobile Read, Cyber Wellness@SG and Central Singapore CDC, which allow members of the public to conveniently perform errands such as paying bills, booking facilities or lodging feedback online without having to physically travel to a location. Additionally, through apps like the Mercy Relief app (a humanitarian charity established to human tragedies in Asia), the user is able to get updates on Mercy Relief’s disaster responses, development projects and sign up to be a volunteer in this application. One can also make a cash donation with the application online call integration function.
THE NFC ISLAND
Theme: Live. Love. Play.
Apps: Apps such as NTUC U Family’s “Family Fun,” TripAdvisor, ILoveDeals SG, Reflections on Family Relationships, Thinkfamily.sg and We Welcome Families are centered around the theme of enhancing relationships with family, friends and community. ILoveDeals SG is a one-stop shop for credit card deals for restaurants and eateries in Singapore. It is a useful app to find the best deals to have a meal with family members. The We Welcome Families mobile app, developed by the Businesses For Families Council, provides families with access to exclusive promotions, events and a directory of family-friendly establishments while they are on-the-go, creating memorable family moments as they eat, shop and play together.
THE SPF ISLAND
Theme: See. Act. Report.
Apps: Keep abreast of news by accessing up-to-date crime alerts and crime prevention advisories on the move in order to make informed decisions about protecting yourselves and your loved ones. Some of the useful mobile apps available include Police@sg, which allows one to be updated real-time about crimes that have happened in their neighborhood, Singapore Police Force on Twitter, which provides the user with information on the latest enforcement news, crime prevention alerts, traffic information and appeals for witnesses, and i-Witness. Through these apps, the user can also learn how to take crime prevention measures, and conveniently share them with their loved ones via Facebook and Twitter. Since the security of Singapore is the shared responsibility of all citizens, these mobile apps can help the user be a pro-active citizen in keeping our country safe from danger.