Holograms, 3D and all things French

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 November, 2014, 3:37am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 November, 2014, 3:37am

The company behind the anti-counterfeiting technology on Hongkongers' home-return permits is one of a dozen French firms showing their wares at an exhibition that began yesterday.

"So French - So Innovative", at Central Market, incorporates multimedia in an "interactive journey" to promote the country's tech firms that are active in Hong Kong. It runs until Sunday.

"France is not only bringing what people know," said Arnaud Barthélémy, French consul general for Hong Kong and Macau, adding that the country tended to be known more for its food and wine than its technological innovation. Yet of France's €4.8 billion (HK$46 billion) of annual exports to the city, one-third comes from the industrial or tech sectors, Barthélémy said. And the volume of tech exports to the city has doubled in the past five years.

The exhibition was organised by the French consulate, the French Foreign Trade Advisers in Hong Kong and trade association Le Comité France Chine.

Among the exhibitors is Hologram Industries, which makes three-dimensional laser projections to authenticate identity. The company makes the anti-counterfeiting technology on China passports, as well as those on home-return permits used by Hong Kong and Macau residents when they visit the mainland.

Company representative Paul Clerc-Renaud said the firm's latest holograms were higher definition. "You can have a natural portrait [using the 3D imaging]. It's also more securely embedded."

The company is in talks with the local government to use its technology on Hong Kong passports, he added.

Meanwhile, XD Productions, which produces 3D animated feature films and imaging, has installed a "selfie" machine at the exhibition. Visitors can pose in front of the camera and see themselves interacting with an animated mouse character. "We target kids in malls and schools," manager Julien Peyrache said. The firm has made animated films of the Monkey King and penguins for educational use at Ocean Park in the last two years.

Barthélémy said the city was still attractive to French firms despite worries over the Occupy protests. "[Its] advantages lie in bigger security and proximity to the China market. These advantages are long-term."