It’s D. Not the G. Elementary my dear Watson.

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July 2016, a first glimpse of “reality” on a device. Pokemon Go. It fascinated the masses, like never before. Niantic, gathered quadrillions of data points and patterns on how people moved, be it on walks, bikes, cars, planes and even boats, and brought a sniff of augmented reality (AR) to the user. It showed us a window to the possibilities ahead of us. And, back then 4G was still not mature.   5G is coming soon.

About 6 month’s ago a friend asked:   

“ What is the business case for 5G?  Why would or should Operators spend as much money changing networks for downloading movies faster, flying drones?  Why is there a need for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality? People prefer holidays and face-face sessions? “  

The covid situation, gave me deeper recognition of the huge gap between what the human mind and body can experience and judge today and all along in history, vs what devices, tools, processes provide for today. Two factors why this huge gap comes about.

  • Do things faster, cheaper and better for productivity gains, is one factor. These cannot be humanly possible. 24 hours a day is the only constant.  And for this very reason comes the second factor. 
  • Reality that we seek without having to travel as much, be it holiday, shopping or work.  We seek what the human mind and body can experience and judge today, on a digital interface. 

Take the current Covid era. A plethora of video calls, be it on Zoom video, House Party, Teams etc., Yet these lack the realism of a face-face meeting. Inability or impracticality for mass clapping, for recognizing visual cues, side chats and many more.  As these applications gain speed to bring more “realism”, and I have no doubt they will, the networks need to support the huge volumes of data and transactions. Apply the same case for holidays and having to take days and weeks off, and travel around the world on an airplane, a ship? What if you could fairly experience this in bite sized chunks, from your living room, or a kiosk near home.  Telemedicine, Automation, Production are some more examples where benefits come into play. Yet, they all have the same factors – productivity gains vs the reality we experience today. 

In the covid era, we’ve learnt to adapt and adopt. Other than the mask, adoption of contact tracing, quarantine tracking and embracing digital technology such as AI have played a big part.  On my phone, I check the crowd size at various malls and plan my trip to get essentials. At the store, I scan the QR Code on the contact tracing app. Apple and Google are coming together to embed contact tracing application in their operating systems. The 2 main hospitals in Singapore, NUH and TTSH are using a clinical chat assistant app, provided by Singapore AI start-up Bot MD. Healthcare people get access to clinical information. Several other AI powered apps and tools in use in Singapore. Over 1.5bn students across the globe are learning remotely today. Epidemiologists are networking and using low cost gene sequencing technologies and AI powered platforms, expediting vaccine development.  

The silver lining in this pandemic, is the opportunity to experiment with technologies that leads to a sustainable living environment. 3D printed face shields, contactless drone deliveries, remote learning and conferencing, AI infused remote health and medical services. Many CEOs/CIOs have already pledged that upto 50% of their staff will work from home by 2025. The new normalcy is taking shape.

How soon will we embrace technology to build an innovative yet sustainable work life ahead of us? It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”. The business case lies in what the human mind and body experiences today in 3D, 4D and many D’s. Reality, and reality at our convenience, at a time and place we choose. Pokemon Go came out in 2016. 4G has been around. Adoption by the device and application makers is slow.

G is not the problem, it’s the D that’s the end game. Add the R – Reality


  1. Tapping AI to battle Covid-19. A good read on various AI applications deployed and developed in Singapore.
  2. Why coronavirus will accelerate the fourth industrial revolution. Some great study of various references to make the case for technology and advancement of AI.

Acknowledgment: Photos and resources from Samsung Advertisements, Freepik, clipart and flaticon.

Less is More. Measure and Scale.

Monsoons, are generally dull and boring. I had to keep seeing the beauty in things, the beauty in nature that surrounded me, as I hopped, skipped and splotched along the puddled, graveled road. My morning walk during my holiday break, in a remote town in India. 


The sky, a giant canvas that blotted grey ink in twenty shades, the trees swaying like the fans meant for Gods. As the morning light peeped in and out, the vastness of the paddy fields, foliage and sounds of the birds, a perfect pantomime that swathed another 20 shades of green. And as though that wasn’t enough, the small town that this was, was peppered with color that even the Gods would be blinded by.


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At Your Fingertips. Time the Essence.

“What stands out right now, in school?” I ask my 13-year-old daughter over lunch; she recently shifted institutions. “What strikes you the most?”

“Their teaching method.. The way they turn theory into practice. That makes it more enjoyable. My previous school did not do that.”.

“Which experience was the most interesting?” I prod on.

“Chemistry, Biology experiments and Mathematics…” she rambles off.

Every subject in this school has an interactive method, be it a lab or use of mobile phones to answer questions in class, polls , videos etc., something the previous institution severely lacked.

Now extend that connection to what’s happening in the wider society.

1. Every person, every business is productive because of technology. Adopt/harness it for it’s larger good. Don’t repel it for it’s ill effects.

2. More power to the user. The age of control through interactions at fingertips, mostly.

On these, I attempt to take you through a fascinating journey.

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Robots & Humans; Uberification & 5G

Talking Mirrors , Singing Toothbrushes, Holographic Performances…

 … Pepper the robot launched by Softbank, Japan. Pepper is capable of  reading emotions.  A  1000 units sold out in 60 seconds ! 


5G in the world of telecommunications isn’t too far away. We were in South Korea recently and it’s amazing to see how they are already talking about the next G connectivity fabric – Connecting Everything and Anything – and how they will bring it to life at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.  

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