The Community Lab, established by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (“HKSTP”) and Hysan Development Company Limited (“Hysan”) in May 2022, aims to nurture up-and-coming start-ups and integrate their solutions into the community, empowering the Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint. As the backbone of The Community Lab, the Last-mile Testing Programme (“LMTP”) welcomes the conclusion of its first cohort today with a successful Demo Day. Four shortlisted start-ups nominated by HKSTP, including SOCIF Limited (“SOCIF”), imBee Limited (“imBee”), XTRA Sensing Limited (“Xtra Sensing”) and Chain Technology Development Co. Ltd (“Chain”), showcased their trial experience and results to government officials and industry leaders.
Adhering to the core values of Smart Living, Smart Economy, Smart Mobility and Smart Sustainability, the partnership, between Hysan, a leading property group and HKSTP, the city’s largest Innovation & Technology (I&T) flagship, aims to build a solid foundation for the I&T ecosystem to manifest start-up potential and business opportunities and empower the Smart City Blueprint of Hong Kong. As a business incubator in one of Asia’s largest technology innovation ecosystems, HKSTP functions as an innovation powerhouse with its tremendous pool of start-ups; whilst Hysan, with its extensive real estate and retail assets in the Lee Gardens Area, provides an unparalleled testing ground and a wide-ranging audience for HKSTP’s tech ventures to test-drive their concepts authentically in the heart of Hong Kong.
LMTP offers a platform for the start-ups to test-drive their Proof-of-Concepts (“PoC”) in an authentic and complex community environment, along with the domain knowledge in real estate provided by Hysan’s mentors. After months of acceleration and mentoring, the 4 start-ups in the first cohort of LMTP have tested and finetuned their PoCs in a real-life testing ground. They took LMTP as a strong booster to prove their solutions are marketable and even explored new business opportunities for further development. Some PoCs may continue or extend the scope to be commercial projects with Hysan. Please refer to the Appendix for the details and results of the PoCs.
1. SOCIF – Making Hop on Hop off Minibuses a Breeze
During LMTP, SOCIF not only tested the accuracy of its AI technology in using real-time queuing data in the Lee Gardens area, one of Hong Kong’s busiest communities, it also integrated the available transport open data onto a web app to enhance users’ journey planning experience.
With SOCIF’s solutions, real-time information was obtained to better analyse transportation infrastructure around the site and to offer a smarter mobility experience via real-time travel recommendations. With this data, Hysan was able to expand management services from infrastructure-focused to a sustainable ecosystem for the entire neighbourhood.
2. imBee – A one-stop instant messaging solution for Mass Marketing
The original PoC proposed is to have imBee’s customer chat management platform integrated into Hysan’s Lee Gardens Club App, enhancing the customer experience journey.
With imBee’s strong mass marketing function, Hysan’s Marketing professionals shared advice and helped imBee to expand its business from B2C to B2B. During the LMTP, imBee has helped Hysan’s Marketing team blast 2 event campaigns successfully to tenants, broadcasted campaign announcements with PDF detail notices to 290 tenants’ shopfront staffs.
The traditional way of blasting event campaigns to tenants is to distribute physical notices shop by shop, with high cost in time and resources.
With imBee’s solutions, the distribution process is now paperless and more efficient. Tenants’ frontline staff also came with positive feedback that the information is timely with the use of instant messaging.
3. Xtra Sensing – “Machine Doctors” aimed to slash Commercial Maintenance Costs
Xtra Sensing deployed its technology to predict potential cooling tower motor failures in Lee Gardens 3 via vibration sensors so to save energy costs and to enhance operation efficiency. With the data set, Xtra Sensing provided remote and wireless condition monitoring of 3 sets of motors and fans for Lee Gardens’ cooling towers.
Thanks to Xtra Sensing’s technology, unexpected breakdowns and damages could now be avoided while operations can now run smoothly and resources in money, time and labour can be saved. In the long run, the sensors can offer data for intra- and intercomparisons so to conduct insights in means to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
4. Chain Technology – The Future of Smart City Management
Chain Technology deployed a building inspection robot around the old, tenement structures in Lee Gardens community to conduct an AI inspection for defects so to offer a better visualisation of the neighbourhood via a hybrid reality modelling in their web-based analytical platform.
The compact building inspection robot is a safe, space-saving and sustainable method to conduct inspections in short, contained periods. With Hysan’s team further adjustment in its business model, Chain has now developed more flexible options to cater to different market needs.