betty July 24, 2022

SINGAPORE – Those visiting a new neighbourhood centre in Punggol can use their smartphones to browse the retail shops’ offerings while shopkeepers can use robots to deliver their goods from loading bays to their shops.

These are among the new technologies in use at the Punggol Northshore district neighbourhood centre, which was officially opened by Minister for National Development Desmond Lee on Sunday morning (July 24).

Besides technology targeted at shoppers and retail shops, other new tools such as building sensors are installed in lifts and escalators to track how they are operating and to issue alerts when maintenance is required.

The development also sports a barrier-free smart parking system.

Called Parking@HDB, vehicle plate numbers are registered using cameras and parking charges are automatically calculated. Motorists can pay their parking fees using a mobile application of the same name.

Shoppers at Northshore Plaza can also enjoy a digital shopfront and virtually browse what shops have to offer with the use of the ShopperLink app.

An autonomous mobile robot trial for goods delivery is also being conducted at Northshore Plaza for faster and more productive deliveries.

Under this trial, robots can automatically pick up and deliver goods from loading bays to shops. Suppliers can use a booking system to indicate their delivery time and book loading bay spaces to save manual labour and time.

The neighbourhood centre also boasts a dragonfly pond with information panels on sustainable features in the area.

Northshore Plaza is the second new-generation neighbourhood centre to open in Punggol. The first was Oasis Terraces, a seven-storey mall built along the waterfront, which opened in 2019.

New-generation neighbourhood centres incorporate plazas, play areas and other community spaces in residential areas.

Other such centres include Buangkok Square and Hougang Rivercourt in Hougang, and Canberra Plaza in Sembawang.