Established and proven practices are necessary for ensuring effective operations in any industry but they must evolve to include fresh thinking, methods and techniques for an industry to become more competitive and productive.
Hong Kong Science Park start-up Chain Technology Development Co. Limited specialises in the technologies of translating geographical and architectural data into 3D models and Hybrid Reality Platform (HRP) to provide visual solutions. Those solutions deliver a multitude of benefits for the building and property management industries, and foster the smart planning and management of cities in the future.
Linking up with partners to expand through HKSTP
The company immediately became a Science Park start-up after it was incorporated in 2016, according to Chain Technology’s Chief Technology Officer, Wisdom Chan. It later joined HKSTP’s LEAP@HK acceleration programme for start-ups to speed up its business development. Through the programme, Chain Technology has recently formed a partnership with Lenovo to adapt the latter’s latest virtual reality headsets for commercial VR applications.
Wisdom points out that many industries and companies are still using the traditional means of graphic images for business operations and management, and that the practice could be problematic. Chain Technology sees this as an opportunity to apply its technology. Wisdom explains that digitised 3D models can turn hard data into dynamic objects. This will help management personnel visualise more easily and make the right responses. As such, various industries are increasingly inclined to adopt the technology.
3D modelling offers multiple benefits
In the architecture, building and civil engineering industries, for example, using the traditional means of manual operation with graphic plans for business management solutions is prone to error, not to mention inefficient. It does not meet modern society’s demand for high-quality building processes. These industries are adopting Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Geographic Information Systems for landscaping, residential development and constructing buildings and facilities. The technologies integrate rich information and data in 3D models to facilitate construction progress and management flow. In property management, these 3D models will be helpful for maintenance and servicing down the road.
To meet the needs of different industries and work types, Chain Technology showcases its technology in the form of physical products to capture the imagination of its customers. In addition to 3D modelling technology, the products also incorporate big data technology for analysing a substantial body of data and artificial intelligence for making the visual images highly realistic.
A range of new products and solutions in the pipeline
The company is offering products in different formats and specifications for enhanced user experience, including desktop systems integrated with touch screens, as well as 4D CAVE Immersive Systems (4D CAVE) and VR headsets. Wisdom says architects, engineers and project managers can transform desktop systems into an integrated platform linked with design and workflow management systems. 4D Cave can put an architect in a realistic setting to help fine-tune the details of a project. VR headsets are the tools for conveniently and instantly examining a designed environment.
Wisdom says that the company’s team of 15 people is working furiously on R&D work to devise new systems and solutions, in addition to finessing the technologies of 3D modelling, big data and AI. They are thankful that HKSTP provides ample support, including connecting them with business partners and investors. Through LEAP@HK, for example, the company has linked up with industry leaders such as Lenovo, helping it develop specific solutions for targeted users. Wisdom is also grateful that HKSTP has acquainted the team with funding channels available in the market, including the Government’s Innovation and Technology Fund, which has offered the company greater flexibility with its funding strategy.
Wooing R&D talent
Chain Technology has a pressing need for R&D talent for 3D modelling, AI and big data technologies. Wisdom points out that AI expertise in particular is hard to come by and difficult to recruit. He hopes that the talent training and admission programmes of HKSTP and the Hong Kong Government will help alleviate the talent crunch.
Wisdom reveals that the company has a number of enterprise clients in Hong Kong and is focusing its R&D efforts on product standardisation. The company plans to introduce standard products for specific industrial applications by the last quarter of 2018 and be on course to achieve steady income and stable business operations. He believes that in the favourable environment of Science Park, Chain Technology will continue to grow strongly, step by step.