Taking Startups To The Next Level

Kenji Minefuji, Manager, Investment Lead, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Kelvin Ong, Cofounder & CEO, FTV LABS Pte. Ltd.

Kenji Minefuji, Manager at the Business Innovation Group of Mitsubishi Electric, and his team go through 100 to 200 proposals from startups every month.

Each proposal is unique, but they share one thing in common—they hope that ME Innovation Fund (MEIF), a 5-billion-yen (US$38.27 million) corporate venture capital (CVC) fund set up by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and venture capital firm Global Brain, will invest in their business.

“We like companies with passionate founders,” Minefuji says, referring to one of the criteria the fund looks at when investing in companies. The fund has one main objective: to realize promising new startups that can collaborate with Mitsubishi Electric to uplift the quality of life for people.

Although the fund, launched in January 2022, is considered a new vehicle in the startup ecosystem, Minefuji believes that it has what it takes to be successful.

Industry Knowledge and Instant Chemistry

In the world of startups, entrepreneurs are often looking for investors who share the same mindset, understand industry pain points and can help them grow.

One of the companies in which MEIF has invested is Singapore-based software startup FTV LABS, a leading provider of Field Service Management (FSM) software KEGMIL. The startup empowers field service organizations with smart automation and insights to improve their operational efficiency, service performance and knowledge retention, which leads to greater customer satisfaction and profitability.

Minefuji is confident that FTV LABS has the best offering in Southeast Asia, combining industry knowledge, cutting-edge technology and a highly capable team that can help drive digital transformation across multinational corporations.

FTV LABS Cofounder and CEO Kelvin Ong says one of the key things that attracted him to the team at MEIF was their knowledge of the market and industry.

“We are operating in a niche space, but it has huge market potential. They understood our business, the industry challenges; there was instant chemistry,” Ong says. “We believe they are the right partner to help us achieve our goal of becoming the leading service provider of field service technology.”

Ong is also impressed by the proactive approach and level of support he receives from MEIF and Mitsubishi Electric. He says that even though there are many CVC funds in the startup ecosystem, not many offer the level of support that MEIF does.

The Right Support

MEIF has helped the company overcome various challenges, including matching FTV LABS with the right customer profile to validate its ideas.

“As a startup, we have limited resources and need to stay focused on refining our product and value proposition for the right customers.

The FTV LABS office in Singapore

This is where Mitsubishi Electric fits in as our ideal customer. They gave us access to the various business units within Mitsubishi Electric so that we could test assumptions and gather user feedback. It would be nearly impossible for us to do this on our own,” Ong says. “They helped us push for meetings with the internal stakeholders and push for replies; they worked as if they were our internal managers.”

Minefuji believes the software company has huge growth potential. With Mitsubishi Electric’s scale and reach, FTV LABS’ solutions can be applied across the firm’s operations globally and adopted by other customers worldwide.

“We look forward to more collaboration opportunities with MEIF and other forward-looking field service organizations as we aim to deliver the best product for the industry and drive greater value for our customers,” Ong says.

And ultimately, this ties back to the main objective of the fund. Minefuji sums up, “Our hope is to be chosen by great startups. If we were to produce a unicorn company along the way, that would be a plus.” 




Translucia, MQDC Partnership Promises Game-Changing Metaverse

Over the recent years, many global technology companies have begun exploring and building a metaverse, which many believe would be the next evolution of the internet, a world where people can live, work, play and relax in a three-dimensional virtual reality that they can experience from the comfort of their own homes.

Although these metaverse development efforts are largely coming from tech giants in the West, it does not stop two Thai companies, T&B Media Global and MQDC from embarking on their ambitious metaverse journey.

Going on Full Steam

Since Bangkok-based entertainment studio T&B Media Global announced its Translucia metaverse project in October 2021, the company has made significant progress in its development, and has tied-up with many metaverse ecosystem players globally to help build Translucia, including New Delhi-based 3D modeling and rendering specialist Sunovatech, Switzerland-based digital asset bank Sygnum and Chinese creative company Black Flame. Translucia has also established a Research & Development Center in Melbourne, Australia to ensure it always has the most cutting-edge Web 3 technologies to incorporate into the project.

T&B Media Global Group Deputy CEO Bhak Tanta-Nanta says “many more global companies are expected to join Translucia this year” and adds that the company has some “really exciting and amazing events planned for 2023,” including the official launch of the Translucia website in the first quarter. Users can also expect to have a taste of the Translucia virtual experience—but in the real world—by the end of the year.

“We are moving full steam ahead in terms of building the world and narrative of Translucia,” Tanta-Nanta says.

Infinite Universe of Interconnected Metaverses

Imagine needing to have separate devices for WhatsApp, LINE, Facebook and any other popular apps available in our smartphones today—the experience would be horrible.

Like how one is able to use multiple apps within a mobile device, the Translucia metaverse works similarly: by enabling users to have interconnectivity to other metaverses from its own metaverse, Tanta-Nanta says.

