Future Tech

Future Tech

Stories on advanced technologies that offer a glimpse into the future.
IoT VR 5G AI Cloud Mobility Self-driving Explainers

SoftBank Corp. and WOTA Use Digital Technologies to Address the Problem of Aging Water Infrastructure

Access to clean drinking water and sanitation is essential to daily life, and the infrastructure that enables it is often taken for granted. However, according to the United Nations, worldwide, one in three people do not have access to saf…

SoftBank's Autonomous and Precision-controlled Drone Helping to Revitalize Local Fishing Industry and Tourism

On August 31 and September 1, 2021, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) teamed up with EAMS ROBOTICS Co., Ltd. and Uhuru Corporation to conduct a trial for delivering fish caught right out of the ocean with an autonomous drone and SoftBank’s high…

Introducing SoftBank Corp.'s High-precision Positioning Service That Provides Centimeter-level Accuracy for Industrial IoT

In the IoT era, where autonomous vehicles, drones, robots and other mobile systems will always be connected to the Internet, highly precise positioning technologies will be indispensable. “ichimill,” an IoT service from SoftBank Corp. (TOK…

SoftBank Corp., University of Tokyo and Partners Utilizing Digital Twin to Develop Next-generation AI City Simulator

With the ongoing shift to online platforms for shopping, work, education and other activities, as well as the profound impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives, smart city planning initiatives are gaining momentum. To make smart cities conveni…

SoftBank’s 6G World: New Technology to Usher in Game-changing Wireless Applications—and Some Challenges

While many of us are still considering whether to upgrade to a 5G smartphone, the mobile network operators that brought us 5G and the previous generations of wireless communications are already working on technologies to make 6G a reality.…

Trial Shows How 5G and XR Technologies Can Support Remote Dental Surgery

Telementoring—a relationship between a medical expert and a trainee in a remote location that is facilitated by communication technologies—is not a new concept, but it is gaining increased attention as the ultra-high speeds of 5G and other…

Meet the Robots of Smart City Takeshiba, Part 2: A Self-driving Robot that Delivers 7-ELEVEN Snacks and Drinks to Employees

SoftBank Corp.'s (TOKYO: 9434) new headquarters is located in the Takeshiba District of Tokyo, an area designated as a National Strategic Special Zone by the Japanese government to test and deploy cutting-edge technologies. It's here in Ta…

Meet the Robots of Smart City Takeshiba, Part 1: A Delivery Robot that Obeys Traffic Signals

SoftBank Corp.'s (TOKYO: 9434) new headquarters is located in the Takeshiba District of Tokyo, an area designated as a National Strategic Special Zone by the Japanese government to test and deploy cutting-edge technologies. It’s here in Ta…

"HELPO" App Aims to Digitally Transform Healthcare in Japan

Japan’s healthcare system is coming under increased strain with doctors and nurses working overtime, not to mention rising medical care costs and wait times in hospitals. As with other countries, COVID-19 has put even more stress on frontl…

BOLDLY's Autonomous Driving Business Addresses Japan's Challenging Demographics

More than most countries, Japan urgently needs to introduce autonomous driving vehicles ASAP. Beset by a falling birth rate and an aging population declining in numbers yearly, the country's workforce too is shrinking. One government agenc…

Unlocking the Power of the Stratosphere: HAPS Alliance Holds its First Member Meeting

HAPSMobile, a SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) subsidiary that is working to provide stratosphere-based telecommunication platforms through its High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business, is a founding member of the HAPS Alliance, an indus…

SoftBank and Nikon Utilize Light to Broaden the Potential of Telecommunications

On March 18, 2021, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and Nikon Corporation jointly held a press conference to unveil a new technology they developed for optical wireless communications. With the successful demonstration of their “tracking optic…

e5 Lab and SoftBank Demonstrate New Possibilities for Marine Connectivity

Whether in cities, the mountains, or on islands, people are used to living in a world where they are always connected to the Internet. But what about when they are at sea? Out in the oceans, network connectivity is greatly limited by compa…

It Moves! 18-meter “Moving Gundam” Robot Revealed in Yokohama with Virtual Cockpit Powered by SoftBank 5G

Since it launched on the airwaves in 1979, the anime series “Mobile Suit Gundam” has built a dedicated following in Japan, and across the world as well. It has long been a dream of Gundam fans to see the gigantic manned humanoid machine fr…

