How Will the Power of ICT Transform Business and Society?

Fujitsu Forum 2015 was held May 14-15 in Yurakucho, Tokyo. In the exhibition hall, around 100 exhibitions and demonstrations were presented in six zones: Big Data, Business and Social Innovation, Cloud, Security, Work Style Innovation, and Cutting-edge Technologies.

Highlighting emerging innovations with case studies

In this era of IoT, new value is being created in business and society. How will we be able to transform business and society with the power of ICT? In the Business and Social Innovation Zone, we highlighted case studies on emerging innovations in the following areas:

  • Revolutionizing Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Smart Energy
  • Social Infrastructure: Disaster Prevention
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Lifestyle and Industry
  • Transportation and Vehicles
  • Education
  • Medical Care

Revolutionizing Manufacturing

In the demonstration entitled "Fujitsu's Next-Generation Manufacturing with Human-Robot Collaboration," we presented an independent machine with an autonomous control system that automatically generates a program for stacking square blocks and gives the same operational instructions to two robots manufactured by different companies. The demonstration highlighted the robots' autonomous function to re-stack fallen blocks on their own according to the program in response to unforeseen contingencies. The exhibition allowed visitors to see the reality of human-robot collaboration.

A solution that uses a head-mounted display and other wearable devices was also exhibited in the hands-on area. We demonstrated how quickly and accurately maintenance operations can be performed through two-way audio-visual communication of real-time information between a young operator working on-site and a skilled engineer at a control center.

Another solution performs real-time analysis of on-site inspections and history management by linking the inspection data and location information to a tablet. This solution also automatically creates inspection reports on a tablet. This highlighted Fujitsu's latest program for supporting improvements in on-site manufacturing skills and management.

Supply Chain Management

In the Supply Chain Management area, we exhibited a solution that visualizes and analyzes the movement of shoppers in a store, using beacons attached to shopping baskets, to identify the behavior of shoppers.

In addition to identifying the movement of shoppers, the solution can also be used to compare differences in how experienced sales staff and new sales assistants move around the floor, and how this affects sales. It is also possible to combine and analyze different sources of information comprehensively, including daily weather reports, information on train accidents and traffic congestion, information on events and other outside programs, as well as POS data on products and sales. The solution turns these pieces of information into new sources of marketing data by showing, for example, that a certain product sells well at a particular time of day on a sunny afternoon with a particular temperature.

In the exhibition section, we asked exhibition staff members to carry beacons approximately 2.5 by 4-cm in size and monitored their location and movement by using sensors installed in four places in the exhibition hall.

Smart Energy

We presented a solution installed at Leopalace21 Corporation to monitor 6,000 buildings across Japan using solar power generation and shared a case study from a virtual mega solar power generation station that integrates low-voltage solar power facilities being used. As an example of an energy-saving solution, we also introduced an energy management system that drastically reduces costs by visualizing the operation of facilities in 40 areas in Date City, Fukushima Prefecture.

Social Infrastructure: Disaster Prevention

Another solution that attracted attention was one that uses drones (UAV or multicopter) to inspect the bottom and sides of bridges, generally areas difficult for people to gain access to. By using photos of a bridge taken by a multicopter, this solution generates a simple 3D model of the bridge and girders. It then links the model to design data, thereby enabling users to create detailed maintenance and inspection plans and to forecast repairs accurately.

Fujitsu also presented initiatives that contribute to disaster prevention including; a technology for forecasting floods with high precision based on data on past river floods; a technology for identifying disaster-affected areas quickly by using sighting information posted on social network sites; and a technology for detecting signs of sewer overflows caused by torrential downpours by using manhole sensors.

Food and Agriculture

As Fujitsu's initiative for next-generation agriculture, we presented Japan's first smart agriculture project in Iwata City, Shizuoka Prefecture. This is a join project in agriculture, in which Iwata City and more than 20 companies, including Orix and Masuda Seed, have collaborated beyond the boundaries of traditional companies and industries. In an effort to revitalize local communities based on agriculture, Iwata Smart Agriculture Project Preparation Company was established to create a value chain in agriculture as a whole, including growing seeds, producing, processing, shipping and selling.

