Find Out What It’s Like To Talk To The Wall-­err, Lamp Post

Singapore's inaugural Festival of Tech to bring futurist tech concepts to the streets, figuratively and literally.

What if we told you that for a week, you could communicate with lamp posts, bus stops, and fire hydrants around you?

No, we’re not smoking anything illegal here, just hear us out. From 10 to 18 October, please feel free to strike up conversations with your favourite lamp posts, fire hydrants, post office boxes, and even bus stops, as you wait for friends. (Really)

Hello Lamp Post will be one of several curated activities featured in FutureEverything Singapore, as part of the upcoming Festival of Tech: Singapore’s first arts-­meets-­technology festival organised by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore to celebrate the country’s 50th birthday.

In a bid to capture public imagination and spark conversation and awareness about Smart Nation, the Festival of Tech takes an offbeat approach, leveraging the creative and design community to frame future tech in a different light. For example, Hello Lamp Post’s disarmingly whimsical touch scratches the surface of a man-­machine relationship that is possible in the future, and will surely evoke our collective curiosity towards IOT, as well as shape our own personal vision of Smart Nation.

The festival will kick off on 10 October with a special online feature – a collaboration between IDA and Straits Times – called 35 Years of Infocomm Development in Singapore, which traces Singapore’s development in Infocomm Technology since 1981.


Hello Lamp Post

Of course, we’re not asking you to actually talk to street furniture – April Fool’s is still a long way off and even we can't make you fall for that one – but wait, it’s possible to text them!

But yes, you can indeed send SMSes to them, and converse as you would a friend or a friendly stranger. It’s considerably less embarrassing, so you can finally ask the Merlion what he thinks of his job as well.

No embarrassing questions or embarrassing language please – although the AI is smart enough to keep the conversation PG. It will also remember interesting bits of your conversation and apply it to future conversations with others.

Winner of the inaugural Playable City Award, Hello Lamp Post is a sophisticated experience installation designed by experience­production studio, PAN Studio. First played out in Bristol, UK, the exhibit has recently made its way to Tokyo, Japan, and Austin, USA. It’s an interesting way for us to look at the city a little differently and engage with things that we take for granted.

Where: Various locations

When: 10­-18 October, all day


The Chronarium

The Chronarium is an example of a more direct and hands-­on exhibit, addressing a standing issue in today’s fast paced world.

Life may have become easier as tech improves but the time we saved is diverted back into productivity tasks. Sleep often makes way in this virtual tug­of­war of personal resources, what with round the clock communications and a globalised business becoming commonplace – and in many cases, mandatory. We of today sleep less than our forebears, and it's hard to imagine that the quality of our sleep is any better.

Designed by Loop.pH, a London based spatial laboratory experimenting across the fields of design, architecture and the sciences, The Chronarium Sleep Lab was seeks to draw awareness to importance of sleep as well as change perceptions of sleeping habits. Located in a busy shopping mall to challenge the notion of what is considered optimum sleeping conditions, The Chronarium also explores the role of public space as a shared resource for health and well­being: a public sleep laboratory presented as an immersive audio­visual environment.

It features different environmental stimuli to reset their internal circadian rhythm for more harmonious sleep. Visitors will be invited to lie back and rest inside a huge hanging quaternary net that gently rocks and moves inside the textile­based space. As you settle in, a cyclical audio­-visual programme encourages a deep relaxation and rest over a 10­-15 minute period using pink noise and a wash of coloured light.

Where: The Cathay

When: 10-­15 October, 1000H - ­2200H


Signals of Tomorrow

You can also check out the Signals of Tomorrow Conference on 17 October, 1015H to 1900H, at the ArtScience Museum. A huge roster of leading figures in the industry from Singapore and around the world will gather at the conference, including Scott Smith (Founder, Changeist), Dan Hill (Executive Director, Future Cities Catapult), and Ayesha Khanna (CEO, The Keys Academy). They will speak about the future and seeking to cross the boundaries of art, design, technology and society in our progress towards a Smart Nation.

During the course of the forum, the panel will seek to address burning issues like what it means to be a Smart Nation; how do artists, designers, futurists, and civic innovators collaborate and weave technology into the fabric of our infrastructure, economy, as well as society; where are the developing spaces in Singapore to explore this, with regards to civic innovation, maker spaces, business, and education; how the government can become smart side by side with its citizens.

There will also be a public showcase at the ArtScience Museum for the Signals of Tomorrow Innovation Lab showcase – the results of a closed­-door workshop that runs from 10-­14 October. The workshops will produce a series of prototype participatory art and design projects to spark the imagination and ask questions about the implications of new technology.

Where: ArtScience Museum

When: 17­-18 October (Innovation Lab Public Showcase), 17 October 1015H - ­1900H (Conference, limited to 140 seats)

For more details, check out



By Justin Choo / October 6, 2015 14:30PM GMT+8 Singapore


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