Media Focus | CUHK-Shenzhen Start-Up Team Invented VR+AR Smart Spectacles
Don't know anyone at a party? Don't be nervous! Glasses enhanced by face recognition will instantly turn each stranger an "old friend" for you! Information of strangers, including their names, characteristics, hobbies and so on, will all be available for you, making mingling easier than ever. Now, such a scenario is no longer unique in sci-fi movies. Six students from CUHK-Shenzhen have turned the classic plot into reality with their coming-soon smart glasses combined with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
VR+AR = A New Generation of Smart Glasses
Hu Menglei, a member of the team, told the journalist that the glasses have added identity authentication and information display functions based on traditional smart glasses, thus achieving a wider usage in the fields of security and public services. It is reported that the team is adjusting the appearance of the glasses, so that it can be applied in social activities or navigation with more immersive user experience.
"Our long-term goal is to apply VR technology to education, real-time speech, and remote collaboration. By enhancing product immersion, interactivity and vision, and exploring other possibilities for VR technology, we hope to create a smart device that will connect the era of 5G intelligent network. ”
Face imaging, smart wear, 5G network... Listening to their interpretation of these cutting-edge technological terms, you may not believe that they are still university students. Lu Yihua, the team's instructor, said: “It is not easy for students to put their ideas into reality. I have always encouraged them that what they have learned in college can't stay on paper, but should be extended to the application. The fact that they have made a mature product before graduation is of great significance for both future studies and employment. The ability to solve problems learned from experience will become their greatest asset."
Professional Study+ Entrepreneurship = Innovation
"At first, we only had a vague idea at the beginning. After trying some smart wearable products, we thought that there was still much room for improvement in smart glasses on the market. So, we planned to design a product ourselves." Hu Menglei said, although with the shared vision, there has been a long while the team made no progress. After all, from idea to design, from design to reality, it is a long journey to go.”
Jin Fangrun recalled with a smile that: "In fact, we argued a lot. The debates always centered on the appearance of glasses rather than the technology part. What kind of products are more fashionable and easier to carry? We all have our own answers, and everyone is holding on to his or her own views." As a result of such debates, their glasses have become more sophisticated and catering to actual needs.
The research team
In 2017, the team was funded by the University‘s Galaxy Innovation & Entrepreneurship project, which had given them a shot in the arm. After that, the team was fully committed to research and development.
Apart from Tu Yuxiao, the other five students are all seniors, facing the pressure of graduation, further studies and employment. So how could they invest in R&D in addition to busy learning?
"Squeezing time." Said Hu Menglei. According to her, every member of the team spent almost the whole summer and winter vacations in the lab.
"We are very grateful to the University for the strong support. It provided us with good entrepreneurial opportunities, platforms and labs. We received valuable help from CUHK-Shenzhen’s Engineering Laboratory of Robot and Intelligent Manufacturing. We have been working in a great atmosphere that encouraged us to make innovations and work on our entrepreneurship dream.
Continuation after Graduation
As most members of the team are about to graduate soon, people are curious about in what way this project will be going.
Lu Yihua, who supervised the team, told the reporter that there are a few companies in Sichuan and Zhejiang that have established contact with the team and planned to mass-produce the smart glasses, which will be further promoted and applied to the security field. This means the six students have already made commercial success before graduation.
With three of them choosing to study in the United States, Canada and Hong Kong respectively, the team members will not be able to collaborate as closely as what they are doing right now. However, they will always remain united as team with Shenzhen being the centre. Currently, the team is registering a company for the project, which will base in Shenzhen.
"Our next goal is to gain public recognition, and contribute to the relevant industries in Shenzhen."