Sino Group has established an Inno Lab to support innovation technology as Hong Kong is transforming and upgrading its technology sector.
The group has also engaged Andrew Young Meng-cheung as associate director for innovation. Young previously worked at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks.
The lab provides a platform to support start-ups, inventors and technology companies from Hong Kong and overseas to develop cutting-edge solutions.
Last week, executive director Daryl Ng Win-kong, the driving force behind the setting up of the lab, invited me to tour the place where many interesting inventions and concepts were showcased. Some of these even have applications in daily life and the home.
There were large smart windows fitted with digital films that change transparency by an electrical charge or the intensity of sunlight, much like photochromic sunglasses.
Such windows eliminate the need for curtains, which makes it possible to maximize space use in flats or hotel rooms, particularly useful in Hong Kong where space is tight.
As a major local developer, Sino is clearly in an advantageous position to explore and promote such household-related applied technology.
But Ng appeared to be most excited about a green bus shelter which has won a gold medal in an international exhibition of inventions.
Brimming with a contemporary feel, the shelter has an air purification system powered by solar panels on the roof, saving people from inhaling bad air as they are waiting for buses.
The design is simple and highly practicable, especially in the densely populated Asia region. The first-generation prototype has been sent to Peking University for trial use.
As he was introducing the shelter, Ng was apparently bubbling with a special sense of pride and appreciation.
He disclosed subsequently that his wife had been involved in its design, which is, of course, a good additional reason why he is so fond of it.
Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily