Founded in Singapore in 2005, NewDVR is an IoT company aiming to transform communities into smart environments. Established in 2005, its motto is “Keep it Simple and Smart” or in short, IoT KISS.
Founded in Singapore in 2005, NewDVR is an IoT company aiming to transform communities into smart environments. Its motto is “Keep it Simple and Smart” or in short, IoT KISS.
"Back then, we tried to push our product locally in Singapore, but was held back with much resistance as the mind set to digital transform in Singapore was still dated. We decided to head overseas. We pushed our product and solutions far and wide; Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Abu Dhabi, South America and more. We made partners, developed Smart facilities and made countless new friends. The experience we made overseas helped us grow as a team" told Vincent Ooi, Executive Director for NewDVR.
The company is engaged in different projects in Singapore and the region. “IoT is now being rolled out in different segments. We are deploying it to create smart housing communities, smart schools and even vertical agriculture,” explained Ooi, “Our philosophy to keep things simple and smart guides our solutions to be effective and easy to use, and helps to move digital transformation forward.”
In 2017, Singapore was going through a phase. The Singapore government anounced its plans to dedicate US$1.7 billion to working with the private sector, including small businesses and start-ups, to develop technologies in data analytics and sensors as well as communications infrastructure that will connect internet-of-things sensor networks with data centres. In short, tech you need to make Smart Nation, Singapore’s vision of an always connected digital society, a tangible thing.
"With the news of such an opportunity, Our team headed home. With our experience and specialties in hardware, software and AI, we worked with partners to move our Singapore into the Smart Nation direction" explained Ooi.
The company’s core product is the ALiv Smart Community application. This is a platform with many pre-defined engines that can be integrated according to the project requirements. “Besides the modularity of the system, our system is protected with next-generation cybersecurity and is hosted on our local servers. You don't have to worry about information being stolen, unlike services that use shared cloud servers where there is the risk of data breaches,” explained Raphael Tan, Assistant Marketing Manager for NewDVR.
Modernizing a school with IoT
In April 2020, a public school in Singapore approached NewDVR to upgrade its existing system. For most of its 50-year history, the school used aged, traditional technology and time-keeping processes. Monitoring security, staff attendance and facility usage was done through separate systems and the school wanted to have a single platform to better manage and track their staff attendance and reporting, monitor incoming and outgoing visitors as well as reduce complex processes for their elderly security guards.
“With the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Singapore government had encouraged businesses and schools to digitalize and digitally transform into smart schools. This ultimately began their research into IoT technology, and thus to us,” explained Tan. “Covid-19 was the catalyst, but also our biggest challenge. The lockdown held us back on this project for some time. Only when restrictions were lightened could we begin.”
As the school had everything rather traditional, there were few legacy software or hardware systems; thus it was easy to set up a new platform. NewDVR chose to install wireless devices to reduce client costs for maintenance and future development.
One platform to rule them all
Safety is an ongoing concern within schools, but it is not the only one. From a school administrator’s perspective, they are also responsible for staff attendance and mundane, but important, things like electricity bills. The ALiv platform allowed the school to combine several requirements under one app.
Smart CCTV & surveillance system: Using artificial intelligence, the system can identify certain incidents around campus such as fighting, smoking, distress and more. Once detected, a notification is sent to the chosen staff or directly to the school disciplinary department for their immediate action.
Access control system: The school personnel uses the ALiv smartphone application or smart cards to access the doors around campus. Additionally, administrators can allow or deny access to specific rooms/doors. In the case of a stranger entering the campus that may pose a security threat, the system enables administrators to remotely put the campus on lockdown and securely lock all doors.
IoTKiss automated AI staff attendance system: The school administrators are able to monitor and track staff attendance and automatically send reports to the school leaders.
Classroom automation: The school wished to monitor and automate classroom usage of fans, air conditioners and lights. Oftentimes, students or teachers forget to switch off their classroom appliances. Automating this process by installing IoT sensors in classrooms helped to reduce energy consumption and electricity bills as well as the need to have one of the guards walk through the whole school to check on this personally.
Facility booking system: Booking, monitoring and tracking of school facilities around campus through this system would greatly reduce the manpower all while increasing the efficiency to manage.
Event & visitor management system: Through the system, administrators and staff can monitor and track visitor movement in and out of the school campus, identify any potential strangers or unauthorized visitors, identify the purpose of visit and so on. Visitors could easily pre-book an appointment with teachers and staff online, which would alert security guards and school administrators of upcoming appointments.
One year in – efficiency is improved
“It has been almost a year since we completed the project at the school. A little over 120 school staff use the app daily, including teachers, administrators, canteen vendors, guards and the cleaning staff,” said Tan. “School administrators are happy being able to monitor their various procedures and systems more efficiently and have less work through our app and solutions. This has enabled them to use their energy more efficiently.”
The School Discipline Committee, which is made up of teachers, is happy that the surveillance system enables them to better monitor students at play and at the canteen during recess. Incidents have been better handled with a smaller staff.
School Leaders are happy with the staff attendance system, being able to receive daily and weekly attendance reports on staff movements. “This was especially helpful during this pandemic where teachers and staff work from home but also come to the campus occasionally,” added Tan.