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Inventions by FLASS scholars win top awards at the 2021 International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva

Professor Stephen Chow Cheuk-fai, Director of Knowledge Transfer (left); Dr Hung Keung, Associate Professor of CCA (second from the left); Professor Jim Chi-yung, Research Chair Professor of SSC (fourth from the left); Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung, President (middle); Dr Deng Wenjing, Assistant Professor of SES (fourth from the right); Professor Woo Chi-keung, Adjunct Professor of APS (second from the right); Dr Chris Tsang Yiu-fai, Associate Professor of SES (right); and other awardees of the 2021 International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.

Inventions by FLASS scholars won two gold awards and three silver awards at the 2021 International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva held online in mid-March. This is a recognition of the efforts made by FLASS academics to turn innovative ideas into practical realities. Academics from EdUHK won a total of seven prizes at the annual event, one of the most important knowledge and technology transfer events in the world devoted exclusively to inventions. It was the first time that EdUHK won gold awards at the exhibition.

The two inventions that bagged the gold awards were the Portable Interactive Meditation Mirror (PIMM), developed by Dr Hung Keung, Associate Professor of the Department of Cultural and Creative Arts (CCA) and the Online Assessment System for Individual Scores (OASIS) developed by Professor Woo Chi-keung of the Department of Asian and Policy Studies (APS).


Portable Interactive Meditation Mirror

Because of the tense social atmosphere and the pandemic, many people in Hong Kong are feeling increasingly lonely and helpless. In view of this, Dr Hung decided to design an invention that can help people cope with their own feelings. He said, "My team came up with the idea of creating a meditation mirror that can help people to concentrate and contemplate. After spending nearly two years on research and development work, we finally turned the idea into reality."

Dr Hung’s award-winning design is a novel meditation tool that helps users comfort their heart and care for their inner self by using a special mirror that contains a digital camera and has interactive and AI features. Users can reveal and connect with their own emotions—such as joy, anger, sadness—through interacting with the mirror. The design helps people learn about the power of self-healing, and ways to acknowledge and embrace their positive and negative emotions.

Dr Hung emphasised that it was due to the concerted efforts of different parties that made the project successful. He also thanked the University for financing his project: "Funding from the school enabled me to hire teaching assistants, and technical staff who provided support in software and hardware development to complete this project".

In order to perfect the design of the mirror, Dr Hung collected opinions from professionals working in the fields of early childhood education and educational psychology, and from social welfare organisations. His invention also won the International Innovation and Invention Competition 2020 (IIIC) in Taiwan in November 2020.


Online Assessment System for Individual Scores

Developed by Professor Woo with the help from Dr Henry So Chi-fuk from the Department of Mathematics and Information Technology (MIT) and researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, OASIS is a new online system that assesses and scores individual contributions in group projects. OASIS aims to improve team-based learning and discourage free riding before project commencement. Professor Woo’s invention has already won him a Gold Medal at the IIIC in Taiwan in November 2020.

OASIS is a fair and transparent assessment method that discourages free-riding before a team project’s commencement and punishes free-riders when such behavior is found to exist upon the project’s completion. It has been implemented by 28 teachers and around 1,800 students across nine universities in the US, Hong Kong, mainland China, and India.

Empirical data collected revealed the following. First, OASIS encourages student participation in a team project through its contractual commitment and performance-based scoring method. Second, it readily detects free riders in a team project. Third, OASIS uses peer assessment data to fairly score individual contributions by a team project’s members. Finally, it is user-friendly and benefits students, teachers, and university management. Based on the current users’ positive feedback, Professor Woo expects more people will use OASIS in the coming academic years.

Separately, OASIS has been adapted for commercial application. A case in point is a large US toy company with two production plants in Guangdong. This company’s management used a modified version of OASIS in 2020 to determine individual year-end bonuses for members in team projects related to toy design, production and marketing, thus underscoring OASIS’s knowledge transfer to the business sector.


Silver awards won by FLASS staff
Principal investigator:

Dr Deng Wenjing,
Assistant Professor,
Department of Science and Environmental Studies

Besides PIMM and OASIS, scholars from FLASS won three other silver medals.

Innovative Indoor Air Quality Monitoring and Education Kit
This invention is designed to develop students’ knowledge about STEM and stimulate critical thinking skills. The innovative educational kit contains a portable sensor that can simultaneously detect and monitor three major indoor air quality (IAQ) indicators in classrooms and houses, namely formaldehyde (HCHO), PM2.5 and Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC). The online learning platform of the kit also contains educational videos, worksheets and useful links for self-learning or learning with the guidance of a teacher. For details, please visit https://cornalqin.wixsite.com/eduhk-stem


Principal investigator:

Professor Jim Chi-yung,
Research Chair Professor of Geography & Environmental Science

Principal investigator:

Professor John Lee Chi-kin,
Vice President (Academic) and Provost


Dr Alice Chow Sin-yin,
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences


Tree Assessment for Life Education (TALE) Project

"TreePortal" was both an online platform and a mobile app. It was developed as part of the project to help the public learn about trees. Both the platform and app serve as an educational tool that the public can use to learn about botany, and grow in environmental awareness of urban forests and tree conservation. It also helps users develop a better sense of appreciation for life in various forms. Further, it looks at life education from an environmental perspective through workshops at school and gathering of geo-referenced tree data.

Through "TreePortal", users can learn about key concepts surrounding visual tree assessments and the skills needed for an accurate assessment. Users can use the app to record and upload tree assessment results and photographs. Through it, users can gather information about trees and even become a tree warden to help the government and other organisations to monitor the health of trees.

Project website: https://tree.eduhk.hk/index.php


Principal investigator:

Dr Chris Tsang Yiu-fai,
Associate Professor, Department of Science and Environmental Studies


Mr Cheng Wai-nam,
Senior Research Assistant, Department of Science and Environmental Studies

Utilisation of Waste Residue as Resources in Producing Sustainable Construction Materials
The invention can reduce the use of natural resources, namely aggregate, sand, and cement, thus cutting down the generation of urban waste. The production cost of these eco-friendly construction materials is relatively low because of the stable supply of raw materials, lower transportation and storage costs, and simpler pre-conditioning and pre-treatment processes.



EdUHK was awarded seven international prizes from the 2021 International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. These covered a wide range of areas: mindfulness, education technology, language learning, drug rehabilitation, environmental education and sustainable construction technology. This was the first time EdUHK won gold awards at the exhibition.

The competition was held online for the first time this year. Around 600 inventions from over 20 countries and regions were evaluated by the international jury of specialists in mid-March.