At this point, you’re probably sick of reading about how “the pandemic has changed our lives”. We get it. It was a year of chaos and isolation. Much of the world's economic activity had been brought to a standstill. Face masks and temperature checks are going to be a part of our day-to-day routine, forever.
But in the midst of all this doom and gloom, it’s been highly gratifying to witness great examples of resiliency and innovation. In response to the pandemic, companies have accelerated the incorporating technology into their business models. Whether it be fully fleshed-out online shopping systems with artificial intelligence customer support or the implementation of remote working, the entire landscape of how we do business in the post-COVID world has certainly taken a great leap.
Although many companies and individuals were (understandably) still in a state of limbo during the first half of 2021, things are finally starting to pick up again. Retailers and businesses have rolled out new schemes to accommodate users and stay competitive in this new era. Similarly, executives are also more open to the idea of bringing in innovative solutions to tackle post-pandemic focuses like health, cost-savings, and digitalization.
We’re all about celebrating innovation and great ideas here at BOOQED, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the most interesting projects we’ve seen so far around Hong Kong this year. Keep scrolling to find out what made the list!
To celebrate Hong Kong Arts Month this year, K11 Musea launched their first ever Art Karnival complete with interactive installments, workshops and giant art pieces. One of the main pieces under the spotlight was Rose II by Isa Genzken. As its first showcase in Asia since its debut in 2010 in New York, the 8.5-meter sculpture was stationed at the Victoria Dockside promenade, a striking vision set against the Victoria Harbour skyline.
Those passing through would also be hard pressed to miss the complementing installation a few steps away, a giant nose sculpture inspired by a classic Greek relic titled “Rose’s Allure”, where visitors were allowed to pluck ‘nose hairs’ that were actually fresh roses from the sculpture. Other installations include the Steinway & Sons’ Spirio ‘self-playing’ piano and the Calligraphy Rhapsody Georges Mathieu exhibition, which could be found on different floors of the shopping mall. Furthermore, workshops, art tours and even a set of limited-edition Art x Gastronomy menus at several restaurants around the mall were offered to give visitors a truly interactive, multisensory experience.
With the advancements made in robotics and machine learning over the past year alone, it looks like we’re not that far off from having robots take over the world! This summer, Lee Garden One introduced their smart robotic cleaner, Mr. Smart, to the lobby of their building. Unlike any other cleaning or sanitisation robots, this one is covered in a bright Hawaiian flower pattern and guides visitors to their destination whilst monitoring environmental quality at the same time. Lee Gardens has pledged to continually increase their digital and robotics capabilities to enhance analytics, efficiency and productivity. It is safe to say it’s only going to be a matter of time before you find a humanoid robot greeting you at your office building one day!
In 2020, 5G networks were widely deployed across most developed countries. It was the perfect time for the 5th generation mobile network to come to market - when everyone started needing to host Zoom meetings everyday. This year, SmarTone launched a 5G LAB to both introduce and celebrate this new technology. Located in Hong Kong’s highest indoor observation deck, Sky100, the 5G LAB features exhibitions and installations including a VR Cycling zone, a Smart Health exhibition as well as a VR Scaffolding Freefall experience. So, if you’re looking for something new and exciting to do with the family one week, this is it!
In June 2021, Hongkong Land announced the launch of Centricity Flex, a turnkey, flexible workspace spanning the 17th and 18th floors of Edinburgh Tower in Central. Available for short and long term leases, Hongkong Land aims to provide a handy alternative for businesses who have downsized or are looking to shift to a new way of working. Tenants can book private office suites, meeting rooms, open work areas, private work pods and event spaces through the Centricity app.
Hongkong Land also places high emphasis on innovation and wellness in this project, offering dedicated health and wellness areas as well as extensive weekly fitness classes and events for tenants and their team members. Is Centricity Flex just the start of what the future office will look like in the post-pandemic era? We think so!
Are you an avid gallery-hopper getting a bit tired of the same old traditional art shows and museums in Hong Kong? Then check out Hong Kong Science Park’s latest art tech project, MAN-MADE.
The project shines a light on local innovations and technologies to create an immersive experience that incorporates modern technology in traditional art forms and aesthetics. The showcase consists of seven zones, each of which allows guests to interact with traditional art pieces utilizing technologies like facial recognition, mixed reality smart-glasses, spherical projects and transparent touchscreen technology. It is a multisensory artistic experience that is both fun and educational. It may be quite a while before we can travel to the Tate Modern but if you are craving that Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room experience, look no further!
Although the pandemic rocketed to the top of the list of global issues in the last two years, climate change remains an inevitable threat we should all be making a continuous effort to act on. That’s why we were delighted to see Swire Properties introduce their Smart Waste Reduction Pilot Programme in July earlier this year.
Swire Properties collaborated with cleantech startup, Spare-it, to create this six-month challenge that involves 15 Swire Group teams competing against each other. The teams are provided with design and layout suggestions for their office waste management, like centralised collection and sorting recycling stations. Smart scales are placed in each office to record and analyze waste disposal data. The digital scoreboard updates in real-time and motivates everyone in the office to reduce waste for their team and our environment. The most proactive team and employee was awarded at the end of the programme. As the first of its kind in Hong Kong, this project is a great team-building opportunity and an engaging activity to help companies make the shift towards a greener workplace.
We’ve all witnessed first hand how live-streaming has become one of the most popular forms of online entertainment in the last year thanks to lockdown restrictions. But even though restrictions are slowly being lifted, live streaming isn’t going anywhere soon. From Twitch and Clubhouse to Zoom and Google Hangouts, more of us are tuning in to online platforms for entertainment, socializing and everyday work than ever. But producing digital content for live stream shows requires a studio space and professional equipment which aren’t exactly accessible for many freelance livestreamers or small companies looking to make a name for themselves in the digital community.
That’s why BOOQED and Cyberport Hong Kong launched Hong Kong's first ever live-streaming booths, named QUBIC livepods. Each LivePod is furnished with a green screen, a desk and chair set, electric sockets and studio spotlights — everything you need for producing and broadcasting in one compact pod. And like QUBIC’s Smart Booths, LivePods are soundproof and can be conveniently booked on QUBIC’s web app. It is an efficient and creative way to transform vacant spaces in public areas into functional, essential amenities for modern businesses.