In the exhibition, Fujitsu presented next-generation agriculture technologies for cultivating tomatoes, paprika and kale in high-technology greenhouses equipped with the latest IoT devices, such as a solution that senses temperature, humidity, and soil conditions in detail and controls production and cultivation environments based on sensing data by using the Farming Cockpit.

Lifestyle and Industry

In this area, we displayed how ICT is used in people's lives through familiar examples. Visitors focused their attention particularly on a next-generation ATM service that combines Fujitsu's tourism cloud with a financial institution database. This system identifies, from users' cash card information, whether they are local residents or tourists and displays information on local events, sightseeing and coupons on the ATM screen depending on individual users. New services were also added to conventional account operations, such as printing information relevant to the user on ATM slips.

Transportation and Vehicles

We presented systems for energy management and coordinated control in particular, which is becoming more important than ever in driving as a result of exhaust gas regulations for protecting the environment and the widespread use of hybrid and electric cars. Visitors experienced how cars become part of the IoT through the use of diverse information technologies, such as a newly developed device for the coordinated control of voltage and batteries, software applications and an example of utilizing predictions linked to big-data.

In a driver's seat installed on a stage, we presented videos to show features that support safer driving, including a system that detects approaching people and cars by using cameras and communication technologies as well as a system for monitoring and sensing a driver's condition.

Visitors were particularly interested in a safety system designed to protect against smartphone users who use their phones while doing something else at the same time. This is an image of the system that shows how a driver recognizes a pedestrian approaching, a bicycle rider, or another driver holding a smartphone in real time via dedicated short-range communication. This system was developed to reduce accidents or near-accidents caused by the sudden emergence of pedestrians or vehicles in built-up areas with poor visibility. We demonstrated how to catch a pedestrian's attention by displaying a message on his smartphone screen announcing that a car is approaching. Visitors sitting in the driver's seat experienced how the system uses natural motions to ensure safer driving more effectively.

In this exhibition section, we presented solutions that protect computerized cars against cyber-attacks. Connected cars that are normally linked to cloud systems have the risk of being targeted by cyber-attacks via network. Meanwhile, it is also likely that there will also be a need for updating vehicle-mounted ECU software over the air--via smartphone, for example. In the booth, we demonstrated how to update ECU software in a highly secure environment.

Education

We presented a case study on an active learning program implemented at Kawasaki Municipal Elementary School. We asked visitors to participate in an active learning class by using tablets. At present, Fujitsu is providing 40 tablets and applications used in class to five schools in Japan and one school in Thailand to support education programs aimed at developing the ability to think and put ideas into action in addition to acquiring knowledge.

We also demonstrated LiveTalk, a newly developed communication tool that utilizes ICT. This tool recognizes speech in meetings and transforms it into text to send to the computers of people with hearing disabilities in real time, thereby facilitating communication between people with and without hearing disabilities. Fujitsu is supporting initiatives like this through using ICT to promote innovation in the future.

Medical Care

Fujitsu highlighted our region-based comprehensive care system that was developed to facilitate information sharing between local governments and medical, nursing and home care institutions and to support home medical care in local communities. Against the background of population decline and shortages of medical care resources in a rapidly aging society, there is an urgent need to create a region-based comprehensive care system for more efficient home medical care. In this area, we presented initiatives aimed at enabling medical and nursing care staff to provide safe and secure home care services by using tablets.

We also presented a smart house that visualizes the conditions of senior citizens, patients and other individuals in need of medical care by using over 100 types of wearable and non-wearable sensors that Fujitsu is field testing in Ireland. Fujitsu's system analyzes massive amounts of collected data to extract information relevant to medical care workers--for example, the tendency of patients who walk dragging their feet to lose their balance when they open or close doors while walking. Such information is useful in nursing care and in preventive medical care.

ICT is essential to our lives in contemporary society. In the Business and Social Innovation Zone, Fujitsu demonstrates how ICT is utilized in business and in our daily lives and what innovations will be achieved with ICT.