How This S’pore Startup Turns Our ‘Habitap’ Into A Smart Living Space

It was during a site meeting in 2016 that Franklin Tang, CEO and founder of Habitap, and some entrepreneurs had fun.

Franklin was asked about the wiring arrangements needed to run the Habitap system, which is dubbed Asia’s first fully integrated smart life platform.

Seen as the first, they had to help stakeholders understand how software can integrate with hardware (especially physical buildings) to achieve smart functions.

“I had to mention ‘wireless’ a few times, to the irritation of the meeting attendees, before everyone realized we meant we didn’t need cables. We had a good laugh, ”said the 43-year-old.

Smart life wasn’t a thing back then, but he had a vision to make it a permanent part of everyday life. He had to explain and convince others to accept his idea and in the end he succeeded.

“Today, that hardly happens. All of our stakeholders have become familiar and comfortable with “software” and mobile applications, ”Franklin said.

Fast forward to 2020, it has cornered much of a market that didn’t even exist four years ago.

A market leader at the frontier of intelligent building

Habitap was first launched in 2016 with its smart living platform at Keppel Land’s Corals at Keppel Bay Waterfront Development.

It seamlessly combines smart controls, community management, and lifestyle offerings – three key features for modern smart living – into one platform.

A showflat at DUO Residences
A showflat at DUO Residences / Image credit: Singapore Tatler

So what sparked the idea of ​​a smart life platform?

Franklin shared that he was reading information about Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative and at the same time had the opportunity to work with a global brand to co-build a smart home prototype here.

In Singapore, we tend to live in communities with shared facilities.

This gave birth to the idea of ​​incorporating some of these common functions such as facility reservation, visitor management and security access control in one place.

– Franklin Tang, CEO and Founder of Habitap

With this he launched the Habitap app, which allows users to access several functions with just a touch.

For example, users can easily notify condominium management of an expected delivery when they are away from home, and have their smart parcel box allow the delivery person to leave packages inside without having to. need resident intervention.

Leverage AI and IoT

The Habitat app doesn’t just integrate smart home controls, community management, and lifestyle services into one platform.

Franklin said the system “integrates artificial intelligence, machine learning as well as the Habitap lifestyle assistant, Handy, which allows users to easily interact with and control devices in their homes via platforms. popular forms of mobile messaging.

The Habitap Lifestyle Assistant uses machine learning capabilities to determine if certain tasks are part of the owner’s routine and will automatically inquire with their owners to see if they need them to complete certain tasks.

– Franklin Tang, CEO and Founder of Habitap

Owners can communicate with the assistant by adding it as a contact on their phone.

Habitap application
Habitap app / Image credit: Habitap

They can then communicate with the assistant using natural language text and voicemail over popular messaging communication channels, such as WhatsApp, WeChat, etc.

“Habitap is built on the premise that smart technology will provide greater peace of mind and, through automation, allow people to spend more time and energy on the things that matter to them,” Franklin explained.

We are particularly excited about the possibilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in the smart living space.

Imagine a network of smart devices in your home that anticipates resident needs, such as placing an order for groceries while stocking up
are weak or alert a handyman to devices requiring maintenance.

– Franklin Tang, CEO and Founder of Habitap

12 commercial buildings and 13 residential projects

Habitap currently manages 12 buildings including offices, business parks and integrated developments. This represents a total of 10 million square feet of net leasable area.

Its portfolio includes 13 residential projects totaling 8,000 residential units. It also has over 82,000 registered users combined across its various platforms.

Following its success, it has grown to develop smart building platforms for commercial developments, and counts Alice @ Mediapolis, DUO Residences and Marina One Residences among its project users.

Alice in Mediapolis
Image Credit: Alice @ Mediapolis

Franklin also said that Habitap was the developer of the By The Bay app used by Marina Bay Financial Center and One Raffles Quay.

In addition, Habitap has also developed an AI-backed smart home management system, which will be applied to the upcoming 19 Nassim Hill residential development.

Its portfolio of glitzy office buildings and luxury residences is set to grow.

Modern luxury living can be for everyone

However, you don’t need to be a resident of DUO or Marina One to use software like Habitap.

To cater to more households, Habitap has introduced a “lite” version of its flagship app, just a fifth of its premium version.

Called Tap Residential, it contains the most used and popular features of its flagship app.

It leverages the same technology – thanks to the seamless combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices conveniently controlled in one application platform.

With the scene controls, you can easily set up profiles that match your
lifestyle, whether you turn your desk on with cooler lights for optimal productivity or switch your lights to warmer temperatures at the end of the day to relax and unwind.

hapitap application
Image Credit: Habitap

Tap Residential also enables facility reservation and visitor management with real-time updates for staff and residents.

Smart mailboxes ensure that important mail is secure and easily accessible without the hassle of keys.

On why they introduced Tap Residential, Franklin said that since the launch of Habitap at the Corals in Keppel Bay four years ago, there has been an increasing demand for the features available on their platform.

The introduction of Tap Residential gives developers more options to choose the right smart living solution to suit the profile of their projects.

At the same time, the new offering also allows real estate developers who have not used the Habitap range to test an entry-level option.

– Franklin Tang, CEO and Founder of Habitap

Another advantage of Tap Residential is its scalability.

Since the entry-level option offers a standardized solution, it facilitates rapid modernization projects as well as rapid deployment in regional markets.

This means that Habitap will be able to take on more projects in a year.
and let more users enjoy it.

Adept at integrating software with buildings

franklin tang habitap
Franklin Tang / Image credit: Habitap

Shortly after graduating with a business and finance degree in 2001, Franklin joined the family business, Philip Tang & Sons.

Philip Tang & Sons has been a leading IT solution provider since 1990. They are a customized systems developer for private sector companies in Singapore and overseas.

From a young age of 14, her father would take her for work meetings after school. He spent time in his father’s office, either observing him or helping him with various tasks while he built the business.

He honed his craft in his father’s company for 10 years and eventually rose through the ranks to become CEO.

“Becoming an entrepreneur has become natural to me,” Franklin said.

When we started Habitap, I found myself having to make many key decisions on my own because my father wanted me to exercise my own judgments in all aspects of the business.

After implementing nearly 200 projects before setting up Habitap, he honed my design thinking skills as well as the ability to multitask and integrate different systems between them.

– Franklin Tang, CEO and Founder of Habitap

These skills have “proven to be invaluable” at Habitap as they perform the integration between software and other systems in buildings, for example, coupling software to elevators and security access control systems.

This seamless user experience is important, Franklin said.

The future of smart living

Franklin predicts that we will soon be able to control and monitor our homes or offices, and manage community facilities with our smartphones.

Booking facilities remotely means you no longer need to have manual logs or have facilities checked and opened by staff.

Habitap users can invite and manage guests with the app that converts into mobile access cards. This reduces the need for customers to visit the guard rooms to log in and redeem their passes.

By extension, this would mean that driving into a development can be done seamlessly by having a QR code on the Habitap invite that can be used to scan and enter.

All of these provisions contribute to productivity and reduce the need for additional labor and operations.

Additionally, Covid-19 has accelerated the transition to smart, contactless solutions that can minimize contact with other people as much as possible.

Associated with Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, software like Habitap is aimed at improving lives and livelihoods.

Featured Image Credit: Edgeprop / Renonation

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Jothi Venkat

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