EmTech Hong Kong gathered the brightest minds in both the Tech and business sector to see a glimpse of the future: new materials implanted on electronic devices to save energy and increase durability; avatars that make us feel for them; and an “always-on” Alexa in your head.
World leading specialist on nanoarchitecture, Professor Kwok Wai Cheah, leads Cathay Photonics and is using sapphire thin film as a protective cover, instead of the traditional glass cover. Mass production of the sapphire thin film would provide a lightweight, scratch free and ultra-hard protective cover for electronic devices. With patents in hand, he aims to see the first sapphire protected products on the market soon.
Professor Kwok, prolonging your phone’s life with crystal
Kinuko Masaki connects hearing aids to mobile devices. Powered by artificial intelligence, she aims to create a voice controlled earbud that enhances people’s ability to communicate. Dramatically enhanced hearing would be combined with Siri or Alexa style voice-activated AIs. The earbuds would be comfortable to wear 24/7, featuring a design with in-the-ear-canal hearing aid technology and a pioneering ear operating system (EOS) that applies deep learning to understand conversational speech. These earbuds would not only revolutionize mobile communication but also be the possible end solution to help individuals with hearing difficulty.
Phil Chen, creating an inseparable bond between man and machine
Phil Chen is the Executive Chairman of Soul Machines, appointed by major investor Horizons Ventures. He presides over the New Zealand firm that gives a ‘face’ to operating interfaces. This ‘face’ displays an extraordinary degree of emotional intelligence, allowing the avatars to not just look human, but mimic emotional states that appear genuine enough to provoke emotional responses in ‘real’ people. The emergence of avatar technology could transform the way we interact with technology, allowing us to connect with machines more intimately and create a more engaging, user-friendly interface (see his interview with NexChange here).
Will Knight, the charismatic MC bringing together the brightest minds of the world
MIT’s Technology Review flew in their own Will Knight, Senior Editor, AI to preside over this showcase of the near future technologies that are in development now and may be in your life tomorrow. NexChange spoke to many of these revolutionaries and you can get the story straight from Will Knight and other speakers at the NexChange YouTube Innovation channel here.