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The 21st century experience: living within digital networks

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 10:49am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 10:49am

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Our latest features on start-ups, fintech, and healthtech ultimately tie into one strand that binds almost every technological advance today: the Internet of Things (IoT).  Supply chain non-profit GS1 has describes the phenomenon as “a mesh of smart machines that connects billions of things into a continuous digital experience, and hence, IoT impacts everybody’s business and daily life.”

The Hong Kong SAR Government deploys considerable resources and attention to ensure Asia’s world city is at the forefront of this emerging digital network. During the 2016 Hong Kong Internet of Things Conference in June 21, 2016, secretary of innovation and technology, Michael Yang, remarked:

“One of the major initiatives announced in the Policy Address earlier this year is to develop Hong Kong into a smart city. Addressing urban challenges aside, smart city development plays a pivotal role in promoting the use of IoT in the community: we need a robust and sophisticated digital infrastructure to provide connectivity and support smart city solutions and applications.”[1]

Luminaries at the June event included Robert Burton, who heads the Hong Kong Internet of Things Industry Advisory Council, Legislative Council member Charles Mok, GS1 Hong Kong CEO Anna Lin, and McKinsey senior partner Chris Ip. The fourth HK IoT conference organised by GS1, the 2016 edition featured discussion panels on building a smart city with IoT and promoting innovation via entrepreneurism, and talks on medical safety and enhancing customer experiences.

When it comes to demanding customers, few industries can equal the fashion world. It does not generate headlines like driverless cars or fintech, but don’t sleep on fashion tech; the sheer amount of technological advances in retail and fashion is already influencing our shopping preferences and values; simply put, this is a must-watch space. Witness this year’s Fashion Week: Attended by more than 13,000 buyers from 68 countries, organiser Hong Kong Trade Development Council hosted its first ever “Fashion Tech” zone.

Boosting a star-studded roster of fashion industry executives and designers, InvestHK aims to keep this momentum going with FashionTech Asia 2017, which will take place during the StartmeupHK Festival on 16 January. Lane Crawford’s Cristina Ventura and BeFast TV’s Marina Bay will be speaking at FashionTech, and confirmed participants include designers Ying Gao, Iris van Herpen, and Andrew Schneider.