14 IN FOCUS Cover Story His own introduction to di erent kinds of reality started a er his undergraduate studies at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in the s when the internet was the hottest technology of the day for those in electrical and electronic engineering and computer science. A months-long cycling trip to internet-less Tibet in ahead of starting his HKU MPhil postgraduate studies made him curious about alternative communication networks when the internet is not working or accessible. This led on to his PhD ( 8) at the University of Cambridge exploring short-range radio, human mobility, and centered on bridging mobile and social networks. He then worked at Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories in Berlin, Germany, on cutting-edge cloud computing applications before deciding that augmented reality would be the technology of the future, not only for him but everyone else. “In the beginning, nobody knew what was going on with online social networks. Now people have learned… and know they need to be more careful” In the past years, Prof. Hui has focused on building high-performance, energy-e cient and scalable so ware for mobile wearable devices and cloud systems; and devising mobile augmented reality algorithms and systems for immersive data visualization and human-data interaction. His published papers now total more than , with over , citations. He also has European and US patents. The concept of MetaHKUST arose at the end of when students were tiring of the limitations of learning via D videoconferencing technologies and extensively used during the pandemic. Rather than a sense of being outside looking in, classrooms using D virtual reality or mixed reality o er students a way to feel “present”. These perceptions are an essential part of the learning experience, with global research already showing that immersive experiences in general – such as in-country language learning – can boost learning outcomes, he said. The avatar of HKUST(GZ) President Prof. Lionel Ni (left) takes a virtual torch from HKUST Founding President Prof. Woo Chia-Wei’s avatar at the opening ceremony for the Guangzhou campus (see also P15 box). The real President Ni then placed a physical torch on the main stage.