“Essentially, Translucia is an infinite universe of interconnected metaverses. Inside the Translucia metaverse itself, we will build various worlds within and it is a never-ending process. Being a platform designed to provide interconnectivity to other metaverses is our aspiration to ensure a seamless experience for our users in the metaverse,” says Tanta-Nanta.

He says the company is currently evaluating various economic and tokenomics models for Translucia to ensure that businesses and people are able to benefit fairly, and securely, from participating in the economy of Translucia.

“We hope to launch the first phase of Translucia in 2025,” he says.

Metaverse for Good

Unlike other metaverses that may only allow users to work, live, relax and play, Tanta-Nanta says Translucia aims to serve a bigger purpose.

“Our goal is to build a metaverse for good—one that can reduce inequality, fight depression, improve the overall sense of wellness for our users and increase humanity by reconnecting people to values that make us human,” he says.

He adds that one of the reasons Translucia was able to attract various global companies into its metaverse project is because they share the same values and mindset of building a metaverse for good. “Our secret sauce is our purpose. Translucia is designed with positive impact in mind and companies that share these same values are easily aligned,” he says.

Bhak Tanta-Nanta, T&B Media Global Group Deputy CEO
Interconnected metaverses

Early Supporter

One of the earliest supporters of Translucia metaverse is Bangkok-based MQDC, one of the leading property developers in Thailand. In September 2021, MQDC announced that it will be building its own metaverse called Idyllias within the Translucia metaverse.

Bridging the worlds of reality and wonder
Overview of Idyllias, Idy garden view

Less than a year later, it announced that it has collaborated with global consultancy firm Accenture to develop the metaverse. “We are working very closely with Accenture to define the right and robust business model for our metaverse project. We need to make sure that everything we offer to our users will have a unique value proposition,” MQDC Metaverse Project Director Parut Penpayap says.

Just like its partner Translucia, MQDC is also moving at a fast pace. Penpayap says the company’s recent brand reveal in early February will be followed by various activities to create awareness of its metaverse. It also plans to officially launch its metaverse in 2025.

“We are going to keep the momentum going by unfolding the tangible experiences that people could encounter through the metaverse,” Penpayap says.

Parut Penpayap, MQDC Metaverse Project Director

Transforming MQDC into a Digital Company

Penpayap says its metaverse initiative marks the “next chapter for MQDC.” He adds, “We see the Idyllias as a digital transformation initiative that could help us scale the business to the global level.”

He shares that its metaverse initiative comes in a three-prong strategy. First, is to provide virtual experiences as premium offerings to existing and future customers of MQDC. Second, is to develop virtual realms to attract users by offering a combination of virtual assets and experiences. Lastly, is to provide its customers a hybrid and seamless experience whether they are onsite at MQDC’s project sites, or online via the MQDC metaverse.

Importance of Interoperability

Penpayap adds that one of the main reasons MQDC decided to build its metaverse on the Translucia metaverse is the latter’s capability in interoperability. He says that with interoperability, users will be able to have a seamless experience.

“I see interoperability playing a key role in two aspects. First, is that users can make transactions within the MQDC metaverse, as well as other metaverses within the Translucia metaverse, using the same digital assets or tokens.

“The other aspect of interoperability is about the way that we could bridge the interconnection of the reward system between the physical world and the virtual worlds,” he says.

For All Well-Being

More importantly, Penpayap says the MQDC metaverse will continue to practice MQDC Group’s philosophy of “For All Well-Being,” whereby every decision it makes must contribute positively to society and the environment, and help overcome global and local pain points.

“Together with Translucia, we will be deploying and utilizing emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain to deliver the ‘For All Well-Being’ experiences to people around the world,” he says.

Without diving into the specific details, he shares that these technologies, when integrated with internet-connected devices, can help play a significant role in providing future living solutions for people both in the physical and virtual worlds.

“Basically, our aim for the MQDC metaverse is not just about improving the quality of life of our users, but also about taking good care of the planet and the world of biodiversity,” Penpayap says.




Cyan Partners Dtac To Offer Cybersecurity Protection In Thailand

Frank von Seth, CEO of cyan, Markus Cserna, CTO of cyan and Dr. Wolfgang Reckendorfer, Chairman of Dr. Reckendorfer & Partners

Trusted Cybersecurity Specialist

cyan Digital Security, one of the leading cybersecurity providers in Europe, has been playing a key role in safeguarding mobile devices and their users from cyber threats for many years.

Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, cyan has partnered with several mobile network operators in different countries to protect millions of devices and users across the globe with its growing portfolio of modern cybersecurity solutions.

According to Frank von Seth, CEO of cyan, one of the key reasons the company is able to grow its client base consistently is the way it designs its cybersecurity solutions. “Cybersecurity solutions often tend to be large and complex, but cyan has designed its solutions in a way that allows mobile carriers to easily deploy the service and protect their customers at the mass level,” von Seth says. “We are able to win the trust of telecom companies due to the simplicity of our solutions.”

Launch of dtac Safe

This year, cyan and dtac launched dtac Safe, a value-added cybersecurity service aimed at protecting dtac’s customer base of 19.6 million. Under the partnership, cyan’s cybersecurity solution is integrated as an SDK within dtac’s existing app, which customers already have on their smartphones. Hence, no additional downloads or ongoing updates are needed. Users can activate dtac Safe with just a few taps and it starts protecting their device instantly.

