14 August 2018

BMW World of Passion and Joy to park in Singapore

BMW Group Asia is bringing the BMW World of Passion and Joy to the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 25-26 August 2018.

Visitors will have an opportunity to see the latest BMW and MINI models up close, check out BMW heritage cars, exploring The MINI Story, and enjoy performances and interactive activities over both days.

BMW World of Passion and Joy is the motoring event of the year in Singapore as we aim to unite the past, present and future under one roof,” said Christopher Wehner, MD, BMW Group Asia. “We are excited to welcome visitors to experience this unique brand journey through fascinating exhibitions, performances and activities that will guarantee lasting memories for all ages. In addition, for the first time in Singapore, we’re launching at once four new models and showcasing an additional two models, including the much anticipated BMW Concept X7 iPerformance.”

Key highlights of the event include:

Launch of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster.
This BMW convertible plug-in hybrid can go from 0-100kmh in 4.6 seconds.

Launch of the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer.
Equipped with a new dual-clutch transmission, the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer have been updated with sport line exteriors, new sport seats, black panel instrument display and an electronic gear selector.

Launch of the all-new BMW X4.
The all-new BMW X4 is powered by xDrive for uncompromised all-weather and all-terrain capability. This sports activity coupé flaunts a new wider stance, M Sport suspension and variable sport steering.

Showcase of the all-new BMW 8 Series.
This family redefines the sports car. The All-new BMW 8 Series combines dynamic performance with poise, assurance and luxury over long distances.

Showcase of the all-new BMW M2 Competition.
The All-new BMW M2 Competition has a new biturbo inline  six-cylinder engine that goes from 0-100kmh in 4.2 seconds. It has new M mirrors, a redesigned kidney grille, new M alloy wheels, M sport bucket seats and an illuminated M2 badge.

Showcase of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance.
The BMW X family’s new top model extends BMW’s offering in the luxury class.

BMW Heritage cars.
Several BMW heritage cars will also be at the event: the BMW M5 (E39), BMW M3 CSL (E46), BMW 327 Cabrio and the Isetta.

BMW models available for test drives.
Experience everything from the BMW 2 Series to the BMW 7 Series, the BMW i3 and the BMW X models. 

Bike stunt performances.
Igor Obu, professional mountain bike stunt man will attempt some difficult manoeuvres.

Virtual reality experiences.
Enter a virtual world where you can get behind the wheel and explore a BMW vehicle like never before.

Source: BMW World of Passion and Joy website. Minis.
Source: BMW World of Passion and Joy website. Minis.

The MINI Story.
Five chapters in The MINI Story are showcased: including Creative Solutions, MINI In Design, Personalities, Makers, and Personalisation. Create something of your own, walk away with a memento from the MINI photo booth, and explore the past in the Alec Issigonis design studio.

Designer Mini by Paul Smith.
The Designer Mini by Paul Smith is one of three Designer Minis presented by Rover as part of Mini's 40th anniversary in 1998. Taking the inspiration for his design from the stripes characteristic of his 1997 collection, the car was eventually sprayed with 86 stripes in 26 colours.

Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre
Level 4, halls 403 and 404

Date & time:
25 and 26 August from 10am to 10pm

Adult (18 years and above): S$20

Ticketing and promotions information
Buy tickets  

* Preregister with your ticket number for faster access.

Lifestyle Offer:
Enjoy S$20 off your BMW or MINI Lifestyle Collection products with a minimum spend of S$100 nett in a single invoice. Terms and conditions apply.

Nearest MRTs:
City Hall 

Event website/hashtag:
www.bmwworld.com.sg | #BMWWorldSG

13 August 2018

Emirates launches sale

Source: Emirates. Plane in Emirates livery.
Source: Emirates. Plane in Emirates livery.
Emirates has launched special fares to over 70 destinations for those who can book their flights by 20 August 2018, for travel between 1 September 2018 and 31 March 2019.

