Innovators prepare to tap new markets
The grand award winners in the Hong Kong Awards for Industries 2011 recognise the importance of innovation as an integral part of their development of new business.
Philips Design won the grand award for consumer product design with its Fidelio Primo docking speaker DS9000, while Kolinker Industrial Equipments was honoured with the award for machinery and machine tools design for its KH2000 ion etching system.
Network Box Corporation received the award in the technological achievement category for its Z-Scan technology against zero-day computer viruses.
The award for innovation and creativity went to Chun Hing Business Development for its ?LINK Link Socket, while Fairwood Fast Food won the award for customer service.
Philips' DS9000 is the brand's first one-control-button audio speaker. It was designed to address the need of owners of Apple mobile devices, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad, who want to enjoy high-quality sound on the go and at home, says Greg Foster, creative director of Philips Design's Hong Kong branch.
The sound design of DS9000 is based on true stereo architecture with isolated acoustic chambers, while its curved wooden back helps create an effective structure for acoustics.
'The speaker features a spring-loaded docking port to accommodate different devices without the need for an adaptor. The devices can be docked even when they are in their protective cases,' Foster says.
'Innovation drives our key segments. Our industries reflect the pace of society and technology is part of everyone's life. The way people consume media is rapidly changing.
'So, to be successful in our industries, we simply must innovate to reflect the changing trend.'
Network Box's Z-Scan technology generates protection for its clients against zero-day viruses in three seconds. These viruses are able to circumvent conventional blocking systems, says Michael Gazeley, managing director of Network Box. The company focuses on managed security services and specialises in unified threat management.
'To design the system, we explored the worst places for viruses on the internet to put down multiple traps in 2010. We set ourselves up in a way that we appeared prone to attacks and, as a result, 200,000 traps were set up around the world,' Gazeley says.
'We wanted to ensure that when the creators of viruses and malware wrote their malware and sent it across their command and control system, it would send the malware to the botnet. The botnet would attack us first because we looked like the perfect victim. Using a complete in-the-cloud system, we would regenerate and put in place the protection in as little as three seconds.'
Network Box will continue to put more resources into technological innovation. 'We have to keep on evolving. Every time you improve the bullet-proof jacket, the bad guy will improve the bullet. It is a never-ending cycle,' Gazeley says.
The ?LINK Link Socket features an innovative 'plug and link' design enabling users to reduce the number of sockets based on their actual needs.
'The design's flexibility enhances the utility rate of a power strip,' says Marcus Chow, general manager of Chun Hing. 'It can connect several of our new products, including a USB charger for the iPhone and iPad, battery charger and surge protector.
'We embrace the blue ocean strategy and aim to create untapped markets. Innovation is the only sustainable source of differentiation and competitive advantages.'
The KH2000 ion etching system, developed by Kolinker, is the first machine using an anode layer ion source for crystal final frequency adjustment application. It is also the first system that can process 32 pieces of crystal units simultaneously, says Arthur Lee, chairman of the company.
'The ion etching method provides a high-efficiency frequency adjustment process and improves quartz crystal quality by removing contamination residuals on the electrode surface. The direct-contact probes are used to prolong the lifetime of the contact probes,' Lee says.
'We aspire to popularise cost-effective ion etching in the quartz crystal manufacturing industry.'
Fairwood has launched its barrier-free service for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. The chain's restaurants have put in ramps at entrances for wheelchairs, widened aisles between tables and introduced slip-proof table tops for seniors to secure walking canes, says CEO Raymond Chan.
'Frontline staff have received blindfold training to develop empathy for the elderly and disabled.'