“The digital landscape in Thailand is transforming at a fast pace with more users sharing personal information and making transactions online. Therefore, it’s essential to protect users and give them peace-of-mind while browsing online. This is where dtac Safe comes in—a mass cybersecurity product at a very affordable price,” says Alexandra Reich, the former CEO of dtac.

Raising Awareness, Driving Growth

According to Independent IT-Security Institute, 450,000 new malwares are found each day. Cyberattacks keep evolving on a day-to-day basis which requires cybersecurity providers to keep up with these developments and be one step ahead. “Today, we are seeing an increasing number of attacks against individuals. By just mistakenly pressing a button or a wrong link, cybercriminals potentially could have full access and control of your phone, and you may need to pay a ransom to regain control of your device,” says von Seth. With its own research centers and patent protected methods, cyan is able facilitate its Threat Intelligence to predict future threat development patterns and hence offers a future-ready protection for subscribers.

Although mobile users in Thailand are tech-savvy, and aware of the risk of cyberattacks, no one is immune to the shape-shifting nature of cyberattacks. Which is why it’s essential to have a service like dtac Safe that protects you in the background without you ever having to worry about clicking the wrong link or losing your data online. With dtac Safe, you have an invisible guard making sure you can enjoy your online journey unbothered.

To help drive the awareness of the importance of cybersecurity, dtac & cyan are working together on educating users on conscious cyber threat awareness and introduce attractive plans and packages to dtac subscribers. “We hope to make dtac Safe a cornerstone cybersecurity product that protects all users,” von Seth says.

Expansion in Sight

“Asia is a huge opportunity and an exciting market for us.” With the success story of dtac, cyan is gearing up to partner with other MNOs in the Asia Pacific region. “We are already in talks with key players in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore,” adds von Seth.

This year, Dr. Reckendorfer & Partners helped cyan establish a regional office in Thailand to provide dedicated technical and go-to-market support for their Asia Pacific partners. “With our modern cybersecurity solutions and years of expertise in Western & Asian markets, we believe we are a perfect partner for MNOs in Asia,” says von Seth.



Translucia Metaverse Gaining Momentum With Global Collaboration

Building a successful metaverse is challenging as it requires a large amount of investment and the buy-in of various ecosystem players.

Despite the challenges, Bangkok-based T&B Media Global is showing that it is committed to building Translucia, a metaverse project in which it is investing US$300 million.

Collaboration on a Global Scale

In September, Translucia added four world-leading partners—Sunovatech, Sygnum, Economics Design and Black Flame—to develop its metaverse ecosystem. With the four additions, Translucia now has six partners committed to the project.

According to Dr. Jwanwat Ahriyavraromp, Founder and CEO of T&B Media Global, collaborating with these world-leading partners will play a critical role in transforming Translucia into a virtual world worth over US$3 billion.

Sunovatech, based in New Delhi and specializing in 3D modeling and rendering design, will be responsible for helping to develop 3D assets and environments for visualizing Translucia by using its unique Unreal Engine technology development and specialists.

Switzerland-based Sygnum, which is also the world’s first digital asset bank, will help create Translucia’s financial structure. At the same time, Economics Design, based in Singapore, will be working closely with Sygnum to build Translucia’s economic infrastructure.

Chinese creative company Black Flame, which specializes in visual design and has worked on blockbuster animations such as Ne Zha and The Monkey King 2, will help create digital assets such as landscapes, avatars, architectures, environments and holistic concepts, and will also contribute to Translucia’s story creation.

Earlier this year, Translucia teamed up with Two Bulls, a creative technology development company, to launch the Metaverse Research and Development Center in Melbourne with an initial investment of US$100 million to research new technologies to bridge the real and virtual worlds.

Ahriyavraromp has been very pleased with the progress of Translucia, as the metaverse is able to attract the interest of many global players. “Much like the Internet, we knew that the metaverse can’t be built by one entity. We have always expected that we’d work with hundreds, if not thousands, of talented people around the world to help bring Translucia to fruition. We just didn’t anticipate how many super talented and passionate people we’d find so quickly!

“The partners joining us believe that we are all able to make a difference by working towards reducing inequality and Translucia promises to be a magnifier of the good we hope to share with the world.”

Integration is Key to Success

Like most technologies, such as cloud computing and mobile telecommunications, integration plays an important role in the success of a technology.

Understanding that there are other metaverses being developed by other players globally, Ahriyavraromp explains that the partners will also be working towards enabling Translucia to “perfectly integrate with other metaverses.”

He says Translucia aims to develop an ‘infinite universe’ capable of interconnectivity with other metaverses leveraging Web 3.0 capabilities. He further adds that the Translucia metaverse will have shared infrastructure, utilities, technologies, hardware and software.

“Integration is key and it’s also the core function of Internet technology. If metaverses don’t integrate, it will greatly hinder adoption of the metaverse technology because the user experience would not be seamless,” he points out.