Economy Class passengers can enjoy fares to Beirut, Lebanon starting at AED945, Mumbai, India starting at AED995, and Bangkok, Thailand from AED2,345. Business Class fares to the three destinations are AED5,245, AED2,795, and AED9,795 respectively.

Travellers can also book with Emirates Holidays and enjoy a five-star holiday experience for an additional spend starting at AED300 per person for Economy Class passengers and AED500 per person for Business Class passengers, exclusive of the airfare.

Passengers on Emirates flights can enjoy the airline’s in-flight entertainment system with up to 3,500 channels and up to 20MB complimentary on-board WiFi, as well as regionally inspired meals prepared by award-winning chefs.

Book via www.emirates.ae, travel agents or through the local Emirates sales office. Terms & conditions apply.

Paynow Corporate debuts

The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), which promotes and represents the interests of the banking community in Singapore, has launched PayNow Corporate. An extension of the PayNow peer-to-peer instant funds transfer service, PayNow Corporate allows businesses, government agencies and retail customers to enjoy a simple way to transfer and receive funds 24x7.

With PayNow, payers only require a payee’s mobile or national ID number (NRIC number) in order to transfer funds. PayNow Corporate will similarly enable businesses, corporates and the government agencies to pay and receive Singapore dollar funds instantly by linking their unique entity number (UEN) to their Singapore bank account. A UEN is a standard identification number that organisations use when they interact with government agencies in Singapore.

PayNow Corporate is available to businesses, corporate and government agencies that are customers of seven participating banks – Citibank, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB. With PayNow Corporate, retail customers of all the nine participating banks - the seven banks as mentioned, plus the Bank of China and ICBC - can now use PayNow for all their fund transfer needs, such as payments to business and receiving payments from the government. This gives PayNow access to the largest banking customer base for e-payments.

To further enhance customer experience, the option of a QR code is also available to give businesses more channels for payment receipt, and reduces the hassle of handling cash and cheques. The PayNow QR code will be issued as part of the Singapore Quick Response (SG QR) Code when SG QR is rolled out later in the year.

Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon, Director of The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), said: “The launch of PayNow Corporate follows from last year’s successful launch of PayNow peer-to-peer funds transfer service that enables instant payments via mobile, NRIC or FIN* numbers. I am pleased that PayNow brings together a full of suite of funds transfer services among retail customers and between businesses and government agencies. ABS is encouraged that as at 10 August 2018, there have been more than 1.6 million PayNow registrations and over S$1.2 billion transferred via PayNow.”

ABS will continue to work with the industry to promote PayNow as a convenient and secure means to transfer funds seamlessly.

*The foreign identification number (FIN) is a unique 9-digit code issued to foreigners with immigration or work passes by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower or the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore.

11 August 2018

StarHub, with the fastest 3G and 4G network in Singapore, presents World's Fastest Band

StarHub has presented the World’s Fastest Band in commemoration of StarHub’s OpenSignal Speed Awards 2018 win. OpenSignal specialises in wireless coverage mapping.

“StarHub clocked Singapore’s fastest 4G and 3G speeds according to OpenSignal! Network quality is essential to us and our customers, and we want to celebrate our achievement with a musical masterpiece created by a sextet of the world’s fastest,” said Donovan Kik, VP, Segment & Marketing, StarHub. “Notwithstanding this achievement, we will continue working hard to fulfil our customers’ needs and expectations.”

In the OpenSignal report*, it was noted that StarHub achieved an average 4G speed score that was three times the global average.

The maiden music video, available on StarHub's Facebook and Instagram channels, introduces the six band members making tunes with unconventional instruments before performing together. 

In order of appearance; the performers are: 

- Russell Horning or The Backpack Kid, world’s fastest floss dancer. Horning shot to fame in 2015 for his signature dance move – flossing, which involves rapidly swinging his arms around his body while moving his hips and maintaining an expressionless glare.
- António Domingos, the world’s fastest pianist. Domingos holds the Guinness World Record for the Most Piano Key Hits in One Minute - 824 hits, in 2017.
- Satoyuki Fujimura, the world’s fastest finger snapper, who completed 296 snaps in one minute to enter the record books. Fujimura picked up finger snapping from his mother a year before his record-breaking performance.

