Stellar Lifestyle’s Hive 2.0 at Esplanade Xchange offers next-gen, digitally-empowered retail experiences, including those powered by local startups.
I’m sure many Singaporeans know malls and hotels in the City Hall area are interconnected by an extensive underground network of passages and shopping corridors. Just a while back, there were some online write-ups on how it’s possible to walk all the way from Millenia Walk to Funan using these passages.
A significant part of these connections is also Esplanade Xchange, i.e., the spacious shopping passage connecting Suntec City, Esplanade Station, Bras Basah Station, and Raffles City. Now, this has been there for quite a while. The food court at the heart of it is also a popular dining haven during lunch hours.
From today, Esplanade Xchange will be a showcase for Singapore’s latest retail technology too. Named Hive 2.0 and managed by Stellar Lifestyle, the business arm of SMRT, the 3,200 sq ft innovation space will be home to some 10 unique retail concepts mostly powered by up-and-coming local startups. This exciting space was officially launched by Ms. Low Yen Ling, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
For commuters and shoppers, here’s what you can look forward to at Hive 2.0. The phrase “next-gen” is the summary, with each concept at Hive 2.0 either streamlining the retail experience or providing time savings for commuters/consumers.
For example, 7-Eleven’s first self-checkout, cashierless retail store in Singapore is here. Through the use of AI smart cameras, deep learning, and multi-sensor fusion technologies, customers simply need to tap a payment/credit card to enter the store. After selecting their purchases and exiting the store, payment will be automatically deducted. (There’s a QR code for checking receipts if desired) There is no need to queue and wait for payment. Great for folks who are, you know, already late for something.
MRT commuters can also order bubble tea while on the move and pick it their purchases from JAVIS, a robot bubble tea store, when they arrive at Hive 2.0. Office workers at nearby South Beach Development will be able to use the first-of-its-kind QuikBot robo-delivery service from Esplanade MRT station to their office building, simply by ordering items from Esplanade MRT station’s 7-Eleven through the QuikBot app.
A quote from Mr. Tony Heng, President of Stellar Lifestyle. “Hive by Stellar Lifestyle continues to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by introducing and validating innovations. This year, Hive 2.0 will leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and connected networks to help our merchant partners become more operationally resilient. We designed these innovations to leverage our extensive rail network, allowing us to create new in-store experiences where consumers can enjoy greater convenience and enhanced retail experiences. What you see here today could scale across the train network in the future, as SMRT is committed to Moving People, Enhancing Lifestyles.”
Convenience Through Innovation – What to Enjoy at Hive 2.0
- 7-Eleven Shop & Go: The first ever autonomous store in Singapore to enable the seamless tap, shop, and go process. Commuters only need to tap their credit card to enter, shop for what they need, and leave the store. Their purchases will automatically be charged to their card as they walk out.
- QuikBot: Leading with its “Autonomous Final-mile Delivery Platform-as-a-Service” (AFMD), QuikBot will transform Singapore’s urban infrastructures into “SMART” systems integrated with robotics and IoT. Set for a January 2024 launch with partners like Stellar Lifestyle, South Beach Consortium, and 7-Eleven, South Beach Development office workers can conveniently order from the Esplanade MRT station’s 7-Eleven using the Quikbot app, after which its autonomous robots will transport these orders directly to their office floors, self-navigating along common corridors as they move between Esplanade MRT and South Beach Tower.
- Mr.R Robotics: Singapore’s first adaptive robotics retail store, serving frozen, chilled, and ambient products concurrently. Think of it as a vending machine the size of a room, with multiple temperature-controlled compartments.
- Yzel: An AI-powered, pop-up sampling solution that helps local brands access complementary physical spaces for product display, sampling, and sales. Comes with a QR system for home deliveries too.
- IncuBaker: An F&B Incubator offering a co-working kitchen workspace and studio to help aspiring F&B entrepreneurs test and sell their products.
- The Gym Pod: An on-demand fully-private state-of-the-art gym to help health-conscious commuters hit their fitness goals.
- Le Tach Vending: An intelligent vending machine operator that stocks traditional and non-traditional products, ranging from herbal teas to bak kwa (Chinese jerkies) and fresh fruit.
- Tap Tiles: Tap Tiles is a startup that designs kinetic floor tiles which can harvest clean energy in the form of electricity and data from footsteps. The tiles are great for collecting footfall data too.
- BuzzAR: An AI-powered virtual assistant that provides shopping guidance and recommendations to Hive customers.
- JAVIS: A fully automated bubble tea store that can brew freshly made bubble tea tailored to customers’ preferences. Plus, customers can order in advance.
- NOYES: For retailers, a fully automated nano-warehousing storage solution to support re-stocking and self-collection.
Hive 2.0 is at Esplanade Xchange, right beside the food court.
Other exciting commuter experiences by Stellar Lifestyle include the sprawling 22,000 sq ft Timezone at Orchard Xchange and the bustling bazaar at Dhoby Xchange with its eclectic range of F&B and lifestyle outlets.