The CEATEC Japan 2016 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) held from October 4 to 7 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture. There, Fujitsu set up a booth to showcase its cutting-edge technologies that support society as well as the lifestyles to be realized using AI (Artificial intelligence) in the near future. The Fujitsu Journal team reports on the CEATEC trade show.
What Is CEATEC JAPAN?
The year 2016 marks the 17th anniversary of CEATEC JAPAN. CEATEC JAPAN 2016 took up the theme of “Connecting Society, Creating the Future.” Against the backdrop of the rapid advancement of AI and IoT, which both bring new value to our lives and businesses, 648 companies and organizations exhibited at CEATEC as a venue to announce their leading-edge technologies and new business models that will support the society of the future.
Keynote: “Bringing About a Prosperous Future through IoT”
Four years from now, the Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo. Twenty years from now, Fujitsu will celebrate its 100th anniversary. How will our lives and society be changed by AI and IoT by then, and how can Fujitsu contribute to realizing such changes? Fujitsu Chairman Yamamoto delivered a keynote speech entitled “Bringing About a Prosperous Future through IoT.”
In his speech, Yamamoto said, “Japan, which faces social challenges such as urbanization, longer life expectancies, and globalization, has the potential to become a leader in the use of IoT solutions as a technology-oriented nation.” He also noted, “We must aim to realize technologies that can support people and develop human potential to the fullest even more so because we live in the time of developing artificial intelligence and promoting automation using robots. To make people happy and to realize a truly affluent society through the power of IoT, Fujitsu, as a company involved in technology, will continue to develop technologies by focusing on the concept of human-centric IoT.” He concluded his keynote address as follows: “By attending CEATEC Japan, I hope you could feel our vision for the affluent future that can be realized by IoT.”
Experiencing an Affluent Town of the Future Supported by AI and IoT at Fujitsu's Booth
As mentioned in Yamamoto's keynote address, this year many demonstrations and exhibitions were held at Fujitsu's booth, where customers experienced a more affluent future supported by advanced technologies.
For example, at the Fujitsu Digital Stadium, which served as the main stage and had been set up to look like a stadium, customers stamped their feet while wearing sensor shoes, and they experienced how their footsteps and tilting of their bodies were projected on a screen together with rhythmic sounds.
Fujitsu also proposed a new way of enjoying sports, which are indispensable for promoting health, and held a hands-on demonstration tour where customers could easily try out devices that support comfortable living.
The host was Robopin, the mediator robot that shows rich emotional expressions using Fujitsu's Human Centric AI Zinrai as its brain. Robopin served as M.C. on stage and also actively worked as a concierge at the booth.
Fujitsu's Advanced Technologies for Supporting People and Making Them Happy
All four exhibition zones-- “Sports x ICT” for changing health and lifestyles, “City/Transportation x ICT” for realizing a comfortable, safe society for all people, “Security” for ensuring people's security, and “Advanced Technologies”-- were filled with excited customers interested in advanced technologies that make use of AI and IoT.
City/Transportation x ICT Zone: ICT for Realizing a Comfortable, Safe Society
Fujitsu introduced its advanced technologies that realize convenient, safe cities and transportation for all people, including the elderly, the handicapped, and foreign nationals.
Retina Imaging Laser Eyewear projects images onto the retina from a miniature projector mounted inside a frame.
Retina Imaging Laser Eyewear directly projects images onto the retina using a technology to directly project images from a miniature projector mounted inside a frame. With its focus-free mechanism, this eyewear serves as a vision aid for people with low vison (who are visually impaired but not completely blind). This Laser Eyewear received the "Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award" at CEATEC AWARDS 2016 and the "Grand Prix CEATEC INNOVATION AWARD," which is selected by members of the US media, at CEATEC JAPAN 2016. It attracted a very large amount of attention from many media outlets both domestically and internationally. Customers who wanted to experience the laser eyewear formed a long line at the demonstration booth.
LiveTalk, communication through multilingual speech recognition
LiveTalk is a communication tool that helps people with hearing or visual disabilities as well as foreign nationals to communicate smoothly by immediately converting a speaker's speech into text via speech recognition and displaying it on a PC, tablet, or smartphone screen in real time. As of October 2016, simultaneous interpretation is available in 16 languages. In this exhibition, words spoken by a demonstration staff member into a handheld microphone were smoothly translated into 12 languages and displayed on 12 monitors. We watched the demonstration as reporters and confirmed what the speaker was saying without feeling any frustration.
