Hong Kong-based AESIR is an impact venture company using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) gaming solutions for people with special needs. The company gamifies the traditionally repetitive training practice of children with autism, attention deficit disorder or mental challenges. Its offerings are also designed to help those struggling to integrate in an education system because of language barriers and to support the elderly in senior homes.
Sustainable Development Goals targeted
AR and VR tools for learning life skills
According to Founder and Managing Director Ernest Chan, a lot of research and evidence-based practices reveal that people with special needs learn best with visual tools. AESIR.hk’s games and award-winning learning tools, co-designed with health professionals, support those with special needs to learn the life skills and positive habits they need to be happy, healthy and productive. These tools are non-invasive and help contribute to their health and personal and professional development.
Ernest started the company in 2014. He graduated from university with an IT Degree with a project developing augmented reality games, “that literally changes minds by making children with autism more capable of abstract emotion and understanding and performing daily life skills, through mimicking AR characters,” he says. His interest was piqued in high school already. “I had an opportunity to volunteer in a special needs care centre where I was amazed at how I could help change people’s lives,” he reflects.
Social entrepreneurs are known for finding solutions for society’s problems. What is the problem that you are addressing and what is your solution?
We have been striving to tackle systemic inequities in the education system and exploring the role of digital technology in the education of the future.
As UNESCO says: “Only education can break the cycle of poverty, improve health outcomes, prepare people for decent jobs … and mitigate the climate crisis.” AESIR.hk has supported the leaps made by the Hong Kong education community since 2014, delivering over 50 games. Collaborating with more than a hundred government departments, non-profits, education institutions, hospitals and clinics we have served upwards of 500,000 children with special needs, using digital, fun AR and VR Games.
What do you see as the benefit of your Catalyst 2030 membership?
AESIR.hk is self-sustaining, with gaming science research funded by the Hong Kong Government, hospitals, universities and non-profits. Plans are afoot to expand to the UK and other Asian countries, extending the company’s services and scope. Through Catalyst 2030 we would like to connect to a wider audience who might need our services or be able to work as partners to pioneer solutions in these SDG areas.
Are you collaborating with any other Catalyst 2030 members?
Not at the moment, but we have received several inquiries.