CityU’s Smart Ambience Therapy becomes an exhibit of Hong Kong Science Museum

Michelle Leung

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Smart Ambience Therapy (SAT), developed by the AIMtech Centre of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and its collaborating partners from the Hong Kong Association of Art Therapists, has become an exhibit at the Hong Kong Science Museum.


SAT is a pioneering application of interactive media and virtual reality technology in art therapy, particularly for psychotherapy of children who have been physically or emotionally abused.


The SAT exhibit reflects wide recognition in the community for CityU’s applied research efforts.


Dr Louis Ng Chi-wa, Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, welcomed guests at the opening of the exhibit on 22 February. Other officiating guests were Mr Michael Wong Hing-lan, Chief Curator, Hong Kong Science Museum; Professor Richard Ho Yan-ki, CityU’s Acting President; and Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, Chair Professor of the Department of Computer Science.


Dr Ng said CityU had created an innovative application of virtual reality, which had been widely used in simulated training and entertainment since it emerged.


“On behalf of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, I would like to thank CityU for its generous sponsorship and also Professor Horace Ip for his valuable research and technical support which made this exhibition happen,” Dr Ng said.


Professor Ho said, “CityU is devoted to contributing the outcomes of applied research to society and SAT is an excellent example. I believe the exhibition at the Science Museum can definitely bring scientific research closer to the general public and promote the benefits of research outcomes.”


Developed by a research team led by Professor Ip, in collaboration with Ms Julia Byrne and Ms Ivy Fung from the Hong Kong Association of Art Therapists, SAT provides a new medium that helps clients address negative feelings and low self-esteem resulting from abuse, and creates a unique process of accessing one’s internal world through kinesthetic movement.


“We are now conducting a pilot study with the Caritas Jockey Club Lok Yan School and the Hong Kong Association of Art Therapists to understand how SAT would help to enhance the learning ability of intellectually disabled students in the context of special education,” Professor Ip said.


Since SAT was launched in 2006, Professor Ip has worked with NGOs, such as Against Child Abuse, SKH St Christopher’s Home and the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society, to implement the application.


SAT has also been recognised internationally. Last year it was awarded a gold medal at the 35th International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products in Geneva.


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