Novel art-tech project to transform the future of cinema 

12 Dec 2022


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. 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” has been awarded HK$35.4 million in funding from the Innovation and Technology Support Programme (ITSP) under the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of the HKSAR Government. This is the art-tech project funded by ITC with the largest approved amount.

The two-year project 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. The deliverables of the project will first be deployed at selected facilities in Hong Kong, such as the Hong Kong International Airport, M+ Museum and Tai Kwun.