“For instance, a reader is enjoying this article on their most favorite news website. Once done, if they have to disconnect from the Internet and log into a different Internet to enjoy another article on a different news site, that would be a horrible experience, and no one would want to do that. Likewise, the experience would be the same if metaverses didn’t integrate.”

Building the Right Purpose

While technology and integration play important roles in the success of a metaverse, Ahriyavraromp says another key factor, which may be the most important factor of all, would be to ensure the metaverse serves a purpose for users and the community.

“Translucia is a metaverse designed to contribute to the economy and society by transforming the way we live and experience life. Unlike other metaverses, Translucia focuses on creating happiness, not only from external sources, but also internally from one’s mind and body.”

When it is completed, Translucia will comprise four key levels: Central Translucia, Pillars of Nature, Nature’s True Home and Beyond Boundless.

According to Ahriyavraromp, Central Translucia—also known as the Central Hub of Limitless Opportunities—is a place where you can pursue various interests, and where dreams can become real. The Pillars of Nature comprises various fascinating ecosystems, including flora and fauna, to be explored and discovered, while in Nature’s True Home, users have access to a “hidden realm of nature’s wonders and enchantments” that, Ahriyavraromp says, is “a special world where you can choose your destiny as nature’s guardian.”

As for Beyond Boundless, Ahriyavraromp describes it as “a place where the mind and soul will find rest and be lifted by those we love and trust.”

“At the very core of Translucia’s value proposition is an engine that will convert goodness into wellness, prosperity and, ultimately, happiness. In this sense, ‘goodness’ is defined as being good to others, to the world, and to yourself.”

More Partnerships Ahead

Translucia currently has many of its building blocks in place—from the synergies between the real and virtual worlds, the environment, to the financial infrastructure. However, Ahriyavraromp is confident that more elements can be included into the metaverse.

In fact, with the right technology in place—both hardware and software—the metaverse could be used to improve one’s health, financials, and mental wellbeing.

“Anything is possible in the world of metaverses,” Ahriyavraromp claims.

He says that by focusing on individual goodness, Translucia isn’t just a tech company as it is shifting focus from traditional P&L (Profit and Loss) to include each individual’s Purpose and Legacy.

He adds that the process of creating the Translucia metaverse platform has been an exciting journey and a rewarding one so far. “What has made this journey so rewarding is that we’ve been able to meet so many wonderful people who share the same vision and values as we do.

“We’re looking for IoT technologies and partners who have the AI and hardware to help bring this engine to life, translating actions in the real world into benefits in the virtual world and vice versa.”


Riding A New Wave Of Digital Innovation

The world has never felt the pervasiveness of technology more than it does today. The pandemic accelerated numerous tech trends that were already evident in the days before Covid-19 made its presence felt. Whether we’re exploring virtual worlds, making payments with our smart watches or traveling in driverless vehicles, technology has embedded itself in almost everything we do.

Amid buzz over the latest digital trends, the metaverse—hailed as the next iteration of the Internet—is perhaps the one that has drawn the most attention recently. Experts envision the metaverse to encompass multiple online platforms that combine aspects of the physical and digital worlds.

Meanwhile, NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, powered by blockchain technology have captured the imaginations of digital artists and content creators around the world, giving them an avenue to monetize their creativity.

For businesses, digital transformation is an area that they can no longer afford to ignore. Companies that fail to adopt technology to increase productivity, generate new revenue streams or reach new audiences, risk being left behind in an increasingly digital world.

Digital Payments Gaining Traction
As e-commerce continues to gain pace, digital payments are also starting to become mainstream in many markets. According to a recent Mastercard survey, consumers in Asia Pacific are among the most enthusiastic adopters of digital payments globally.

The study found that 88% of consumers in this part of the world have used technologies like digital wallets, QR codes and cryptocurrencies in the past year. While the pandemic may have been the catalyst for this rapid adoption, Mastercard predicts that this shift in consumer behavior may be permanent.

Clearly, Mastercard is playing a key role in shaping the future of payments in Asia and the rest of the world. Among other initiatives, the company has been leading efforts to strengthen the digital ecosystems of its partners and customers with a host of innovative solutions.

AI Transforming Major Industries
However, it is not just multinational companies that are helping to transform the world through technology. Innovative startups are also making their mark in the dynamic tech sector. Malaysian drone technology solutions firm Aerodyne, for instance, pioneered the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for large-scale data operations, analytics and process optimization in major industries.

With a presence in 35 countries, the company, founded by Malaysian entrepreneur Kamarul A Muhamed, employs drones armed with cutting-edge AI software to help businesses in areas such as precision automation, security and intelligence, as well as logistics. The 8-year-old startup has found much success, and is ranked first in the global remote sensing category by Drone Industry Insights.

With both global leaders and startups striving to make an impact through technology, the world can expect new, innovative solutions in the coming years that will impact the way we work, live and play in unimaginable ways.

