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PolyU’s cutting-edge technologies enrich colours on over 100 million high-end smart devices worldwide

17 Jan 2024

Research & Innovation Department of Building Environment and Energy Engine

A PolyU research team led by Prof. Tommy Minchen Wei, Professor of the Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering and Director of the Colour Imaging and Metaverse Research Centre at PolyU, has developed a series of colour management technologies that enable digital displays and imaging devices, such as light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting systems to capture and reproduce colours more faithfully.

Prof. Wei (left) co-founded Guardian Glow Limited and successfully commercialised his colour management technologies. Dr Jerry JIA (right), co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Guardian Glow Limited, also attended the press briefing.

The research team led by Prof. Wei has developed an algorithm for tuning the colour appearance of human face skin to allows quick adjustment to photos captured by different cameras.

Another technology developed by the research team detects human faces in the frame and optimises the colour appearance of skin tone using AI technology.

The research team has developed chips with AI-powered white balance algorithm built-in, which ensure more faithful colours in photos and videos taken by digital cameras under different environment.


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has recently developed a series of colour management technologies that enable digital displays and imaging devices, such as light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting systems, smartphones, cameras, as well as extended reality (XR, covering virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR)) headsets, to capture and reproduce colours more faithfully, thereby enhancing the user experience. These cutting-edge technologies have been successfully commercialised and widely adopted by social media, imaging systems and manufacturers of LED lighting products, smartphones and drones. Over 100 million high-end smart devices worldwide each year have been powered by the technologies.

New technologies like OLED and Quantum-dot LED (QLED) have much narrower spectral compositions, making cameras and displays more and more difficult to capture and produce consistent colour appearance. This has presented unprecedented challenges in colour management for digital devices. Prof. Tommy Minchen WEI, Professor of the Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering and Director of the Colour Imaging and Metaverse Research Centre at PolyU, along with his research team, has developed the following colour management technologies:

  • A six-channel RGBACL (Red, Green, Blue, Amber, Cyan and Lime) lighting module and control algorithm enhances the colour presentation of LED lighting systems. The algorithm for tuning the colour appearance of human face skin allows quick adjustment when captured by different cameras. This technology has been used by a famous manufacturer of cinema lighting fixtures and in the production of several Hollywood movies and TV series.

  • Various solutions capture and display colours on video and image shooting equipment, encompassing the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to detect human faces in the frame and to optimise the colour appearance of skin tone.

  • Chips with AI-powered white balance algorithm built-in ensure more faithful colours in photos and videos taken by digital cameras under different environment. These technologies have been adopted by world-class smartphone and XR device manufacturers.

  • Other, related technologies include:

    • Colour processing for images dominated by a single colour in telephoto and macro shooting

    • Colour tuning during image processing

    • Colour capture and reproduction of high dynamic range (HDR) scenes

    • Ensured colour consistency of displays used in various devices

    • A self-adjusting colour algorithm for mixed reality headsets

 

Prof. Tommy Minchen Wei said: “As more and more users embrace the metaverse, hyper-realistic digital realms have presented us with radically new ways to work, play and connect. Colour is an integral part of the metaverse experience. By developing cutting-edge algorithms and AI-powered solutions, I hope we can help content creators deliver the exact colours that they want users to see and allow users to immerse themselves in a more lifelike virtual world.”

Prof. Wei has made significant contributions to scientific research in the field of colour science and has been awarded funding by various prestigious organisations. These include the Research Grants Council’s Research Impact Fund and General Research Fund, the National Natural Science Foundation of China’s 2022 Excellent Young Scientists Fund (Hong Kong and Macao) from, and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department in Hong Kong. For his exceptional research accomplishments, he has received numerous awards, including the Google Research Scholar Award, the 2022 PolyU Young Innovative Researcher Award and 2022 PolyU President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Knowledge Transfer.

To accelerate the translation of research outcomes and create significant community impact, Prof. Wei last year co-founded Guardian Glow Limited. The startup focuses on the development of personalised AI smart devices (including for health monitoring) and solutions for key technologies used in XR headsets. Guardian Glow has successfully attracted financial support from various venture capital funds, as well as from angel and private investors to further develop its user experience enhancing colour management technologies.

 

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Press Contacts

Ms Hazel Cheng

Assistant Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

Press Contacts

Mr Edmond Siu

Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

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