Imagine this: it’s the hottest day of the year and you’re headed home after a long day at work. Minutes before you pull into your driveway, the air-conditioning turns on by itself. As you exit your car, the lift begins making its way down to the car park level – and all without any prompting.
This is the AI-powered future envisioned by Franklin Tang, founder and CEO of smart living platform developer Habitap. One of its latest projects teams the company with Keppel Land, which is applying the smart home management system at its new luxury condominium development 19 Nassim.
The 44-year-old has been in the IT business for a long time. He joined his father’s software company, Philip Tang & Sons, in 2001 before taking over as CEO in 2011. Then, he started Habitap in 2015 to capitalise on Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative. Since then, he has been constantly looking for ways to better integrate technology into daily life, even while knowing all too well that it is just a means to an end.
“As tech people, we think that because we build something new and incredible, it means people are going to use it. But technology should be built around people’s habits.” With AI, Habitap’s app can observe and predict user behaviour, and then set up automated prompts such as booking a gym class at a certain time of the week.
Tang has a 5-year-old boy and provides an example of how a smart home helps with the monumental task of raising a child. “You can set the blinds in a room to progressively open during sunrise, so the child is eased into the morning instead of being awoken by sunlight.”
Ultimately, Tang wants to use AI to improve the quality of people’s lives. In his case, it’s to create more time for the things that matter: loved ones and friends.