These information screens work both ways.
30 September 2020
Virtual interactive information screen supplier onActivity Limited has featured its touchable wall at the “Urbanovation” pavilion at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s (HKTDC) annual DesignInspire creative showcase, giving visitors an interactive information-gathering experience. The exhibition gave onActivity an opportunity to showcase its dynamic multimedia capabilities, which captivated the team from the Hong Kong Museum of History, resulting in a collaboration between the two.
Founded in Hong Kong 12 years ago, onActivity set up the multimedia screen system for the commuter subway Mass Transit Railway’s in-station content management system, which includes advertisements alongside escalators and each station’s traffic-flow information system. The onActivity information management system includes text and visuals that update and change in line with different needs in different times. Other leading onActivity clients include the Hong Kong Jockey Club and real-estate developers. Co-founders Falcon Tam and Kelvin Lam described their aim as being to take the initiative in providing customers with appropriate strategies and solutions, hence drive market developments.
Screen experts and light artisans
The onActivity service has two elements – "screen experts" and "light artisans", the founders said, referring to hardware technology and design aesthetics.
The company is committed to bridging "design" and "technology", delivering visual and sensory experiences beyond the imagination of both enterprises and the public. The co-founders described the company's creative team as their greatest asset – highly skilled and experienced, yet still willing to broaden their imagination and employ new elements of artistic design.
Participating in industry exhibitions is extremely important as it heightens the company’s awareness of new trends, they said, equipping them with the inspiration to innovate. With this in mind, onActivity has actively participated in DesignInspire since 2018 as a member of the “Urbanovation” pavilion. Most remarkably, the firm showcased their giant touch installation walls, highlighting Hong Kong's cultural and design capabilities through interactions with visitors.
They feel that the exhibition is a very important occasion for onActivity to showcase their services and capabilities. "Firstly, it allows for a lot of creative freedom, so we can do what we want. Sometimes people don’t understand our products instantly, but at DesignInspire, they can easily grasp the essence of interactive projection and while being fully immersed within,” said Mr Tam.
In 2018 and 2019, onActivity used technology to present Hong Kong’s characteristic culture and landmarks, including traditional black and white Kung Fu films from the 1950s and 60s. The co-founders said the most memorable experience is seeing how children are fascinated by their products, showing how the firm had successfully achieved the goal of being "intuitive".
DesignInspire 2018 is also where the Hong Kong Museum of History and onActivity linked up. The museum invited the firm to take part in the exhibition "The Road to Modernization-Seventy Years of the People’s Republic of China" (2019), for which they provided the interactive projection content.
Showcasing technological potential
"They saw our interactive wall at DesignInspire and felt that it was very suitable for their presentation of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, so we hit it off immediately,” said Mr Lam. “The preparation time was very short, so we were required to understand the theme and come up with a plan quickly, before transforming the information into dynamic presentations. We extended the projection interactive wall showcased at DesignInspire to include multiple touch points, allowing visitors to participate at the same time, providing each with different content.” The project used the museum’s existing equipment, limiting costs.
This underlines the versatility of today’s projection technology. Projection technology is no longer a service offered exclusively by high-end companies in high-end events, onActivity said, many are now able to achieve the same at lower costs.
"In the past, despite coming from different industries, the customers’ requirements were similar. However, with great technological advances, barriers to entry are lowered and the market is more dynamic and diversified,” remarked Mr Tam.
“Similarly, consumers are more demanding as they expect our work to meet the industry’s wants and their businesses’ specialties. As a result, we strive to simplify operational procedures and make projection services more accessible."
This would benefit all parties, from museums and enterprises to governments and large institutions. They are particularly optimistic about the potential of projection technology in the retail industry, which is a major facilitator for consumers experiencing the products.
"From the moment consumers step into the store, they are engaged in an all-encompassing experience,” said Mr Lam “The combination of projection and artificial intelligence technology, image analysis, facial recognition and other methods streamline the collection of big data and the analysis of consumer preferences, which then solves the main problems faced by the retail industry."
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