From a mobile point-of-sale system to a smart home lock, this year’s SiTF award winners pushed the boundaries of innovation.
By Jennifer Dhanaraj
It's not every day that a relatively unknown startup beats Carousell, DBS and Singtel at their own game — and at a major awards competition to boot.
Foodzaps — a point-of-sale (POS) app for restaurants that enables F&B businesses to streamline orders management, inventory and reporting — was named the Best Innovative Infocomm Product/Solution - Digital Services at the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) Awards held on 26 October.
This POS app came about after Chelsea Chan, one of the co-founders, found it too expensive to purchase technology to improve the processes while running her own restaurant, Gion Dining.
As a result, there would be mix-ups with orders, and consequently, customers would receive their orders after a long wait.
Chelsea’s small business didn’t have enough funds to spare for costly tech solutions.
Thus, in 2014, together with her co-founders Winson Tan and Rina Loh, she decided to address her restaurant’s recurring problem by creating the award-winning app.
Available for download on the Google Play Store, FoodZaps is touted as the world's first do-it-yourself Android mobile POS system.
Unlike traditional systems that need both software and hardware, FoodZaps allows restaurant owners to set up their POS system within minutes using mobile devices.
Commenting on their SiTF win, Chelsea said that the award shows that the company is moving in the right direction.
“Such an accolade helps promote the Singapore brand and helps us go global as it gives us that Singapore branding and credibility. This will help us enter more overseas markets with ease as well as embark on future plans with more confidence,” she added.
Making an impact
Held at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the SiTF Awards 2017 saw hundreds of professionals from the infocomm and technology (ICT) sector coming together to honour the trailblazers making an impact in the industry.
To accurately reflect the digital landscape in the real world, this year's SiTF awards introduced product categories that covered frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data and the Internet of Things (IoT).
"We are looking beyond traditional models to embrace transformation, disruption and progress. The line between the digital technology suppliers and consumers of digital technology is also blurring. As a federation, we want to be able to represent everyone in the industry,” said SiTF Chairman Saw Ken Wye.
Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, the guest of honour at the event, said that even as such new technologies would be used to support other sectors while helping the ICT sector transform, there would be challenges in Singapore's digital transformation journey.
He added that trade associations such as SiTF will play an important role in this journey.
"With your in-depth understanding of industry needs and growth opportunities, as well as wide business networks, I see SiTF stepping up as an industry enabler in three areas: building business capabilities, enhancing corporate social responsibility and developing the talent pool,” he said.
Besides FoodZaps, other winners include Handshakes SEER from DC Frontiers, which clinched the gold in Best Innovative Infocomm Product/Solution in the Artificial Intelligence/Big Data category.
(Editor: DC Frontiers is one of the companies under IMDA's Accreditation@SGD programme.)
Handshakes SEER is an AI engine that specialises in understanding English text (like the news or online websites) and accurately identifying corporate information and relationships.
“The gold award is evidence that the way we join different data sets has commercial value. This encourages us to take more innovative approaches to come up with solutions that are also commercially valuable,” said DC Frontiers CEO and co-founder Daryl Neo.
Meanwhile, in the IoT category, Igloohome's Smart Deadbolt 02 took home the gold for Best Innovative Infocomm Product/Solution.
The product helps homeowners grant access to their visitors remotely via a mobile app. The company has already snagged a partnership with Airbnb to help guests check in with ease.
John Lim, general manager of Igloohome, said that the award is a vote of confidence and will encourage other big companies to partner with them.
"The gold award helps to create recognition and standards, and such an award helps other potential investors or partners realise that we embody those high standards," he said.
A new beginning for SiTF
During the event, SiTF Chairman Mr Saw announced the rebranding of SiTF to SGTECH, which will come into effect in 2018.
“Our rebranding reflects the changing market dynamics and evolution of the tech industry in Singapore. Technology will always evolve and as a federation, we will always be at the forefront, pushing the envelope of new digital technologies to our stakeholders,” he said.
SGTECH will expand its membership base to include companies that leverage technology as a driver of their business. It will also aim to be more of an industry advocate and help other industries, including the construction industry, and SMEs.
For a complete list of 2017 winners, please visit the official SiTF Awards page.