SoftBank Corp. Showcases 5G-powered Entertainment and Advanced Technologies at Pop Culture Complex

On August 21, 2020, Japan-based publishing major Kodansha Ltd. held a press conference to showcase Mixalive TOKYO, a new pop culture complex located in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district. “Mixalive,” which stands for a mixture of live content with…

HAPSMobile’s Stratospheric Test Flight Opens A New Chapter for the Internet

HAPSMobile Inc., a SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) subsidiary launched in 2017 with the mission of bridging the digital divide, marked two major milestones on September 21, 2020. First, the solar-powered, unmanned aircraft “Sunglider” took fl…

Pioneering the Future Beyond 5G: Taking Up the Challenge of 6G Terahertz Wave-based Communications

Over the years, mobile communication technologies have evolved in cycles lasting approximately 10 years, as evidenced with commercial 3G and 4G services launching around 2001 and 2010, respectively. The world is now witnessing the full-fle…

The Future of Logistics: SoftBank Working to Evolve Truck Platooning with 5G

5G is expected to redefine industries with its ultra-fast speeds, high capacity, low latency and massive device connectivity. The transportation and logistics sector, which is expected to utilize autonomous driving in the future, is likely…

Trains, Boats and Automobiles: MONET Participates in Tokyo’s MaaS Trial

From January 14 to 17, 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted a test trial for multi-modal commuting in Tokyo Bay. MONET Technologies, a SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and Toyota Motor Corporation joint venture developing on-deman…

How SoftBank is Using Data-driven Agriculture to Solve the Global Food Problem

Installing an e-kakashi device With an aging population of farmers and a labor shortage, among other issues, Japan is facing an agricultural crisis. Other countries are facing similar problems as well. On the other hand, the use of robotic…

Making Highways Smart with 5G Technology

Starting from December 2018 through to March 2019, in Japan's Aichi Prefecture SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) conducted testing of its “Smart Highway” concept, which uses 5G to improve the driver experience. Some of Japan's expressways have …

SoftBank Signs First-round NBA Draft Pick Rui Hachimura to Promote 5G Services

SoftBank Corp. Representative Director & COO Jun Shimba welcomes Rui Hachimura as SoftBank’s new 5G ambassador On August 7, 2019, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO:9434) held a pep rally at its Tokyo headquarters to show support for the Japan men’s ba…

HAPS: Why SoftBank is looking to the stratosphere

HAPSMobile's HAWK30 successfully completed its first test flight at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center on September 11, 2019 Imagine an unmanned aircraft circling the stratosphere, acting as an airborne base station to smoothly transm…

SoftBank's 5G Meets FUJI ROCK, Japan's Largest Outdoor Music Festival

This summer, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO:9434) deployed pre-commercial 5G services at Japan's largest outdoor rock music event, FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL ‘19. The annual event took place from July 26-28 at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture. SoftBa…

MONET Consortium Holds First General Meeting, Aims to Put Japan at the Forefront of MaaS

MONET Technologies Inc., a joint venture with SoftBank Corp., Toyota Motor Corporation and other Japan-based automotive manufacturers that is working to promote MaaS (mobility as a service) business development, held its first MONET Consor…

How Technology is Helping to Uphold a Legacy of High-quality Green Tea

Whether relaxing at home or entertaining important guests, nothing is more refreshing than green tea in Japan. Although popular since ancient times, in recent years green tea plantations have come up against a major issue: a lack of succes…

Will AI Cameras Start a Sports Broadcasting Revolution?

The sports industry continues to evolve as it incorporates various new technologies, and the front line of sports broadcasting is no exception. SoftBank Corp. is a top partner for B.LEAGUE, Japan’s professional baseball league. B.LEAGUE he…

5G and VR Trials Demonstrate Completely New Ways to Enjoy Baseball

Anticipating commercial 5G services planned for 2020, SoftBank Corp. conducted trials that used multi-angle virtual reality (VR) at the FUKUOKA YAHUOKU! DOME (YAHUOKU DOME), home of the Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS (HAWKS) baseball club. SoftBan…

Trial Shows How Telecommunications are Key to Creating Maps for Automated Driving in Japan

On January 18, 2019, Dynamic Map Platform Co., Ltd. (“Dynamic Map Platform”), a Tokyo-based company that provides 3D map data, and SoftBank Corp. conducted a trial in Kamakura to test the generation of high-precision 3D “dynamic maps” for …