Date
18 September 2019
A smart lamp post is equipped with different sensors, which can collect data about air quality, traffic flow and weather. Photo: ISD
A smart lamp post is equipped with different sensors, which can collect data about air quality, traffic flow and weather. Photo: ISD

A visit to Hong Kong’s new Smart Lab

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the Smart Government Innovation Lab, which officially opened on May 30.

The lab is aimed at encouraging innovative solutions and product suggestions from the IT sector, particularly local startups and small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), to address public service delivery and operational needs.

Located in Cyberport, the lab is showcasing a range of technologies. One of them is a real-time tree monitoring system. The system can monitor if there is any tree collapse risk.

In another exhibit, The Lands Department and Architectural Services Department shows how it uses virtual reality technology for city planning.

Some projects are relatively controversial, the street lamp post for instance.

Smart lamp posts in fact plays a crucial role in a smart city.

Equipped with different sensors, they can collect data about air quality, traffic flow, weather, etc.

Some members of the public, however, appear concerned about smart lamp posts installed with cameras, which they believe could compromise privacy.

The government has thus decided to put such functions on hold.

I have been invited to join a smart lamp post information task committee, which will discuss the operation plan and model of these smart lamp posts, as well as ways to ensure data privacy.

The committee will put forward proposals to help the public learn more about smart lamp posts and their potential uses.

I will try my best to ensure our personal privacy won’t be infringed by the government.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug 20

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RT/CG

Hong Kong Information Technology Federation honorary chairman