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February
Science Museum introduces "Smart Ambience Therapy"
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The Hong Kong Science Museum launched today (February 22) a new exhibit, Smart Ambience Therapy, a pioneering system that combines interactive media with art therapy.

Smart Ambience Therapy, or SAT, is on display at the museum's Life Sciences Hall. SAT was developed by a team of researchers at the AIMtech Centre of the City University of Hong Kong and their collaborators from the Hong Kong Association of Art Therapists. It is an application of interactive media and virtual reality technology in art therapy, particularly for psychotherapy of children who have been physically or emotionally abused.

Speaking at today's opening ceremony, the Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Dr Louis Ng Chi-wa, said that the Science Museum had been committing itself to promoting science and technology with exhibits on a wide spectrum of topics. To keep up with the rapid advances in modern technology, the museum had always maintained close ties with local universities, and organised different exhibitions and extension activities with the aim of informing the public about the latest achievements of local scientific research.

The technology of virtual reality has been widely used in training and entertainment since its emergence. The City University of Hong Kong, however, has developed a new way to apply it to therapy. To enable the public to better understand this innovative technology, the Science Museum joins hands with the City University to display this exhibit, Dr Ng said.

In traditional art therapy, children produce images that reflect their feelings. Through SAT, virtual reality brings the art to life. The system captures a childs body motions and gestures and translates them into visual forms and movements. By wearing a pair of stereoscopic glasses, children can interact with their environment and relate themselves to the characters.

The treatment protocol developed for SAT comprises four phases in which children participate in a number of interactive activities. The process is targeted at accessing the children's internal world through kinesthetic activities; addressing the childrens negative feelings and low self-esteem resulting from abuse; and communicating with and providing an emotional outlet for the children.

Four SAT games were selected and developed into this exhibit, which enables visitors to personally explore this therapeutic technology.

The Science Museum is located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. It opens from 1pm to 9pm from Monday to Wednesday and on Fridays, and from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is $25 with half-price concession for full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

For enquiries, call 2732 3232 or visit the Science Museum's website at http://hk.science.museum .

Ends/Friday, February 22, 2008
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