Connecting The World Intelligently

Global technology company Qualcomm has played a key role in pushing the boundaries of what is possible for the mobile industry over the past three decades. Today, the company continues to set the pace of innovation for the mobile industry, but this Nasdaq-listed multinational is now looking to execute on its self-proclaimed “biggest opportunity”—the mission to enable everyone, and everything, to be intelligently connected.

As industries around the globe undergo digital transformation, Qualcomm is fast becoming the partner of choice to enable this transition. A key reason for this is the company’s leading technology roadmap, which was founded in mobile, but is now relevant to all industries that are looking to intelligently connect their worlds. Artificial intelligence, cameras, connectivity, audio, video, security, GPUs and CPUs are no longer technologies that are relevant only to mobile devices—now they are being used more broadly to develop next-generation automobiles, smart homes, smart cities and smart factories, among others.

One of the key enablers of this digital transformation is 5G. According to U.S.-based business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, 5G revenue in Asia-Pacific (APAC) is expected to grow from US$2.13 billion in 2020 to US$23.89 billion in 2025. With the huge potential in 5G, Qualcomm, a leader in 5G technologies, is confident that it can grow its business in the APAC region beyond smartphones. The company has developed its flagship Snapdragon 5G-enabled platforms for mobile, but also for mobile computing and auto, as well as for networking and fixed wireless access.

“Since 5G has started to be deployed in more countries, we’ve seen various applications for it that have been impacting the way people work and live,” says Jim Cathey, Chief Commercial Officer at Qualcomm. “Given that 5G is still in its infancy, we see more developers and companies investing to create solutions that would harness the technology to improve lives and livelihoods, and we have the technologies to help them do that.”

Jim Cathey, Chief Commercial Officer, Qualcomm

A Leader in Mobile Technology

Even as it banks on 5G to drive growth in APAC, Qualcomm continues to reinforce its leadership position in the mobile space. The company’s mobile business is expected to continue expanding on the back of the 8.4 billion smartphones that global market intelligence firm IDC expects to be shipped between 2021 and 2026. Furthermore, analysts forecast that nearly 6 billion 5G smartphones will hit the market between 2020 and 2026.

Qualcomm’s success in this segment has been driven largely by its flagship Snapdragon mobile platforms, which provide consumers with a superior mobile user experience across a wide range of devices, from entry-level offerings to the latest high-end flagship devices.

S.T. Liew, Head of APAC, Qualcomm

“Snapdragon mobile platforms from Qualcomm Technologies are synonymous with premium Android. With leading-edge innovation and breakthroughs, they are designed to offer the most immersive, intelligent and connected mobile user experiences deployed in some of the world’s most popular smartphones,” says S.T. Liew, Qualcomm’s Head of APAC.

Apart from Snapdragon’s exceptional performance and features, OEMs are also able to benefit greatly from the platform’s seamless integration, which can help reduce the time and cost to develop devices. As Qualcomm offers different tiers of Snapdragon platforms, OEMs are also able to offer mobile devices across different price points.

“The technological leadership, design flexibility and power efficiency of Snapdragon mobile platforms come from relentless research and development [R&D], proven engineering expertise, superior global customer support, and a user-centered design approach. Consumers can enjoy immersive experiences, lightning-fast connectivity and cutting-edge performance with devices powered by Snapdragon,” explains Liew.

Always On, Always Connected

The PC market is yet another key growth driver for Qualcomm in APAC. The traditional PC market, made up of desktops, notebooks and workstations, registered a 15.9% year-on-year increase, reaching about 120.3 million units in the region.

Qualcomm is making its mark in this space through the use of its groundbreaking Snapdragon compute platforms, which power Always On, Always Connected PCs by combining the best of mobile phones with the performance of PCs. The pandemic accelerated demand for such devices, as more people worked from home, and schools conducted classes remotely.

“The Snapdragon compute platforms equip mobile PCs with powerful performance and efficiency, delivering the ability to connect to fast and secure cellular network connectivity, and boast advanced camera and audio features that enable devices perfect for use for enterprise and for education,” says Liew.

Even as pandemic restrictions ease, an IDC study among APAC working professionals found that more than 56% of employees still prefer flexible work arrangements that allow them to operate remotely.

In the education space, some countries continue to conduct distance learning as they adjust to a post-pandemic normal. Through its partnership with The Dariu Foundation, Qualcomm witnessed firsthand the positive impact that its devices had for more than 100,000 students learning remotely across 80 beneficiary schools.

To thrive in this new normal, workers and students are seeking mobile experiences that match the capabilities of their smartphones and PCs; keeping them securely connected to their organizations while enhancing their output. Snapdragon powered devices are able to deliver the connectivity, security and productivity that users seek in a world of remote work.

Says Cathey: “With all of these in mind, we see a lot of opportunities to further strengthen our foothold in the APAC region.”

Qualcomm’s Market-leading Solutions

Qualcomm 5G Industrial IoT

Qualcomm is at the forefront of wireless R&D on the road to 5G Advanced and beyond, developing technologies to meet the demanding requirements for Industry 4.0, and collaborating with leading industrial automation companies today to advance industrial efficiency with the power of 5G.

