Press Releases

HKBU's AI-enhanced technology adopted by LeaveHomeSafe

2021.8.20

Professor Guo Yike (2nd left), Professor Xu Jianliang (1st left), Mr Kingsley Wong (2nd right), Assistant Government Chief Information Officer (Industry Development) of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO); and Mr Brian Sun (1st right), Senior Systems Manager (Industry Development) of OGCIO, introduce the dynamic auto-leave function in LeaveHomeSafe at a media briefing.

The display of HKBU’s AI-enhanced dynamic auto-leave function in LeaveHomeSafe.


The artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced technology developed by researchers from HKBU has been incorporated into the latest version of LeaveHomeSafe, a contact tracing mobile app launched by the Government.

The privacy-preserving technology was originally developed by Professor Xu Jianliang, Associate Head and Professor of the Department of Computer Science, and his team for BU-Trace, which is the city’s first and HKBU’s own COVID-19 alert system.

Powered by a novel AI algorithm, LeaveHomeSafe can now utilise the built-in accelerometer in mobile phones to automatically record the time when users get out of a taxi. The app does this by monitoring the motion patterns of users, and it doesn’t require them to tap on the screen.

Professor Guo Yike, Vice-President (Research and Development), said: “We are honoured that our research and innovations are having an impact on the community, and we are also pleased that they are playing a role in the concerted response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such new technology provides more accurate contact tracing records and it helps in the fight against the virus.”

Professor Xu said: “Through the use of novel AI technologies, we developed new solutions to upgrade our COVID-19 alert system 2.0, making it more user-friendly and eliminating users’ privacy concerns. That encouraged more members of the University to use the alert system, and it also boosted its effectiveness.”

The BU-Trace system was awarded The Best Paper Award by the International Workshop on Mobile Ubiquitous Systems and Technologies earlier this year, and it was recently shortlisted for the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards Asia 2021.