HKCEC Introduces First 5G Smart Security Robot Powered By New High-Speed 5G Network
Guests attending or exhibiting at trade shows held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) are going to notice a futuristic presence in their midst: a 5G smart robot combining 5G network and artificial intelligence technologies designed to enhance security and operational efficiency at the massive facility.
Deployed during the Hong Kong Computer & Communications Festival, held Aug. 20-23, “Captain C” is equipped with a 360-degree 4K high-definition surveillance camera, an infrared detection camera and a sensor system for detecting smoke and fire.
According to HKCEC (Management) Limited (HML) officials, Captain C is capable of performing a versatile range of roles, from crowd management to pandemic prevention measures such as broadcasting social distancing reminders. For example, if a trade show attendee exhibits a high body temperature or isn’t wearing a mask, the robot instantly transmits real-time images to the venue’s security control room so that appropriate follow-up actions can be taken.
Made possible by the HKCEC’s recently completed 5G infrastructure installation project, which has created a more digitally elevated and connected venue experience at the facility, the smart robot’s main job is to patrol and monitor public circulation areas such as the entrance lobby and exhibition hall concourses. While the robot was not designed to replace human security personnel, its presence helps free them up to focus on other more important duties, according to HML officials.
“As an industry leader, HML is committed to using smart technology to offer better service to our customers, and we are delighted to be one of the first organizations in Hong Kong to provide high-speed indoor 5G connectivity,” said Monica Lee-Müller, HML managing director. “Our new 5G smart robot also helps us flexibly allocate resources and provide event organizers and visitors with safer, more reliable services.”
With 100% 5G coverage spanning the more than 3.2 million-square-foot facility’s event spaces, restaurants and backstage areas, the HKCEC’s new 5G network infrastructure not only allows large numbers of people to simultaneously access data-intensive applications and content, but also enables exhibitors to integrate physical and online marketing and sales efforts via improved and more stable real-time live-streaming and utilize new technologies such as hologram and augmented reality to enhance engagement and stream high-definition videos to attendees’ mobile devices.
According to Lee-Müller, the massive tech upgrade at the HKCEC is the result of HML kicking off the US$128 million (HK$1 billion) HKCEC Five-Year Advancement Project in 2019 to upgrade and refurbish the HKCEC’s facilities and infrastructure over several stages, with the 5G network infrastructure scheduled to be completed in the first quarter 2021. Thus, the introduction of Captain C is a benefit of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s “Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of 5G” to improve operational efficiency, she explained.
“HML’s Facilities Planning & Operations Department started exploring the 5G smart robot project in June 2020, [and] the project was approved by the Office of the Communications Authority in December 2020,” Lee-Müller said. “HML supports deployment of 5G and the tech industry in Hong Kong, [and] Captain C was developed by a local startup company.”
So how did the Hong Kong Computer & Communications Festival’s attendees and exhibitors react to the newest member of HKCEC’s security team as it patrolled the show? According to Lee-Müller, Captain C turned out to be a big hit.
“Captain C looks smart, and a lot of visitors said hi to him and took pictures or videos of him,” Lee-Müller said. “Captain C broadcasts a pre-recorded message regularly to remind visitors to observe social distancing and preventative measures and therefore draws visitors’ attention.”