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  • Cheryl Tan

Tech Round-up Week 4 Sept 2020: Google Pay SG, Covid-19 Swab Robot, China’s Blacklist & M

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Credit: Google

Google Pay built for Singapore

Singaporeans using Google Pay will notice some new features, including the ability to create groups in the app and split bills, link OCBC and Standard Chartered bank accounts as well as DBS PayLah! accounts for PayNow funds transfers and more.

Credit: Google

SGQR codes can also be scanned for payments in restaurants and more, but the best part? Google is now introducing scratch card rewards where users might be able to get cashback rewards from using Google Pay.

Credit: National Cancer Centre Singapore

Covid-19 automated swab robot

The National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore General Hospital, Duke-NUS Medical School and local medical robotics firm Biobot Surgical have jointly developed a robot called SwabBot, that allows the patient doing the Covid-19 swab test to control the entire process.

Activated by a button that can be pressed with the patient’s chin, the disposable nosepiece opens the nostril slightly before the swab is extended towards the back of the nasal cavity. The machine is designed to withdraw the swab if resistance is present in the nasal cavity, and if the patient moves their head away from the machine, the swabbing process is stopped.

Clinicians and patients who have used the SwabBot say it’s safe, faster and more comfortable compared to a manual swab test.

China’s Unreliable Entity List

With the Trump administration stepping up bans against Chinese-owned tech companies and apps, China might be planning to strike back with their “unreliable entity list” that could result in restrictions or prohibitions on China-related trade, investment in China and travel or work permits for that company.

Credit: AP (Andy Wong)

With the existence of this blacklist first announced in May 2019 after President Trump added Huawei to the U.S. blacklist, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has laid out provisions for companies that endanger the “national sovereignty, security or development interests of China”.

Experts believe that the Chinese government will likely name at least one U.S. company to the list in the upcoming months.

IBM to train 800 mid-career professionals

SkillsFuture Singapore announced plans to open up over 30,000 skills training places for people who have had their jobs affected by Covid-19 and are looking for a mid-career change, and IBM has just announced that they will be looking to train around 800 mid-career professionals in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

The programme, called, will have two full-time training courses that will run for six months each. Around 400 applicants have signed up, with 200 accepted. Enrolment will be open until March next year, and interested applicants can apply at this website.

Credit: Nokia

Nokia’s James Bond phone

Nokia has launched their 8.3 5G phone globally, with a campaign in collaboration with the latest James Bond movie set to release in November, No Time To Die.

The phone features a quad-camera array with ZEISS optics and a 64MP camera, and it’s powered by the Snapdragon 765G processor and a 4,500mAh battery. The 6.81-inch display is definitely great for content consumption, and the phone will support 5G connectivity.

Unfortunately, there’s no news about availability in Singapore yet.

Credit; Fuji Xerox / Newline Interactive

Fuji Xerox’s Unified Collaboration Display

Fuji Xerox has collaborated with Newline Interactive on an all-in-one Unified Collaboration Display that boasts a 4K UHD wide-angle camera, a built-in soundbar speaker, omnidirectional microphone and a touchscreen that can be used for interactive whiteboards during presentations and conference calls.

The Newline UCD will be available in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Thailand. It’s definitely a product for businesses to keep in mind, now that split offices and work from home arrangements are getting more and more common!

Credit: iProov

Face verification for SG’s NDI programme

You’ll soon be able to file your taxes and manage your CPF by using your face. British face verification company iProov has announced a partnership with the Singapore government to provide face verification for Singapore’s National Digital Identity (NDI) programme.

Instead of using passwords, now facial recognition data can be analysed to confirm that the person in front of the computer, kiosk or phone is who they say they are. Activities like completing a tax return or opening a bank account can be completed using face verification. It’s definitely handy to be able to use your face instead of having to remember passwords!

Credit: Philips

Philips launches new air purifiers and vacuum cleaner

With more and more people working from home and just staying home in general, it’s definitely prudent to ensure the house is clean since we’re spending more time in it. Philips has launched the new Philips Air Purifier 2000i and 3000i series, alongside the updated SpeedPro Max Aqua vacuum cleaner that can also mop at the same time.

The air purifiers can remove 99.9% of influenza (H1N1) virus particles from the air, and both models provide real-time air quality readings, which is pretty useful to keep track of how clean the house is.

Credit: Philips

We previously did a review on the SpeedPro Max Aqua back in 2019, and this year’s version looks pretty similar but is upgraded with stronger suction and better battery life up to 80 minutes. Keeping the home clean is definitely essential in this time when we’re battling a pandemic.

Credit: Qualcomm

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 750G 5G processor

If you’re looking to get a new phone and you’re an avid mobile gamer, you might want to wait till the end of 2020 when phones with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G processor will be launched!

With the Adreno 619 GPU, phones with this chip are estimated to have 10% better graphics rendering and performance improvement of up to 20% compared to phones with the 730G processor. What’s more, the 750G processor will also support 5G capabilities!

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