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CITIC Telecom CPC and ASTRI partnership expands innovation possibilities with AI-AR integration

CITIC Telecom International CPC Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CITIC Telecom International Holdings Limited (SEHK: 1883), is entering a new phase in its partnership with Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) for using AI and augmented reality (AR) innovation to create unprecedented value and enable exceptional experience in different industries and markets. In this phase, CITIC Telecom CPC will combine its algorithm expertise and AI intelligent strength with ASTRI's AR innovation capabilities to propel the ICT industry forward by exploring new industry use cases with AI/AR integrated solutions that are ready for commercialization.

Mr. Esmond Li, CEO of CITIC Telecom CPC, (on the left) and Dr. Denis Yip, CEO of ASTRI (right) join hands to announce a new phase of collaboration to use AI and augmented reality (AR) innovation to create unprecedented value and enable exceptional experience for different industries and markets

"Fostering a culture of innovation and embracing intelligence are our core values and are essential to our future success. As a leading intelligent Technology-driven ICT enabler, CITIC Telecom CPC is enthusiastic about advancing AI-AR technologies with ASTRI and leveraging collaborations and sound technological exchanges to pursue innovative and practical applications. We are delighted to have this partnership with ASTRI again, which perfectly complements our mission 'Innovation Never Stops' and embraces our latest ICT-MiiND Strategy," said Mr. Esmond Li, CEO of CITIC Telecom CPC.

Phase 1 - Expand beyond possibilities With AR

CITIC Telecom CPC entered a partnership with ASTRI in June 2019 to explore digitalization and AR to enhance industries' competitiveness and contribute to the ICT community. The partnership led to the successful launch of AR Remote Hand Solution in September 2020 that boosted field service productivity by up to 50 percent. The enhanced AR-based vision allowed field engineers to access vital information at data centers and enabled seamless collaboration between frontline and back-end teams to complete maintenance tasks. The solution also demonstrated how companies could facilitate remote work strategies during the pandemic using AR technologies.

"To have sustainable traction in intelligent and innovative technologies development, we need an integrated ecosystem approach and strong partnership with stakeholders in various sectors and industries. ASTRI's continuing collaboration with CITIC Telecom CPC will lead to a meaningful exchange of innovative R&D, technologies, knowledge, and insights, which will ultimately increase operational efficiencies of the industries, uplift user experience, and create value to the community. As a technology enabler, ASTRI is confident that this collaboration will result in a win-win outcome by creating viable commercial applications that benefit different industries," said Dr Denis Yip, CEO of ASTRI.

Phase 2 - Combined AI & AR capabilities to unlock more value

In Phase 2, CITIC Telecom CPC and ASTRI will take a significant leap forward to create unprecedented value by integrating AI & AR capabilities. ASTRI will provide the software platform and customization, while CITIC Telecom CPC's team will build an innovative Machine Learning model by integrating virtual, big data, AI, and physical data into the heads-up display of the AR Glasses. The key features include:

In Phase 2, CITIC Telecom CPC and ASTRI will take a significant leap forward to create unprecedented value by integrating AI & AR capabilities. The key features include data visualization, cognitive object recognition and middleware enhancement

-- Data visualization - Computer vision techniques and machine-learning algorithms enhanced data integration will provide the remote workforce with 2D and 3D diagrams for better data visualization. Users can use AR glasses to detect, identify, locate, and track objects positioning and project holograms of technical manuals, analytical figures, or even instructions onto the heads-up display to analyze trends or issues for quicker response.

-- Cognitive object recognition - The AI-AR integrated service will use Cognitive Object Recognition System (CORS), which runs using CITIC Telecom CPC's algorithm and solution to improve object mapping accuracy. Using AR glasses, users can easily define the correlation between different objects. The AR glasses can further improve workplace safety by projecting the physical (path) and logical relations onto the reality in the form of digital maps, 3D models and virtual information.

-- Middleware enhancement - Both organizations will develop middleware for AR glasses, empowering customers to work with different AR headsets such as HoloLens and Android-based headsets.

Integrating the core competence and expertise of ASTRI and CITIC Telecom CPC's extensive global knowledge, regional coverage, local service capabilities, a broad portfolio of leading-edge technologies, and experience in third-party integration will offer crucial benefits during commercialization by exploring new use cases for a range of industrial applications. Bringing business values in multiple scenarios, such as:

-- AI-AR remote hands for seamless collaboration from a distance

Streamlining maintenance and inspection for Utilities -The AI-AR integrated service will provide field workers with better computer vision capabilities. Field users can access manuals and analyzed data or graphs for maintenance using the AR glasses while receiving immediate alerts of any wrong steps. The 5G-enabled cloud connectivity can enable supervisors to guide field users during installation and maintenance verbally.

-- Computer vision and cognitive analytics solutions for better decision making

Business Operations planning (e.g., Supply Chain Management) - The integrated service can provide workers with extra information during operations. The frontline staff can use data visualizations and object mapping to identify goods quickly and accurately for loading and unloading.

-- Predictive customer experience for maximizing customer value

Enhancing customer services experience in all industries - AI and AR allow companies to use predictive and prescriptive data to understand what customers want before they know themselves, delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Extending the ICT-MiiND strategy and creating an innovative and intelligent ecosystem of the future

AI-AR integration in Phase 2 solidifies CITIC Telecom CPC's ICT-MiiND Strategy built on two components: intelligence and innovation. The strategy creates an 'empowerment ecosystem' that translates technical potential into business value for customers. Through ICT-MiiND, CITIC Telecom CPC is truly transforming into a proactive technology-driven digitalization enabler that can help enterprises successfully transform.

The ICT-MiiND Strategy integrates a full stack of services data into the ICT service platform, strengthening the 'intelligence' component through advanced container technology and AIOps modules. Meanwhile, ASTRI enhances the 'innovation' component by adding their R&D capabilities and expertise.

"Our team of data science and analytics experts develop a wide range of research projects grounded in our years of ICT experience and deep understanding of industry use cases. We believe that our strong partnership with ASTRI, together with the development of new technologies, such as AI, AR, blockchain, 5G, IoT and cloud, will ensure that we will continue to find innovative and intelligent ways of helping enterprises to reap the benefits of digital transformation," said Mr Daniel Kwong, CIIO of CITIC Telecom CPC.


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