Seeking 5G Enabled Solution For Virtual Human Assistant

Background / Description

The Open Innovation Platform (OIP), an initiative by the Info-Communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), aims to connect real business challenges to problem solvers. 



Connectome Pte Ltd is an innovative Singapore-based start-up, a spin-off from a Japanese company Couger Inc that has experience in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and Blockchain technologies as well as top games such as Final Fantasy. Using this experience, Connectome is developing a human-like AI interface - a Virtual Human Agent (VHA) that processes visual image (e.g. face, object) and has senses such as sight and hearing. With speech as input data in the real world, it is able to respond with speech, facial expressions, gesture and motion, as a human would.

As an AI-enabled virtual assistant, VHA is able to bridge users with IoT-enabled devices and services in a more intuitive and life-like way, and establish rapport with them. It can then synthesise rich responses to its users’ requests. This combination of rapport and rich response allows VHA to build trust with their users and is the cornerstone of VHA’s value proposition.

However, under today’s 4G environment, VHA suffers from performance problems as the amount of data transmission increases with the number of devices/systems it connects to and the number of AI processes it runs. For any applications and services, the demands in the world are ever increasing in terms of real-time interactions, richness of services, and visual quality etc.

Connectome needs to overcome such limitations posed by the current network architecture in order to develop the next generation interface to meet the increasing expectations.

Hence, Connectome seeks a solution leveraging on 5G technology to deliver a step change in the resource optimization and reducing the data latency significantly in the network.



How might we improve VHA’s performance significantly to create human like real-time and natural communications with users by reducing the data latency in the network while increasing the amount of input data it can process?

Technical Specifications


• Proof-of-Concept (POC) solution that utilises 5G technology for VHA:
o To process the verbal and the emotional data that it is receiving from its users at a latency that feels natural
o To access a wide range of information quickly so as to respond to its users’ information requests
o To interfacing with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which requires a large data bandwidth

• The solver should preferably have domain expertise in either 5G, network and resource optimization (e.g. cloud, fog, edge computing etc), or devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, smart glasses, hologram etc) which can leverage the strength of 5G technology



• A building owner or service provider (e.g. shopping mall, tourist office, airport etc.), wants to provide better services to the customers in order to improve the customer experience and to encourage more revisits. They have a limited number of staff and information counters to assist their customers

• A VHA can be set up as a digital signage in the building. It can assist the customers in providing navigation around the space, information and entertainment (e.g. taking photos or streaming of videos)

• The 5G VHA will be able to provide better output in terms of visual quality with good response time as it can process more data efficiently (e.g. by connecting to different systems, devices, services etc.)



• SGD 30,000 of prize money for each winner of this challenge (see Award Model)
• Opportunity to work with Connectome who will provide VHA and its domain expertise in order to co-create a use case and test its feasibility together under 5G
• Opportunity to partner to commercialise smart solutions for enterprises and consumers in Singapore and Japan



We are open to global and Singapore-based individuals, research providers and companies that have digital technology expertise and innovation capabilities. Some of these include Info-Comm and Media (ICM) start-ups, SMEs and larger companies. Problem Solvers should have the ability and desire to co-create and innovate with Problem Owners or/and other partners to translate their ideas into solutions that can address real business needs. 

There are no restrictions on the geographic location of the problem solvers who may choose to apply to this challenge. However, the POC needs to be demonstrated in Singapore. Global applicants must be prepared to bear the additional cost of travel.

Further Details

Technical details of the problem statements as well as information related to the innovation calls can be found on the IMDA Open Innovation Platform (OIP) which you will be redirected to after clicking on the 'Proceed To Details' button below and filling up a short form with your basic information.

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration
  • Business Collaboration (Joint Venture, Distribution)

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