The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) recently launched the “HK Grand Tour” AR Design Competition (the Competition), officially kicking off a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging Hong Kong secondary academia to combine augmented reality (AR) technology with well-known landmarks in Hong Kong, creating their ideal Green and Smart City landscape and inspiring others to do the same.
Through a seminar, students and the general public were also introduced to the government’s “Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0” (Blueprint 2.0), which details the most recent advancements in immersive technologies and how they can be used in STEM education. This has allowed the next generation to become proficient in cutting-edge digital technologies and promote Hong Kong as a green and smart city.
The Competition is supported by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, the Education Bureau, several innovation and technology (I&T) enterprises and education organizations, as well as the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers. It is funded by the General Support Programme of the Innovation and Technology Fund under the Innovation and Technology Commission.
The chairman of HKPC noted that as the super-connector between the government, the I&T sector, and the education sector, HKPC has been devoted to promoting I&T education and talent training and recommends giving children and teenagers “FutureSkills” to increase the local I&T talent pool.
The competition, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the founding of the HKSAR, is intended to give students the opportunity to experience the use of augmented reality technology and to pique their interest in immersive technologies. It is also intended to ignite young people’s visions of Hong Kong as a smart city and to increase their awareness of sustainable development and green living, strengthening their sense of identity with Hong Kong.
In order to establish a strong foundation for cultivating talents for the I&T development of Hong Kong, HKPC will continue to take advantage of its advantages in the I&T sector and combine it with its wealth of expertise in talent training. The Commissioner for Innovation and Technology noted in her opening remarks that as technology advances, the application of innovation and technology is becoming more and more important, particularly for the advantages it brings to our daily lives and the way it helps us gain a new perspective on Hong Kong’s history, culture, art, and other aspects.
The Commissioner also emphasized that over the previous five years, the Government has made an extraordinary investment of more than $150 billion in boosting I&T. The I&T sector is now booming in Hong Kong. She urged her fellow students to learn more about science and technology and to develop the skills necessary for employment in the I&T sector.
Over the course of around nine months, the competition will be staged in a number of stages, including a first-round assessment, training workshops, a final-round evaluation, an award ceremony, and an exhibition. Participants will be asked to design and create AR works based on the 25th anniversary of the HKSAR’s founding and the vision and goals of Blueprint 2.0 to present the public with a fresh perspective of a green and intelligent Hong Kong. Additionally, as the COVID-19 pandemic has presented the city with previously unheard-of difficulties, participants are obliged to incorporate anti-epidemic elements into their works to highlight the effects and advantages of cutting-edge technologies on daily life and public hygiene.
In the end, the top 25 finalist teams’ AR creations will be accessible to the public both online and offline, and participants from all over the world will be able to take part in the “vHK Grand Tour” without being constrained by time, space, or location.