The LSCM R&D programmes are demand-driven. With collaboration among academia and industry, a number of research projects have been successfully developed and adopted by the industry players to increase productivity and efficiency.
LSCM developed a Blind Cane Navigation System for the visually impaired. With RFID technology and audio navigation, the system provides guidance to the visually impaired and leads them to their destination by the shortest route. With the aid of the Blind Community Cloud Platform, the visually impaired can obtain the latest updates on the map and enjoy a seamless navigation across different regions. Functions such as item tagging are also available to make the living of visually impaired more convenient. The system was awarded the Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury at the 44th Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions in 2016. Barrier Free Access (HK) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Hong Kong Society for the Blind, has also started the relevant business to offer full-set of service backing the RFID Blind Cane Navigation System. It is expected that the technology can be applied in places like shopping centres, public housing estates and streets in the near future.
RFID-enabled Parcel Locker System
In Oct 2015, LSCM conducted a research trial with the Hongkong Post to assist in the realization of the next generation of mail collection services by developing an RFID enabled parcel locker system. The first generation of iPostal station was launched in May 2016, as a system for providing lockers placed in the community which provides flexibility to the public in collecting large-sized mail at their convenience.
Currently, the Hongkong Post has deployed around 12 iPostal stations at various locations within the HKSAR. Promulgation of the new generation of RFID –enabled iPostal Stations by Hongkong Post, with the assistance of the new funding program from ITB, will allow Hongkong Post to better serve the general public. The “RFID-enabled Parcel Locker System” has won the gold medal at the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions in 2017.
Since November 2012, LSCM has assisted Hong Kong Customs in the trial of the “Single E-lock Scheme” with Mainland Customs set out to interconnect the Hong Kong Customs’ Intermodal Transshipment Facilitation Scheme (ITFS) with the Speedy Customs Clearance (SCC) of the Mainland Customs. Under the scheme, the processing time of customs clearance of registered trucks at land boundary control points can be reduced by up to two hours.
Up to now, the scheme has been extended to 32 clearance points in Guangdong province including Guangzhou Nansha Free Trade Zone, Jiangmen International Electronic Commerce Express Mail Sorting Clearance Centre, as well as the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Air Logistics Park of Bao’an International Airport, including the 12 clearance points in Hong Kong, 384 express intermodal transportation routes are offered. As of February 2016, the scheme has been on trial for more than 8,400 times, with over 2.55 million consignments being handled. Since the official launching of “Single E-lock Scheme” in late March of 2016 by both Customs authorities, the IoT Cross Boundary Fast-Clearance developed by LSCM makes customs clearance between Hong Kong and Guangdong more convenient and efficient.
E-Lock has won the silver medal at the 45th Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions held from 29 March to 2 April, 2017.
E-Cheque Wallet application
Hong Kong Monetary Authority has launched e-Cheque since 2015 to replace the need of physical delivery and presentation, enhancing the circulation of credit transfer activities. E-Cheque Wallet applications developed by LSCM provide a more convenient platform for e-Cheque transactions. In contrast to most e-Wallets that use a traditional centralized ledger, LSCM E-Cheque Wallet utilizes the Blockchain technology which provides a safe and reliable system to eradicate replicated and counterfeit cheque so as to strengthen corporate’s confidence on e-Cheque.
In 2017, E-Cheque Wallet application has won the silver medal at the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions.
LSCM has worked with the University of Hong Kong to develop a fully immersive cave automatic virtual environment that provides the capabilities for professionals to experience the life-like scenarios of complex operations and interact dynamically with such environment. Activities are recorded and behavior analyzed in real-time is developed.
The virtual reality training system represents a state-of-the-art design of capitalizing the virtual reality technology with artificial intelligence methods to deliver an integrated system that create a cost effective, versatile and reconfigurable, interactive and immersive training environment that readily supports evidence and discovery-based training in operation planning and decision making.
The technology has been used in two pilot cases: The first one is a ramp operation training system that is developed in collaboration with Cathay Pacific Services Limited (CPSL) for the training of supervisors and operators in performing ramp operation where air cargo containers are loaded and unloaded from freight aircrafts. The system uses the imseCAVE VR system to recreate the scenarios of air cargo loading where operators use various user interfaces including a mock-up of a real-size cargo door control panel to control the operations of virtual loading systems to handle air cargo.
The second one is a VR training system built for the HK Police Force at the Detective Training Centre, Specialized Services Training Centre of the Hong Kong Police College. The system creates crime scenes where detectives can use to undergo their training programme effectively through exploration of scenarios.
Video Analytics for Baggage Trolley Availability Monitoring and Management at Hong Kong International Airport
This real-time video-based trolley availability monitoring system has been jointly developed by LSCM and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. It is now fully deployed in the Baggage Reclaim Hall at Hong Kong International Airport. This research project uses artificial intelligence technologies to turn video imagery of baggage trolley pickup points into trolley availability data in real-time. The project also develops a trolley availability monitoring system to disseminate up-to-date trolley availability statuses via a mobile application to frontline staff. The system is to ensure sufficient trolleys are available for passengers to use.
When the number of trolleys in a pickup point drops below a certain level, the system will notify frontline staff via the mobile app. The system reduces the number of staff and the frequency to patrol all the pickup points distributing over a large floor space. It also helps frontline staff effectively replenish trolleys. The goal is to improve the quality of passenger services by ensuring trolley availability. The computed results from image analysis technology are not perfect at all. The trolley detection rate was about 87% at the early R&D stage. Through the continuously collected image data, the detection rate was able to be improved to about 92% at the end of 2016 after progressively applying corresponding machine learning technique. Since then, the system has been automatically computing numbers of trolleys over all 18 pickup points in real-time for the entire Baggage Reclaim Hall.
This trolley availability monitoring system does not require any equipment installation on any baggage trolley. This saves corresponding one-time installation procedure as well as long-term maintenance management. Via artificial intelligence technology, the system is able to extend its capability to detect other baggage trolleys of different sizes or models. Thus, Hong Kong International Airport has carried out a plan starting in 2018 to gradually extend the video-based trolley availability monitoring system to cover other trolley pickup points in arrival and departure halls.
Satellite-based global positioning technologies such as the GPS and the BeiDou are easy to use. They can easily locate and assist in navigation in the outdoor areas. However, they are unsuitable for indoor environments due to poor reception of satellite signals. In light of the challenge, LSCM has collaborated with the HKUST to develop a WiFi positioning system, Wherami, for indoor localisation tracking and navigation.
This technology makes use of the widely available WiFi signals in indoor environments to develop an innovative and accurate indoor localisation tracking and navigation technology. Wherami has been on trial in the Hong Kong Airport, Cyperport and Olympian City. Through partnering with Compathnion Technology, successful trial runs have been conducted in Harbour City, followed with the official launch in the campus of the HKUST and the Union Hospital. By using any mobile device with WiFi signals, for example, shoppers can locate their exact position on indoor map at shopping mall. By searching the shop name or selecting their destination, the system navigates the shoppers to their destination with the quickest route. In addition, the system assists shoppers to access all stores in the mall, such as restaurants, banks, etc. This value-added feature is important in strengthening Hong Kong’s image as a world-class metropolis.