Smartly Plugging In

We are being groomed to become mobile couch potatoes. Habitap wants to create a seamless experience for users who may want to use multiple services, so they are glued to their devices, from the comfort of their seats.

Change is afoot, and Franklin Tang is keen for a select audience to enjoy an effortless journey, by navigating services online from the comfort of their plush homes.

The CEO of Philip Tang & Sons has emerged from a massive exercise to bring together a variety of services into one app that will make it easier for those moving into their luxurious Corals at Keppel Bay homes.

Habitap is a collaboration between multiple smart home control providers, the condominium management, and lifestyle service providers to integrate various services in one solution.

It controls smart devices in the house — lights, security, climate control, audio-video, fridge — which collectively form part of the new buzz phrase, the Internet Of Things (IOT). It also allows you to contact service providers such as Grab (transportation), Deliveroo (food), Chope (reservation) and Honestbee (concierge).

“Our lifestyle section, for example, is the biggest collaborative effort I have put together in my whole career. I have never worked with so many people of different disciplines, and I have never managed so many different expectations,” says the bemused Tang.

Bringing a value proposition to potential partners — an opportunity for them to gain access to a specific group of users — helped him convince them to join the venture. “We had matched the profile of brands to the profile of our users, and our partners could see the benefits in that,” he explains.

Naturally, competition he says can stand in the way. “The constant pressure of profit and loss and bottom lines presents a considerable obstacle to partnerships.

“It is just a matter of changing our mindsets. Once we do that, the market will start to open up,” he reckons.

Tang sees exciting changes in the horizon in Singapore. He claims that a positive shake up of the industry is not too far away. “The next 24 to 36 months will see many interesting developments. Companies are starting to come around to this idea. They are beginning to realise that you cannot exist on your own alone.”

He added that there will be new features added to Habitap, and possibly within a year, there could be a version of the app for those who want to incorporate the system into their homes.

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