Ideas Born from Hackathon Energize Tohoku!

Seminar - Hackathon Generates Ideas to Energize Tohoku

Fujitsu’s largest event Fujitsu Forum Tokyo 2014 was held from May 15 -16, 2014, at the Tokyo International Forum in the Yurakucho district. During a seminar held on the 15th, Fujitsu introduced the Sakura Hackathon, which took place on April 2014, as well as the ideas generated from this event.

Sakura Hackathon energizes Tohoku

Since 2013, Fujitsu has been a member of the Tohoku Yume No Sakura Kaido Campaign Council, which is a project to increase the number of tourists to the Tohoku region by making the most of the blooming of Sakura (cherry blossoms). In April 2014, we held a Sakura Hackathon under the theme of "Share the charm of Tohoku with tourists using cherry blossoms to increase tourist and community interactions, thereby energizing Tohoku”. A hackathon is an event in which people with various expertise and skills get together and collaborate intensively for a short period of time under a single theme to brainstorm and invent new services.

In this seminar, Fujitsu Research Institute's Chief Senior Consultant Sasaki explained the Hackathon and introduced the new, unique ideas generated at the event.

For a successful hackathon, co-creation is key
(e.g., involvement of external advisers)

The two-day Sakura Hackathon consisted of the Ideathon on Day 1, in which ideas were exchanged and summarized, and the Hackathon on Day 2, in which pratical services were formulated based on the ideas from Day 1. Mr. Rikie Ishii, Representative of IDEA PLANT, and Mr. Jun Yamadera, President of Eyes JAPAN, played the role of adviser in the Ideathon and Hackathon, respectively. This type of co-creation with people from outside Fujitsu made this event possible.

Mr. Ishii, adviser for the Ideathon, stated: "The participation of experienced engineers with intimate knowledge of various technologies was significant." At the Hackathon site, when a participant asked whether it was possible to use a Fujitsu technology in a certain way, a Fujitsu engineer replied immediately. This was literally co-creation in action. Mr. Ishii emphasized the synergistic effects as follows: "The environment unique to hackathons facilitated collaboration among external experts and Fujitsu personnel in order to produce many new concepts."

Hackathon adviser Mr. Yamadera also explained how this event energized Tohoku: "Collaboration between engineers from start-up companies and Fujitsu engineers, two groups of people who usually do not interact with each other, lead to a challenge and produced some great ideas."

Generation of ideas to rejuvenate Tohoku

Among the numerous ideas generated from the two-day Sakura Hackathon, three award-winning projects were introduced in this seminar. The winner of the grand prize Sakura Award was "TOHOKU BICYCLE MAP." The winner of the Geek Award, which rewards technological creativity, was the "Cherry Blossom Bath Projection Pack." The Big Picture Award winner was "MY SAKURA COLLECTION."

TOHOKU BICYCLE MAP is a social communication platform where people can meet new friends to enjoy cycling together. The routes traveled using bicycles are recorded by GPS and drive recorders. Friends can compete against each other with respect to distance traveled or find new routes no one has ever traveled before. Thus, this platform’s attractiveness is how it strengthens people's connections with their local communities.

The Cherry Blossom Bath Projection Pack, which won the Geek Award, combines different bath salts associated with 88 notable cherry blossom viewing sites using a projection mapping function. This allows users to enjoy the fragrance of cherry blossoms in one’s home bath while the flowers are projected on the bathroom walls using AR.

MY SAKURA COLLECTION, which won the Big Picture Award, lets users co-own a cherry tree. Co-owners receive benefits such as being able to keep cherry blossoms from their trees.

Fujitsu continues to carry out innovation aided by the power of co-creation.

  • Rikie Ishii Representative

  • Jun Yamadera President and Chief Chaos Officer Eyes JAPAN Co. Ltd.

  • Tetsuya Sasaki Chief Senior Consultant, Manufacturing Industry Consulting Division
    Fujitsu Research Institute