Qualcomm Automotive Solutions

Qualcomm provides advanced scalable cloud connected platforms for automotive telematics and connectivity, cockpit and driver assistance & autonomy solutions from leveraging its one technology roadmap spanning low-power, high performance compute, multi-modal connectivity, and AI to deliver the Snapdragon Digital Chassis.

Snapdragon mobile platforms

Synonymous with Premium Android, Snapdragon mobile platforms are designed to offer the most immersive, intelligent, and connected mobile user experiences so consumers can enjoy the most immersive experiences, lightning-fast connectivity, and cutting-edge performance with devices powered by Snapdragon.

Snapdragon compute platforms

Combining the best of the smartphone with the performance of Windows PCs and Chromebooks, delivering speed, power, and performance with multi-day battery life, 4G LTE and 5G connectivity experiences; enterprise, education, and everyday end-users can have the freedom to connect, compute, and communicate from anywhere.



Metaverse: From Dream To Reality

For many years, the concept of the metaverse—a term used to describe the next evolution of the internet and a virtual world where people can socialize, work and play—has been merely a dream, or perhaps a vision, for technopreneurs.

This is understandable given that the development of a metaverse requires advancements in multiple technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), wearables, blockchain and cloud computing. However, with the progress made by tech companies in recent years, metaverses are on course to become a reality sooner rather than later.

Creating Happiness with the Translucia Metaverse

T&B Media Global Founder and CEO, Dr. Jwanwat Ahriyavraromp

Over the past year, many large global companies—from tech giants such as Alphabet and Meta (formerly known as Facebook) to consumer products like Coca-Cola and Nike—have shown growing interest in metaverses.

But interest in metaverses is not only being generated by US-based corporations. Bangkok-headquartered T&B Media Global has also announced ambitious plans to develop its own metaverse. T&B Media Global Founder and CEO Dr. Jwanwat Ahriyavraromp calls the company’s creation Translucia: a metaverse designed to contribute to the society and economy by “transforming the way we live and experience life.”

Unlike other metaverses, however, Ahriyavraromp sees Translucia serving a greater purpose. “Like other metaverses, Translucia is an integration of advanced technologies, imagination and creativity. Unlike other metaverses, Translucia focuses on creating happiness, not only from external sources but also internally from one’s mind and body,” he says.

A Four-level Metaverse

The Translucia Metaverse, into which T&B Media Global is investing US$300 million (10 billion baht), will comprise four key levels: Central Translucia, Pillars of Nature, Nature’s True Home and Beyond Boundless.

According to Ahriyavraromp, Central Translucia—also known as the Central Hub of Limitless Opportunities—is a place where you can pursue various interests, and where dreams can become real. The Pillars of Nature comprises various fascinating ecosystems, including flora and fauna, to be explored and discovered, while in Nature’s True Home, users have access to a “hidden realm of nature’s wonders and enchantments” that, Ahriyavraromp says, is “a special world where you can choose your destiny as nature’s guardian.”

As for Beyond Boundless, Ahriyavraromp describes it as “a place where the mind and soul will find rest and be lifted by those we love and trust.”

Endless Possibilities

Unlike other Metaverses, Translucia focuses on creating happiness, not only from external sources but also internally from one’s mind and body.

At December’s Metaverse Unlimited, the first international forum organized by Translucia, metaverse experts from around the world agreed that there are endless possibilities in terms of how metaverses can benefit mankind.

Pat Pataranutaporn, Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate at MIT Media Lab, believes technologies that enable the metaverse can help humans to stay healthier through closed-loop wearables. Humans are also able to make better decisions with human-AI symbiosis, and learn better with AI-generated characters, he adds.

Pataranutaporn also says that, by having wearables that are able to tap into the body’s biological information, visiting clinics and hospitals for health checkups may become a thing of the past, while wearable technologies capable of producing medicine within a person’s body are also a possibility. “Now, with the advancement in synthetic biology, we can have the capability to use bacteria cells in the body as a living medicine factory,” he says.

He also sees the metaverse playing another big role in Thailand, which is increasingly becoming an aging society. “With technologies that enable the metaverse, we can potentially live a healthier lifestyle, and even live longer. As you are aware, Thailand is becoming an aging society. So, we need to think of ways we can help those people and create society wisdom, so that we can empower the younger generation to create a better future,” he says.

Meanwhile, Cathy Hackl, Chief Metaverse Officer and CEO of the Futures Intelligence Group, says the fashion and entertainment industries have been showing interest in the metaverse, with Ariana Grande performing a concert on Fortnite, a popular multiplayer video game, and Nike acquiring RTFKT, a company that designs assets that are only available virtually.

“The metaverse presents itself as a realm of infinite possibilities and opportunities, like unexplored planets in outer space,” Hackl says.

Building a Better World

Although AI, which is a key building block for the metaverse, has its suites of benefits, including the advancement of healthcare, pharmaceuticals and education, Jeanne Lim, Co-Founder and CEO of Hong Kong-based beingAI, says humans are becoming “increasingly disconnected from the positive impacts of AI.”

She explains that the disconnection is partly due to fear of AI taking over from humanity and taking our jobs, as well as a distrust of the technology, for example deepfake videos.