Source: StarHub. Poster advertising the World's Fastest Band.
Source: StarHub. Poster advertising the
World's Fastest Band.
- Sadatoshi Watanabe, the world’s fastest bum skipper. In bum skipping the skipper sits on the floor with legs outstretched in an 'L' shape and passes the rope over the head, under the legs and then over the head again to complete a single skip. Watch him break records.

- Muhammad Rashid, the world’s fastest head smasher. In head smashing, the head is used to crush an object.
- Tony Valente, the world’s fastest nunchaku master.

The World’s Fastest Band will also be touring on StarHub TV and YouTube channels as well as Golden Village cinema screens in coming weeks, StarHub said.


Hashtags: #worldsfastestband#fastestunlimitednetwork 

*Based on OpenSignal’s independent analysis of 185,297,150 on-device measurements recorded by 11,742 users from February 1 to May 1, 2018. Read the report

9 August 2018

Grand Mercure debuts in Myanmar

Grand Mercure has opened its first property in Myanmar. Overlooking the Schwedagon Pagoda, Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire boasts 175 guest rooms and suites designed by local artist Pyar Dade.

Source: AccorHotels. The Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire.
Source: AccorHotels. The Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire. 

“This is our first Grand Mercure in Myanmar and the opening of Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire encapsulates the cultural touchstone of the destination and heritage in bringing local stories to life,” said Patrick Basset, COO, AccorHotels, Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia and the Maldives.

“As Myanmar develops as a popular destination for tourists, business and corporate visitors, we expect to see significant development within the years to come. Renowned for its lush tropical trees, beautiful lakes and one of the ancient wonders of the world, Yangon is definitely poised to lead further growth in the country”

Featuring detailed hand-painted ceilings inspired by sapphire, emerald, gold and ruby gemstones, the rooms ranged from 30 sq m for superior rooms to a 340 sq m two-bedroom suite. 

Flavours Restaurant offers diners international and Asian cuisine, as well as halal food. Specialty cakes and fresh pastries are available at Mahura Deli, where guests can enjoy a casual meal along with gourmet beverages. Light snacks and finger foods are available at Ken pool bar beside the outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a tropical garden.

The Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire also features a fitness centre and a spa, complete with open-air jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath. A golf course is nearby. 

For meetings, private parties and weddings, the hotel boasts two state-of-the-art ballrooms that can host up to 400 guests with a large pre-event function area plus seven meeting rooms that feature natural daylight and overlooking the Yangon skyline.

“We look forward to welcoming business and leisure travellers to this urban garden, where our staff aims to bring captivating stories of the destination to life,” said Vinoth Kumar, GM, Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire.

Grand Mercure is a portfolio of charming upscale hotels that embody the authenticity of each local culture. With its origins in Asia Pacific, and further expansion planned for Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, the Grand Mercure brand now boasts more than 45 hotels worldwide.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Myanmar welcomed 3.44 million visitors in 2017, up from 2.9 million in 2016 - an 18% increase.

For a weekend getaway, enjoy a superior room night stay at US$100 nett with breakfast for two or a deluxe room night stay at US$120 nett with breakfast for two from now until 30 September 2018. Call +95 1233 0288 for general enquiries or +95 1233 9298 for reservations.

2 August 2018

A look at culture and heritage through the lens of technology

The National Museum of Singapore will launch DigiMuse Presents on 4 August, comprising digitally-led prototype projects that blend history, art and technology.

Co-created with digital designers and creative professionals in partnership with cultural institutions and technology companies, DigiMuse Presents enable visitors to offer new perspectives of culture and heritage via immersive virtual and augmented reality exhibits, dynamic conversations enabled by artificial intelligence, and more.

The newest edition to the wider DigiMuse programme, an initiative by the National Museum of Singapore to lead a vibrant cultural sector invested in digital innovation, DigiMuse Presents highlights seven prototype projects shortlisted from the inaugural DigiMuse Open Call for digital art and innovation concepts that concluded in April this year.

