Fujitsu Forum 2015 was held on May 14 and 15, at Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho, Tokyo. In a special presentation during the event Hideyuki Saso, CEO of Fujitsu Laboratories, described Fujitsu Laboratories' R&D strategies and advanced technologies, as well as the latest applications of these technologies.
The Next Era: ICT User-led IoT
In the 1960s, mainframe computers became the mainstream. In the 1980s, PC appeared and people started using them. Since 2000, everyone is connected to the Internet. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are evolving rapidly.
What will the ICT of the future look like?
Saso commented that, "Think about who will drive the evolution of ICT. When you know who will lead, you know how ICT will next evolve."
When people started using PCs, IBM, Microsoft, and Intel led the market. During the Internet era, cloud service providers such as Salesforce, Google, and Amazon grew rapidly. ICT leaders changed as the field evolved. Using this history as a background, Saso predicted that ICT users will lead the next era, that of the Internet-of-things (IoT).
The Hyperconnected Cloud--a New World in the Era of IoT
IoT makes everything connected together. It is a technology that connects things via the Internet to generate completely new value. It is a technology that achieves genuine creation. "There will be a time when the meaning of ICT needs to be interpreted from the perspective of the new 'hyperconnected cloud'," explained Saso. "ICT has been used in individual servers, storage units, and applications. Now it is used in the cloud. Front-end network devices also have cloud-based architecture. In the world of the hyperconnected cloud, devices and clouds are connected together and are also connected to other clouds."
Many cutting edge technologies are used in the hyperconnected cloud including: the IoT, intelligent computing to achieve automatic learning, deep learning (an example of machine learning), sensor networks that collect information from devices, and wearable devices. As well as these technologies, the cloud, networks, and databases are also evolving toward this new era.
Human Centric Innovation Connects People, Information and Infrastructure to Create Value
Fujitsu Laboratories considers people, information, and infrastructure as the three pillars of a hyperconnected cloud.
"We will use new ICT to empower people by connecting digital information, physical objects, and infrastructure. Combining the three pillars to create business and social value is an approach for human centric innovation," said Saso.
A wide variety of technologies to realize the hyperconnected cloud will be concentrated on these three pillars.
Saso then introduced specific examples of R&D at Fujitsu Laboratories for creating the hyperconnected cloud.
He played a video clip that introduces a ring-type wearable device and a gaze tracking technology. When a person wearing the device moved their hand to draw a letter in the air, the same letter was input on the PC. As another example, a person using both hands for facility inspection or vehicle maintenance could control an ICT terminal by moving a finger wearing this device.
Gaze tracking technology can detect where a person is looking and evaluate their interest or predict behavior. In other words, this technology can infer what people want to do. It is currently attracting attention in the retail industry to track what people are looking at as they move around a shop, as well as in the transportation industry, to be used within vehicles.
Co-Creating New Businesses with a Variety of Companies
Saso also introduced the following: a battery-less beacon; a technology to assess IT crime vulnerability based on psychological and behavioral characteristics; a linked open data (LOD) technology for linking data made available by local government to gain information; a technology designed for data centers and carriers to analyze quality using 200 Gbps communications; a software mapping technology to effectively reduce the time taken when modernizing applications; and a smart house to watch over patients after they are discharged from hospital.
As he concluded the presentation, he commented that, "Fujitsu Laboratories used to focus on technical research that would be recognized as being 'the first in the world' or 'inventions.' As a corporate laboratory, we need to pursue more than research. We must think about creating new business models, too. For this reason, we are now focusing on research that can serve as Proofs of Concept (PoC) and Proofs of Business (PoB). We have technologies. As for how we apply them, we want to partner with all types of companies. Let's start to work together and co-create new business."
President, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.