“However, we do have a choice in how we design technology, and how we engage with technology,” says Lim. “If we want machines to understand us, understand our values, so that they can make better decisions for us, we have to engage with them. I believe that positive human-AI interactions can elevate the human experience.”

While technology is a key building block for the metaverse, Lim says she believes that the most important building block for the metaverse is human wisdom—after all, it is humans who will be designing the AIs.

“We have to start with human wisdom in order to put the rocks in the right place. Overall, this may be our last chance of building a better world. To me, the metaverse is not something we enter, it is something we build as a human race,” she says.

Creating Purpose and Legacy

Understanding that the metaverse and its related technologies can bring enormous benefits—and sometimes harm—to humankind, Ahriyavraromp believes it is vital for Translucia Metaverse to maintain its goal of creating happiness, both externally and from within.

“Translucia is driven by an engine that we envision will create goodness, prosperity, wellness and, ultimately, happiness. Translucia defines goodness as being good to others, to the world, and to yourself. By doing so, we at Translucia are changing the traditional definition of P&L—from profit and loss, to purpose and legacy.”

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Asia Accelerates Digitalization Amid Pandemic

With the Covid-19 outbreak wreaking havoc across industries and the global supply chain, governments and businesses around the world accelerated their digital transformation. Such initiatives have taken front seat in Asia—home to the world’s factories—with the region stepping up investments on technological innovations needed to power the new normal post the pandemic.

China—a regional leader in adopting cutting-edge artificial intelligence, blockchain and cloud computing technologies—seeks to speed up the roll out of laws on protecting personal information as data analytics becomes prevalent in the country’s pursuit of smart nation status. The new regulations are embodied in its 14th five-year plan, which runs from 2021 to 2025.

South Korea has pledged to invest US$94 million in 2021 to support the tech industry in AI and 5G networks as part of its “Digital New Deal” initiative. Japan’s Growth Strategy Council has drafted a plan calling for the stimulation of innovation that involves digital transformation and grooming a greener society.

Countries across southeast Asia have launched their respective digitalization initiatives after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) adopted the “Asean Digital Masterplan 2025”—a roadmap for the group’s digital cooperation from 2021 to 2025—in January.

In Indonesia, the “Making Indonesia 4.0” roadmap is helping the country’s industrial sector create new business models using digital technologies. Singapore’s plan is embodied in its Digital Government Blueprint, which aims to better leverage data and harness new technologies. In Thailand, the government has introduced the “Thailand 4.0” economic model, which utilizes digitalization to enhance the quality of life in the country.

Malaysia’s MyDIGITAL, which was launched in February, aims to transform the country into a regional leader in the digital economy. Under the blueprint, the government aims to attract US$16.5 billion worth of digital investments to boost the contribution of digital products and services to the country’s GDP to 22.6% by 2025 from 19.1% currently.

Focus On Cyber Security

To coordinate and manage new digital investments, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corp. (MDEC) has teamed up with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority to set up the Digital Investment Office (DIO). Initiatives run by the DIO will be guided by MDEC’s “Digital Investments Future5” strategy.

A key initiative in Malaysia’s digital transformation strategy calls for the fortification of the country’s cyber security defences. This is important given the growing threat of ransomware attacks—where cyber criminals steal data, encrypt and hold the digital infrastructure hostage until organizations pay the ransom, according to U.S.-based FireEye Mandiant.

The security specialist warns that governments and businesses urgently need to take prompt and preventive action to safe-guard their critical infrastructure against cyberattacks. Organizations can no longer treat cyber security as an inconvenient byproduct of doing business but must be engineered from the ground up.

To do so effectively, organizations must conduct a comprehensive audit, identify the weak spots and work with experts who can implement automated solutions to deal with cyber security threats and breaches.

ASEAN Cooperation

Throughout its history, the ASEAN has been resilient against economic and geopolitical crisis that has affected member countries in the past and more so now that the group is battling the challenges of the lingering Covid-19 pandemic. To recover and thrive again, the region would need to strengthen their cooperation.

“The digital economy is critical,” Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN secretary general, said at a webinar organized by the CIMB Asean Research Institute in July 2020. “As you know, the pandemic has forced a lot of people to use digital technology and it is very refreshing to see that every one of us has adapted. In future, the economic driver will very much be in this area. We are looking at how best to use this as part of our post-pandemic recovery plan.”

BaaSid Focuses On Protecting The Data Across The Blockchain

James Huang, CEO of BaaSid Taiwan

Amid all the hype around blockchain and its popular creation—cryptocurrency—sceptics are wondering whether the data stored using this innovation is secure. BaaSid, which is short for Blockchain as a Service for identification, seeks to address this concern by providing data authentication and a secure storage location.

Founded in 2017, BaaSid develops applications using blockchain technology—the decentralised digital ledger on which transactions can be recorded. BaaSid’s key products are Soteria, a decentralized data storage platform, and Pisti, an authentication system such as DID (W3C standard Decentralization Identity), 2FA. These form part of an offering known as blockchain-as-a-service, the third-party management of company and institutional blockchain applications.

