The cinema, just like filmmaking technology, is always evolving. An array of rapidly developing technologies, ranging from the virtual reality and augmented reality to artificial intelligence, offer tremendous potential for the future of cinematic experience. Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) is leading a visionary research project that will create technological breakthroughs and unprecedented cinematic experiences, taking people’s appreciation of the arts to a new level.
The novel art-tech project entitled “Future Cinema Systems: Next-Generation Art Technologies” is being led by HKBU in collaboration with City University of Hong Kong and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. It is a pioneering attempt to develop and construct a “Future Cinema System” (FCS), an integrated system for artists and the creative industries to meet the growing demand for new interactive immersive forms of cultural experience, as well as entertainment and education.
Powered by advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, computer vision, deep learning and virtual reality, the FCS comprises three-dimensional interactive immersive visualisation environments that integrate all forms of real-time and pre-recorded content with a broad range of wearable sensors and biometric devices.
The project leader, Professor Jeffrey Shaw, Chair Professor of the Academy of Visual Arts at HKBU, says: “This vanguard project opens the door to boundless applications in the arts and creative industries. The FCS will create profound virtual experiences for tangible and intangible cultural heritage; innovate performative platforms for theatre, dance, music and sports; and transform the world’s multimedia archives into explorable post-cinematic encounters.”
As the FCS harnesses three integrated technological breakthroughs in the fields of visualisation, human-computer interaction and co-evolutionary narrative with the involvement of HKBU’s artificial intelligence expert Professor Liu Jiming and his team, Professor Shaw can explore the future experience of archive, place and performance.
Novel immersive experience can now be enjoyed at the Visualisation Research Centre, one of the key deliverables of the project. Home to the world’s first 360-degree immersive LED Visualisation Cinema and the 180-degree iDome Cinema, this newly established facility will provide innovative platforms for theatre, dance, music and sports, and transform multimedia archives into post-cinematic encounters that people can explore and experience.
With the new facilities in place on campus, Professor Shaw and his team are working to produce scaleable outcomes that can be experienced by the general public. The deliverables of the Future Cinema Systems project will first be deployed at selected facilities in Hong Kong, such as the Hong Kong International Airport, M+ Museum and Tai Kwun.
“We are about to experience something truly transformative, as the Future Cinema Systems project opens the door to boundless new horizons in the arts and creative industries,” says Professor Shaw.
Professor Jeffrey Shaw and his team are taking people’s appreciation of the arts to a new level through the novel art-tech project “Future Cinema Systems: Next-Generation Art Technologies”.