HONG KONG, Dec 2 – From managing household appliances with mobile apps and enjoying cookies made from 3D printing to deploying a robotic watchman in the home, creativity is transforming urban living and adding convenience and excitement to our lives.
The 12th HKTDC InnoDesignTech Expo opened yesterday (1 December) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre featuring various new lifestyle concepts. Under the theme of “Urbanovation”, this year’s Inspiration Hall showcases the latest trends in urban living at the fairground’s Hall 3E.
Speaking at the Innovation Hall’s kick-off ceremony, Jenny Koo, Director, Service Promotion, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), said: “Creative inventions enhance our lives, and this year’s Inspiration Hall brings together creative enterprises and inventors in such fields as architecture, infrastructure, mobility, and lifestyle, and features the award-winning works of many creative talents.” The Inspiration Hall is open to public free of charge from 1 to 3 December, and visitors are welcome to share their innovative ideas.
Technologies to enhance the shopping experience
James Law, Chairman & CEO & Chief Cybertect of James Law Cybertecture, led visitors on an Urbanovator Walk around the exhibitor booths, where a growing variety of digital technologies that enhance shopping and retailing are on display. Win Mak, CEO, Mirum introduced ‘MyMirum’, a new interactive device from his company.
“MyMirum consists of a wall-mounted screen and a multi-touch desktop screen. The product is displayed in 3D animation and the user can rotate it on screen using their finger. The material and colour of the product changes as the special sensor is placed on the desktop screen, which adds to the pleasure of shopping for users,” said Mr Mak.
Another technology company, Motive Force Technology Limited, is exhibiting the VirCube. Here, VR images are projected onto the walls and the floor of the VirCube, where visitors wearing 3D glasses experience sensations of being in a virtual reality setting. Terence Tseng, CEO & CTO, Motive Force Technology Limited, said the system differentiates itself by enabling interaction between multiple users, who can select the setting with remote control.
The way to smart home
Lam Tin Lun, Founder, NXROBO, presented the in-home robot ‘BIG-i’. Dr Lam noted that the robot has 3D vision and active perception enabling it to identify members of the household. With its voice programming feature, the robot is able to converse and take instructions from users. “When no one picks up the phone, ‘BIG-i’ goes around to look for the home owner. You can also command it to switch on the TV,” said Dr Lam.
With the increasing popularity and application of 3D printing, 3D printed cookies could become a common snack in our future homes. XYZprinting (Su Zhou) Co., Ltd has launched the first-ever food printer. The company’s Director, Anthony Huang, stated that the machine uses 3D printing technology to print complex and regular patterns. “It may be used not only for printing cookies and pie, but also for printing messages on cakes and coffee for loved ones,” he said.
Allen Wong, Senior Vice President, Product Development & Management, Consumer Group, HKT Limited, introduced a smart home electric car wash and charging service, and smart education solutions. He remarked, “Smart home begins with homes with the elderly. For instance, different sensors may be installed in the bathroom to detect the depth of water and movement of objects, which helps prevent accidents in the home.”
Building green communities
The merging of buildings with nature and art is a future trend in architecture. At the IDT Expo, Henderson Land Development Company Limited is showcasing the group’s green projects. William Lim, Artwork Master, Henderson Land Development Company Limited, said that with the limited living space in Hong Kong, incorporating nature and art into the community enhances the quality of life.
The company’s residential development in Wu Kai Sha, Double Cove, embodies the concept of ‘Living in a Park’ that incorporates greening into architecture. Justin Li, Assistant Director – Environmental & Sustainability, Zero Carbon Building and Chan Chak Ming, Senior Environment Protection Officer, Environmental Protection Department introduced the first zero carbon building in Hong Kong, Zero Carbon Building, and T.PARK located in Kowloon Bay and Tuen Mun respectively.
The building and the park are two waste-to-energy milestones in Hong Kong. The mobile home is no longer a dream, according to James Law who presented his new mobile home concept ‘ALPOD’. The ‘ALPOD’ resembles a container in its appearance. As Mr Law explained, the mobile home is relatively light-weight since its exterior walls are made of aluminum, which adds to its mobility. ‘ALPOD’ may be placed inside the specially designed ‘ALPOD Tower’ to save space.
New experience in daily life
As low-carbon transportation is a worldwide trend nowadays, Tesla’s electric vehicles have captured much attention. The company showcased its sport utility vehicle Model X SUV. Kenneth Lui, Regional Sales Manager, Tesla, remarked that the model features the ‘Auto Steer’ function, which enables auto lane changing when the headlights come on.
Creativity brightens up even the smallest items at home. Keith Lam, Co-founder, Dimension Plus, demonstrated how to use waste materials like wooden planks to make a vinyl player, and also spoke about his creator studio. Vivien Liu, Architect, Photographer & Social Media Influencer, Studio UNIT Ltd, launched her studio one month ago. She is using the IDT Expo to introduce her photography, social media and architectural designs to the public.