The company’s board members James Huang, Moon Inshic, Otaka Jun and three others, have been working on IT security for more than a decade, initially using the technology in telecommunications and then in online gaming. “We had been working with a company that was involved in blockchain and wanted an opportunity to learn more about it and how it could help internet businesses,” says Huang, who is the CEO of Baa-Sid Taiwan.

Core Technology

BaaSid’s core technology splits data into multiple fragments, and then encrypted and controlled through a chain of information across several computers known as nodes. Each node contains a unique information, unlike the current system of centralized storage of data in computer servers used by industries today. To secure the data across the blockchain, BaaSid offers cloud-based and on-premise authentication and data protection services.

Over the past four years, the BaaSid team has developed its products and now counts government departments and universities in Taiwan among its clients, says Huang. The company also works with healthcare companies to safeguard the patients’ sensitive medical information.

Otaka Jun, CEO of BaaSid Japan

In Japan, while hospitals have increasingly adopted electronic medical record systems in the past 20 years, the dissemination of this information remains low tech, or manual. A patient in Kyoto who goes for a medical check-up at a local clinic and is referred to a hospital in Tokyo might need to bring along his medical records. However, with BaaSid’s system, the medical records from Kyoto can readily be accessed by doctors in Tokyo. “Baas is very suitable for this method of storing medical data for access by different providers,” says Otaka, the CEO of BaaSid Japan. “But the data belongs to the patient.”

With the proliferation of both surveillance video cameras and programs such as deepfakes that can create entirely fictional videos, blockchain can come to the rescue with its authentication capabilities. Working with smart building system designer and solutions provider TouchLife, BaaSid has integrated a secured video recording system with camera manufacturers that can prevent tampering with video. BaaSid also works with Taiwan-listed company Leadtek Inc. to develop secured data transfer solutions.

Institutions that use very large amounts of video such as law enforcement agencies require massive data storage facilities—usually too much for most physical media. BaaSid has worked with camera system providers to create a smart system that only plays back the relevant segments of the video feeds from the blockchain storage. “One file becomes split into 10, 20, 100 or 1,000 pieces—depending on your security level requirement—distributed using a very powerful engine to encrypt the data,” Huang says. “And it’s dynamic—each piece is encrypted differently. Hackers can’t access that data if they don’t have a private key.”

Pan-Asian Ambitions

As BaaSid continues to innovate, the company is making inroads across Asia. It has incorporated companies in Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan and established a joint venture in Malaysia. “Our goal is to increase our share with competitive products in the global storage market,” says Huang. “Through blockchain-based authentication, we are developing and distributing various types of authentication products such as people, data, copyrights, and various certificates.”

The group has made a lot of progress in the past year. Besides winning government projects in Taiwan, the company also works with global IT companies such as AsusCloud and Oracle as well as e-commerce giant Amazon, Huang says.

Meanwhile, Otaka noted that Japan is an attractive market because of its size and level of innovation. BaaSid is eyeing opportunities in Japan’s digital media and animation industry, he says.

Moon Inshic, Director of BaaS Holdings

South Korea looks promising too, says Moon, a director of BaaSid. “It’s among the regions’s most dynamic IT markets,” he says. “Consumers in the country provide quick feedback, allowing for faster innovation.”

Apart from geographical expansion, the company also aims to move up the value chain, by providing services such high-end genomic analysis. “Very rich people need very high security to protect their gene data,” Huang says.

Moving Up The Value Chain

To raise its profile, the company is joining Taiwan’s digital governance association and signing a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan Blockchain Academia, a grouping of 15 universities.

At the same time, BaaSid is in talks with major companies on how the blockchain technology could be commercialized beyond the financial industry.

Companies and governments have become suspicious of blockchain technology given the proliferation of fraud and crimes associated with cryptocurrency, the most popular asset created by the technology. This has now become a major stumbling block for the commercialization of blockchain across many other industries.

At the same time, many blockchain companies have promoted their blockchain technology with hype and falsehoods, adding to distrust and rejection of this innovation. Despite widespread claims that blockchain will solve a lot of things, there has been very little investment in R&D to commercialize the technology. Seeing this as a huge opportunity, BaaSid has invested US$8 million on R&D.

“With our unique blockchain technology and solutions, we work with governments on decentralized identity programs and with companies such as Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and healthcare solutions providers,” Huang says.

As companies increasingly adapt IoT, massive amounts of data are transmitted across wireless and fixed devices, making systems more vulnerable to data leaks and breaches. Data in the wrong hands is very dangerous, Huang says.

“We are working with IoT companies to build identity authentication solutions to ensure commands are really sent by data owners,” Huang says. “Devices from Apple watches to heart monitoring equipment can be hacked or deactivated. Blockchain can accurately record your data securely.” Huang said it was such problems that he and his colleagues experienced while working for online gaming services for more than 25 years that spawned the idea of BaaSid.

As the technology evolves, BaaSid hopes to attract a well-known fund to invest in the company soon and eventually list in Singapore, Japan or the U.S. in the next 2-3 years. “We will continue to work hard for continuous growth,” Huang says.