Phuket 'has the smarts' for hi-tech

Phuket 'has the smarts' for hi-tech

Digital equipment and high-speed internet spots have been set up in Phuket as part of its bid to make the island province a smart city.

Phuket provincial governor Thavornwat Kongkaew called a meeting on Thurday attended by state agencies, the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (Nectec) and the Office of the Digital Economy (Depa) ton assess progress. They heard about progress in the Phuket Smart City project financed by a 386-million-baht budget allocated by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society.

Mr Thavornwat said the project has made headway since it received a budget over the last two fiscal years. The bulk of the fund has been spent installing high-speed internet in at least 1,000 points and 21 digital signage equipment.

The digital signage includes digital displays dependent on technologies such as LCD, LED and projection which use display digital images. They are commonly installed in public spaces, transportation systems and corporate buildings for outdoor advertising.

The governor said the digital displays are useful for disseminating information from the provincial office to people. Some of the displays carry news which can help residents improve their livelihoods.

Late last year, passengers in Phuket were trying out a new mobile phone application, "Bus Beam", used for locating buses and estimating when they will arrive at bus stops. The Department of Land Transport said the app would help people plan their journeys without having to wait a long time.

The Phuket land transport office worked with six companies to develop the app and run the project covering local and inter-provincial buses running between the province and Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Songkhla. The buses are equipped with a global positioning system (GPS) device, allowing them to easily connect with smart phone users who can check their whereabouts.

The app, which is being tested until Dec 10 this year, will have participating buses on two local routes in Phuket and running to three nearby provinces on five routes. It was reported the buses will run between Phuket Airport and bus terminals 1 and 2 as well as the airport and Patong beach.

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