Director of the National Museum of Singapore Angelita Teo said, “We welcome thoughtful applications of technology that strengthen our visitors’ cognitive and emotional connections with Singapore’s history and heritage. Through creative integrations of culture and technology, along with collaborative industry partnerships, we hope to offer even more experiences that resonate with and inspire our visitors. We continue to be committed to growing the museum as a progressive cultural institution that challenges the boundaries of what is possible, driving innovation for the sector in our contributions to Singapore’s vibrant cultural landscape.”

As part of DigiMuse Presents, the museum is introducing the use of wearable mixed reality technology HoloLens for local museum experiences under Project Insight, where visitors can enjoy a unique look into the process of conserving artworks. 

In another first for the cultural scene, DigiMuse Presents will feature a new virtual reality experience, An Excavation Through Time, which allows visitors to “dig up” and uncover buried artefacts from Singapore’s Temasek period. The project by iMMERSiVELY will first be featured at the National Museum this month, with plans for it to be showcased at other local cultural institutions later. 

In addition to An Excavation Through Time, look out for:

- The app-based programme Multiplicity, developed by Singapore social startup Big Red Button, which enables visitors to discover different viewpoints from historical characters to form their own conclusions. 

Source: National Museum of Singapore. The Ask William project.
Source: National Museum of Singapore. The Ask William project.

- Artificial intelligence messenger platform Ask William, created by Internet of Things messaging company Unified Inbox, offers visitors informative nuggets about the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings from “William” himself. This project is also showcased at the exhibition Siapa Nama Kamu? Art in Singapore Since the 19th Century at National Gallery Singapore.

- Beeing Human by design label Baëlf Design re-imagines the museum’s collection of traditional cheongsam dresses and Peranakan accessories with digital 3D-printing technology. 

Source: National Museum of Singapore. A rickshaw game.
Source: National Museum of Singapore. A rickshaw game, part of the Museum Experiential Guide.

- The Museum Experiential Guide is a mobile-oriented augmented reality experience developed by Singapore multimedia production house Digimagic and Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media. The interactive exhibit at the Crown Colony section of the Singapore History Gallery will bring visitors back in time on a vivid journey charting Singapore’s development as a centre for trade in Southeast Asia. 

A Harbour of History by 360VR Asia invites visitors to search for historical figures hidden in a gigapixel map of modern-day Singapore, then find out more about their lives.

Project Insight by HelloHolo enables anyone to try their hand at being a conservator with the help of the Microsoft HoloLens. This experience focuses on the conservation process, and allows participants to try conserving a painting in mixed reality.

Source: National Museum of Singapore. Project Insight focuses on art conservation.
Source: National Museum of Singapore. Project Insight focuses on art conservation.

The Digital Conversations: Open Call 2018 talk organised as part of DigiMuse Presents will explore interventions in digital and cultural spaces. As a follow up dialogue to the featured prototype projects, local and international speakers will share their experience of developing projects with museums and cultural institutions during the talk. 

Programme Director of the DigiMuse Project, Jervais Choo said, “The DigiMuse initiative explores the intersection of technology and culture and opens a gateway for discovering our past to inspire future possibilities. By incorporating a spectrum of digital technologies to communicate our heritage and history in new perspectives, the innovative projects featured in DigiMuse Presents are both educational and enthralling, demonstrating potential instances of how we may interact meaningfully with Singapore’s rich culture and heritage enabled by frontier technologies.”

DigiMuse Presents is presented by the National Museum of Singapore, an institution of the National Heritage Board, in collaboration with the Asian Civilisations Museum, Autodesk, Da Vinci Kids, Heritage Conservation Centre, The Keris Collector, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, the National Archives of Singapore, the National Gallery Singapore, and the National Parks Board.


DigiMuse Presents will be on view from 4 to 26 August 2018 at the National Museum between 10 am and 7 pm daily. 

Visitor access to the featured projects is free with general admission.