CityU showcases research projects at Innovation Expo 07

June Tse

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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is showcasing 20 projects at the Innovation Expo 07 between 14 and 18 September, demonstrating how innovative technologies can improve the quality of people’s lives.

Innovation Expo 07 is being hosted by the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR Government and is one of the major events of the Innovation Festival 07. The aim of the festival is to enhance public awareness of Hong Kong’s achievements in innovation, technology and design and stress their importance for our future.

CityU’s Technology Transfer Office has helped the academics and students to join this Expo. “CityU always strives for excellence in applied research. This Expo is a good opportunity to showcase the results of our applied research in science and technology to industry and the general public,” said Mr Wong Hon-yee, Director of the Technology Transfer Office. “It can enhance our cooperation with industry and let the general public gain a better understanding of CityU.”

Research projects developed by CityU academics and students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Creative Media, and Language Information Sciences Research Centre are on display at the Expo. The innovations are closely related to our daily life, ranging from computer science, electronic engineering, materials science, building and construction, biotechnology, information technology, multimedia application and language technology.

The innovative Smart Ambience Therapy technology developed by Professor (Chair) Horace Ip Ho-shing of CityU's Department of Computer Science creates a new tool in psychotherapy to help children overcome their psychological barriers. Inside a specially designed darkroom with multimedia devices, visitors can interact with the images on a large screen. The technology is being applied in teaching and learning to enhance interactions in classroom and boost students' interest in learning.

Dr Jia Weijia, Associate Professor in CityU's Department of Computer Science, has exhibited his video communication software, Wee Call. It allows 3G mobile phones to communicate with different media, including PDA, fixed-line telephones and computers connected with the Internet. This amounts to a wide range of applications, such as a home surveillance system that allows users to check on the situation at home from a 3G mobile phone anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

The digital watermarking chip invented by Dr Cheng Lee-ming, Associate Professor in CityU’s Department of Electronic Engineering, can protect copyright and verify the authenticity of digital images and documents. “Verifying originals and protecting copyright poses law enforcement problems because digital work can be easily fabricated,” Dr Cheng said. “The digital watermarking chip embeds a secure and unobtrusive message into the digital media content, a process that avoids tampering with the original.”

Dr Peter Tsang Wai-ming, Associate Professor in CityU’s Department of Electronic Engineering, has invented a 3D video kiosk which can display 3D video images recorded on VCD, DVD and video cassette tapes. It can be applied to advertisement production, tourism promotion, conferences, exhibitions and film production as well as for educational purposes.

In addition, the Expo features multi-media interactive works developed by students. Ivan Cheung King-tai and

Tank Leung Wing-chung, Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Creative Media Year 3 and Year 2 students of the School of Creative Media respectively, designed the Moni Tree by combining several old computer monitors. By modifying signals sent from micro controllers, different colourful patterns appear on the monitors.

Another work from the School of Creative Media is Multi Touch invented by Year 3 students Don Chan Ka-yan, Ashley Cheung Chi-lung, Cinny Chung Sin-yi, Jason Lam Chi-fai and Jeff Wong Chun-kit of Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Creative Media programme. It is a special touch screen that can drag, rotate or resize an image by hand.

In addition, CityU held two technology and design workshops on 14 September at the Expo. The aim was to get more young people interested in innovation, technologies and design. One of the workshops presented the latest non-destructive testing techniques. Visitors could inspect test samples with hidden defects using the latest ultrasonic and optical instruments. The other workshop introduced intelligent robot programming technologies and let participants have their software robots battle their opponents.

CityU exhibits at the Expo are listed below:

n Smart Ambience Therapy

n Smart Ambience Learning

n Automated Avatar System for E-learning and Entertainment

n 3D Video Kiosk

n Multi Touch

n Moni Tree

n Zebrafish Embryo Bioassay

n Instant Structural Analysis (iSA)

n Virus Cleaner

n RMB Counterfeit Money Detector

n Auto-controlled Energy-saving LED Road Lighting System

n Anti-Phishing Software for Fake Website Detection

n Digital Watermarking Technology

n Smart Card Technology

n SIP-based Video Softphone for Internet and PSTN (Weecall SIP based client)

n 3G and Internet Video Communication Gateway

n ZigBee Mobile System

n Industrial Hard Coatings Applications and Testing

n Smart Management System for Fixed Assets based on RFID

n Language Technologies

The Innovation Expo 07 is being held in Hall 1 of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 14 to 18 September. For details, please visit: http://www.innotech.gov.hk/en/inno_forces/innovationfestival/index.html.

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