InnoTech Expo helps nurture young scientists

(Photo: There are expert forums in the InnoTech Expo 2017, including Dr. Xian-Sheng Hua, Alibaba data scientist to explore artificial intelligence; 10 Hong Kong top scientists and scholars to talk about science; Neil Shen from Sequoia Capital China to analyse the prospect of innovative technology, and artist Nicholas Tse to share his business path. The picture shows last year’s forum which was packed with audience. Source: Esri China)


Are you interested in bicycle helmets with directional lights, sign language translation gloves for the hearing impaired, non-invasive eye drug injection, the use of fish embryos for fast detection of toxic materials? These advanced high-tech innovations share one feature: they are all made in Hong Kong and have become renowned overseas.

In the InnoTech Expo 2017 held at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, you will be able to see up to 15 outstanding works made possible by local researches and studies. The theme of the Expo is “Displaying China’s Civilization of Technology & Its Latest Innovation“. The venue is divided into five areas: “Heaven”, “Communications”, “Sea”, “Chinese Academy of Sciences” and “Pride of Hong Kong”, exhibiting the history of China’s major achievements in science and technology. Moreover, visitors can try simulated skiing or walking on Mars at the “VR Experience”. There are 20 interactive features in the “Popular Science Interactive Exhibition”, including videos, games, comics, etc., exhibiting physics, biomedicine, energy and environmental products.

As a Hongkonger, there is no reason not to visit the “Pride of Hong Kong”. Many of the works in this exhibition area are very practical and can benefit the public. For example:

 

Speedy detection of bad posture

A recent survey found that many children and young people have spine scoliosis, humpback and misaligned shoulder, mainly resulting from carrying heavy school bags and excessive use of smart phones. This Portable Gait Analyser assesses a person’s walking or running gait to identify any possible improper way of walking or running. A person only has to wear a specific sensor at the waist and the back, and then walk a few steps to enable the Analyser to collect enough data for computer analysis. It can then find out if there is any posture problems. At the same time, it can also accurately measure the length of each leg to see if there is any significant difference between the right and the left.

 

World’s first smart bike helmet

The Lumos helmet was developed by a HKUST student, which combines a directional light and a brake light of a bike to facilitate cycling on the road at night. It is the first of its kind in the world. The helmet is waterproof, equipped with mini USB charger and is CSPC certified. It can enhance the safety of cyclists on the road. In 2015, the first fund raising at Kickstarter for further development of this smart helmet met with enthusiastic response by raising US$800,000 in a month, more than six times the original target. The helmet won many prizes, including London Design Museum Annual Awards 2017, Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017, and Bicycle Brand Contest – Innovation of the Year 2017.

 

Sign language translation gloves

This is an invention of secondary school students. It helps to break through the barriers of communication of the hearing impaired. The gloves are studded with sensors, when the hearing impaired makes a sign language, the resistance of the sensors will change according to the movement of fingers. The data will then be transmitted to a mobile device through Bluetooth. It only takes a few seconds for the app to translate the sign language into words and display them on a mobile screen. The invention was awarded Champion in the Hong Kong Student Science Project Competition 2017 (Invention Projects), Bronze Award (Engineering) in the 2017 International Sustainable World (Engineering Energy Environment) Project (I-SWEEEP).

 

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Other exhibits include a simple device which measures balancing ability of the elderly, scar sticker which reduces the colour of scar left on skin, a 360-degree surround augmented reality (AR) for an all-round inspection of the brain to detect possible brain diseases.

Furthermore, the InnoTech Family Day is a creative park for children that you should not miss. Children can try being an InnoTech expert to write computer programmes, control robot and unmanned aerial vehicle, as well as play multimedia games. The most popular activity is profession role-playing. The activities will be held from 1st to 2nd October, free of charge, for children aged 5 to 12 and their parents. One can obtain the entry tickets via online registration. Due to limited places, application in advance is required for some activities.

According to the latest QS study, we have four universities ranking amongst the top 50 universities in the world (South Korea and Japan only have two each while China has three). These world-renowned universities have nurtured considerable number of talents each year. I hope that the innovative activities in InnoTech Expo could raise people’s interest and concern about innovation and technology. This in turn would assist talent and entrepreneurs in their pursuit of innovations.

 

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Contributing Authors

Dr Winnie Tang

Honorary Professor, Department of Computer Science, The University of Hong Kong; Advisor of Our Hong Kong Foundation

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