Ontenna, a new user interface that enables users to feel sounds through their hair
At the exhibition, a particularly crowded demonstration booth was for Ontenna, a new device that enables hearing-impaired people who cannot hear any sounds in their daily lives to feel sounds through light and vibrations that they sense through their hair. The tool, which is shaped like a hairpin, has a built-in microphone, vibrator, and LED. The microphone converts the sounds of daily life into 256 levels of vibrations and light intensities, and then the vibrator conveys the rhythms, patterns, and volumes of sounds through the user's hair.
AI-based traffic jam prediction: a system for predicting traffic jams with AI image recognition technology by analyzing surveillance camera images
Fujitsu introduced “AI-based traffic jam prediction” for predicting traffic jams caused by accidents and various other events across wide urban areas. This system is realized by Fujitsu's location information service “SPATIOWL” and “GREENAGES Citywide Surveillance,” which enables monitoring of urban conditions using AI-based image analysis. Through image analysis employing AI technology, Citywide Surveillance extracts large amounts of location data from surveillance camera images and predicts traffic jams through simulation by detecting traffic jams, accidents, legal violations, and other events in real time.
Sports x ICT Zone: Transforming Health and Lives by Suggesting New Ways to Enjoy Sports with Fujitsu's IoT Technologies
In this zone, Fujitsu suggested various unconventional ways to enjoy sports with its sensing technologies.
Sports Form Digitalization instantly analyzes the difference between the actual and ideal form by converting golf forms into digital data with non-contact sensing technology
Skill Monitor for Golf instantly analyzes golf swing forms by monitoring human movements using non-contact 3D sensors without requiring any sensors to be attached to the body. It carries out accurate analysis to quantify the difference from the ideal swing in real time. As users can identify changes and improvements in their swing forms based on the accumulated data, they can improve their golf skills efficiently. Skill Monitor for Golf is also available for other sports such as baseball.
Interactive Shoes Hub, next-generation sensor shoes that promote health in a fun manner with sounds and graphics
Fujitsu's Interactive Shoes Hub is a platform for next-generation sensor shoes that contributes to health management and lifestyle improvement by using sensor data from the shoes you wear in everyday life. At the booth, people ran on a treadmill while wearing shoes with sensors embedded in the insoles. These embedded sensors collected data on feet movements and pressure, and then the data was analyzed and the results displayed on the treadmill's front screen.
In this demonstration performed in collaboration with YAMAHA, information obtained from the sensor shoes was expressed graphically with sound effects. Customers experienced their own movements in an interactive, enjoyable manner.
At the Sports x ICT exhibition, other suggestions to support convenient, comfortable living included Fujitsu's "next-generation ticket vending machine," which employs a line-of-sight sensor, and a "palm vein payment" system that enables payments to be made without cash or credit cards via palm vein authentication, a technology which is expected to be used in commercial facilities.
In addition, in the City and Life Security zone, Fujitsu introduced its Global Managed Security Service as a security management service to respond to cyber attacks. In the Advanced Technologies zone, Fujitsu showcased its place service platform by which the optimal service is provided based on one's schedule, location, and situation as well as natural language processing technology that employs AI technology.
FINTECH Stamp Rally-A Simulated Experience of Virtual Currency Transactions Now Drawing Much Attention
At the CEATEC venue, Fujitsu held FINTECH Stamp Rally, where visitors enjoyed a simulated experience of virtual currency transactions using blockchain technology. Blockchain technology enables credible agreements to be reached through network authentication by distributing data to computers around the world.
The Stamp Rally uses a platform that combines FlowSign Light (Fujitsu's LED information communication technology) with Deals4 (a blockchain platform from CurrencyPort*.
FlowSign Light was shone onto objects located at seven spots in the venue, and by installing an app on one's smartphone and pointing the phone at the objects, one can collect stamps and points. This follows the flow of simulating the depositing of virtual currency into a virtual wallet.
Visitors were able to convert the points they earned (virtual currency) into medals that could only be used at the CEATEC venue. Some visitors purchased goods using the medals, while others donated their points to support organizations instead of converting them into medals. Thus, through this virtual currency simulation, visitors experienced how to convert virtual currency into money and purchase goods.
*: CurrencyPort Limited:
CurrencyPort aims to develop business partnerships between startup companies and Fujitsu by building upon the results of the business creation activities of the Fujitsu Group through the MetaArcs Venture Community.
The Near-Future Society Is Right Around the Corner
When we hear words such as AI or IoT, many of us may feel that they are still at a great distance from our society and our lives. However, after visiting CEATEC JAPAN 2016, we recognized that the era in which artificial intelligence and robots help us to make our lives richer and more convenient is just around the corner.