Why are we doing this?
We believe that the next generation media will be 3D and have real time flows between virtual and real data. To make it easier for the industry to move into these areas, we need to reduce friction, and that means making common resources open and sharable. Just like how Chrome is laying the foundation for a web browser meant for Web applications rather than pages, we are laying the pieces for a future media that will be beyond 2D and computers.
To this end, we have invested in many common resources. I have listed some below:
- Live video feeds: We are going to plant thousands of cameras in public areas across Singapore and making the video feeds available for any startup or company to build applications upon them.While we are quite aware of the privacy issues that will arise, we strongly believe that 'live' data will be a powerful component of next generation media.
- 3D objects: We are building 3D models for the entire Singapore. Every building, street and terrain will be made available. This is our attempt to encourage the industry to conduct rapid experiments on 3D web. We think this area has potential but is masked by its current chunkiness. Through the rapid experiments enabled by the common 3D objects, we hope somebody out there will create a more user friendly product or service in 3D web.
- Location data: We are collecting datapoints from cellphone towers, WiFi et al and creating an API for our location developers. This means employing people to go around the island and manually collecting the data. While the costs are certainly high, we hope the spinoff is worth the investment.
Beyond resources on the supply side, we are also marshalling resources on the demand side. Chrome created an incentive for users: faster time in assessing web applications. We need to provide a similar incentive structure for the nation to want to use these common resources.
Part of our answer is to center the incentives around national events sucn as our National Day (independence day for US readers) and the Youth Olmpics which Singapore is hosting in 2010. We want to make use of the attractions of such events to encourage people to make stuff using our common resources. A competition perhaps, with the winners being able to showcase the stuff they made.
All these are part of our current workplans. If you have any comments or feedback, do drop a note and share.
Related: Uplifting our industry