The CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) was held for four days, from October 3 to 6, at Makuhari Messe in Japan's Chiba Prefecture. Fujitsu set up a booth there to showcase a new world that is already being realized based on keywords such as "living," "healthy lifespan," and "real data utilization," under the theme of "Digital Co-creation."
Showcasing the Future of AI and IoT by Demonstrating Participatory Advanced Technologies under 6 Themes
The year 2017 marks the 18th anniversary of CEATEC JAPAN. CEATEC JAPAN 2017 took up the theme of "Connecting Society, Creating the Future." During the four days of the event, 667 companies and organizations exhibited and over 150,000 people visited the Makuhari Messe venue in Chiba City.
Each exhibition area showcased the latest technologies under each theme, where visitors could get hands-on experience with evolving technologies. The hands-on demonstration tour that was conducted in 2016 was held this year as well. Staff members guided visitors around six exhibits and explained each exhibit in detail.
Going Beyond Quantum Computers in Practicality--Digital Annealer
On a stage where a large screen was set up in front of the Fujitsu booth, Fujitsu introduced its world's first "Digital Quantum Solution" and "Digital Annealer" architecture that supports the solution.
The Digital Annealer is computing architecture that can rapidly solve combinatorial optimization problems using existing semiconductor technology, thereby contributing to the resolution of many social issues. Originally, processing that involves a large amount of computation as represented by combinatorial optimization problems has been considered to belong to the area of quantum computing. The collaboration among Fujitsu Limited, the University of Toronto in Canada, and 1QB Information Technologies Inc. brought about innovation in this area.
The Traveling Salesman Problem is a well-known optimization problem in which the goal is to find the shortest possible route for a salesman who visits each out of a number of cities exactly once and then returns to the original point. In solving this problem, it is difficult to calculate all possible route combinations because the number of combinations increases exponentially as the number of cities increases. If there are 30 cities, the number of possible routes is more than 10 to the 32nd power, and so even with a supercomputer, it could take 800 million years to simply do such large calculations. The Digital Annealer can solve this problem in a second using the optimal solution search algorithm.
The demonstrations showcased examples where processing requiring many calculations was completed in a short time, such as searching through the structure of entire molecular in databases containing tens of millions of compounds for use in the development of new drugs or optimizing the investment portfolio. Fujitsu also demonstrated the potential of this technology to greatly change our future when applying it to congestion-free transportation systems, efficient energy use, and the development of distant-resistant towns. These demonstrations attracted a lot of attention from visitors.
Blockchain Technology Enabling Various Safe Transactions
Taking advantage of the characteristics of blockchain technology with regard to ensuring safe data exchange, Fujitsu introduced specific examples of how it can be useful not only in the financial industry but in our daily lives as well.
Also, there was a large data-utilization demonstration in this zone. With the recent spread of IoT, each company stores a large amount of data individually. However, such data is used only in its respective company, and is not fully utilized. Fujitsu has put into practical use a mechanism for many companies to mutually share their accumulated data. The demonstration showed a mechanism for the provision of accumulated data at hand to the other party and for mutual data utilization across industries and business categories.
Windsurfing Lab: An IoT Training System Displaying Differences from Skilled Windsurfers in Figures and Graphs
A big windsurfing sail was placed in a demonstration area in order to be evocative of the blue sea. That area showcased a training system to quantify wind sailing skills using IoT.
This system collects with sensors attached to the sail various data such as the angle of the sail, the sailing direction and the speed of the board, and processes it on the cloud in real time, allowing it to be checked later. This allows you to visually understand how to control the sail by comparing your data with skilled surfers.
This system, originally started as a hobby of a Fujitsu employee, has now grown into a service called "Windsurfing Lab." Many visitors tried standing on the board, experiencing how the system worked in the demonstration.
AI Agent: A Healthcare Audio Advisory Service
There was a long queue of visitors at the demonstration of AI Agent which provides healthcare advice as a Service Supporting the Healthy Lifestyles of Senior Citizens.
The AI Agent asks questions to the person sitting in front of it like "What did you eat for breakfast?" and provides advice through natural conversation in response to answers given. If you just lightly put a finger on it, it can measure the vascular aging, heart rate, stress levels, etc. for you and displays the details of your health status that even you yourself may not notice.
The data acquired by the AI Agent is processed by AI. It identifies individuals and provides personalized advice on dietary menu and exercise tailored to individual health status. This exhibition area was crowded by many visitors, reflecting the high public interest in health and beauty.
ID Card Type Hands-Free Speech Translation Device
Among the exhibitions at Fujitsu's booth, one that attracted a large amount of media coverage was for the ID card type hands-free translation device that received the Grand Prix in the Open Innovation Category of CEATEC AWARD 2017.
Weighing only 65 grams, with a length of 75 mm, a width of 95 mm, and a height of 7 mm, this compact and light-weight automatic translation device can be easily used simply by wearing around the neck or clipping onto a pocket. It enhances the directivity of sound by optimizing the shape of the sound channel.
During speech, the device automatically recognizes breaks in the conversation. It supports communication during medical examinations, treatment, and other services, providing a hands-free environment for healthcare providers.
Although it supports only English and Chinese at present, other languages may be supported by expanding the server used.
Fujitsu worked with the University of Tokyo Hospital and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) to conduct a field trial. In the midst of increasing numbers of foreign visitors to Japan, this new device is expected to contribute to service quality improvement by increasing the accuracy of communication in healthcare situations. The device exhibited on this occasion was for medical healthcare providers, however, going forward, the application of this technology is expected to expand into a variety of fields and industries.
(This exhibition area will be reported on in detail later.)
"SPATIOWL x Tokyo Overhead View" - Displaying the Real Tokyo on a Map
Tokyo is a city where people, things and information gather. Combining these pieces of information together creates new value. SPATIOWL is a cloud service that provides new value by combining information gathered from vehicles running in the city with existing information.
Probe information collected from vehicles is mapped onto a map, together with information on the status of people and facilities, weather and radio waves, making it possible to visually recognize Tokyo's current real status. This map is applicable to various fields, such as the development of comfortable urban environments, improving transportation efficiency, and disaster response. The exhibition visualizing actual movements in Tokyo was created under the art direction of NAKED Inc.
New Life and New Future Enabled by Fujitsu
Fujitsu has cutting-edge technologies, such as the Kei supercomputer and Human Centric AI Zinrai, based on which a variety of application services have been developed. Fujitsu has also engaged in activities to realize a new future from approaches that are different from those based on these technologies. After visiting CEATEC JAPAN 2017, we strongly felt that the services and systems provided by Fujitsu are already reaching the stage where they can greatly change our future lifestyles.