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.’s BOLDLY Rolls Out New Autonomous Bus Demonstration to Address Mobility and Healthcare Challenges

Situated in the western part of Japan’s island of Shikoku, Iyo City is bordered by a sandy beach and mountainous terrain. The city has approximately 35,000 residents spread across an area close to 200km2. Against this backdrop of natural b…

Keywords Explained: MEC

MEC is short for Multi-access Edge Computing, a technology that can speed up data processing and optimize and accelerate communications by utilizing servers in close proximity to smartphones and IoT devices where data is generated. Achievi…

Keywords Explained: MFA

MFA, which stands for multi-factor authentication, is an authentication method that requires users to combine two or more verification methods that differ in nature. They are typically based on knowledge (something you know, like a passwor…

One Step Closer to Commercializing Sky-based Connectivity: SoftBank Corp. Successfully Conducts Test with Tethered Balloon Base Station

What’s this floating object in the sky? It’s a tethered balloon equipped with a base station. To commercialize the stratospheric-based telecommunications platform called “HAPS” (High Altitude Platform Station), SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434)…

Technology for Society: Interview with Ryuji Wakikawa, Head of SoftBank Corp.’s Research Institute of Advanced Technology

SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434)’s division in charge of R&D for advanced technologies—including 5G, 6G, and autonomous driving—marked a new beginning as the SoftBank Research Institute of Advanced Technology on April 1, 2022. To learn more ab…

Keywords Explained: RAN (Radio Access Network)

RAN stands for Radio Access Network, a part of the wireless communication system that runs behind the scenes of mobile phone services. An intermediary for mobile phone services A RAN organizes communication data received from smartphones a…

Keywords Explained: Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS)

Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) is a system of Japan-developed satellites that stay in orbit over specified areas for extended periods of time, unlike other satellites that orbit the Earth. High-precision positioning information can b…

Keywords Explained: Millimeter Wave

“Millimeter wave” refers to radio waves with wavelengths of 1 to 10 millimeters and frequency between 30 to 300 gigahertz that can be used for high-speed communications. Millimeter wave: a radio wave suitable for 5G’s high-speed, high-volu…

How Digital Twin Technology Can Predict the Future of a Parallel World

When you step out on your day off, the city is less crowded than usual. The cinema is showing that new movie you wanted to see. On the way home, you stop by at a relaxing café. After that, you browse through a bazaar with foodstuffs you wa…

SoftBank Corp.’s HAPSMobile and Lendlease to Study Business Potential of HAPS in Australia

From left: Junichi Miyakawa (SoftBank Corp. President & CEO and HAPSMobile President & CEO) and Andrew Gauci (Lendlease Managing Director of Japan and Head of Telecoms & Data Infrastructure Asia) commemorate joint venture at SoftBank Corp.…

After Successful Trial, SoftBank Corp. Signs Agreement with Tokyo Metropolitan Government for Emergency Drone Deliveries

When a natural disaster or other type of emergency strikes, roads and other often-used logistics routes may not be readily accessible. For this reason, local governments in Japan are increasingly looking at drones as a way to deliver emerg…

SoftBank Corp.’s SRv6 MUP Brings Internet Efficiency and Flexibility to 5G Mobile Communications

More than two-thirds of the world’s population—5 billion of us—now subscribe to mobile services according to the GSMA, an industry organization that tracks all things mobile. It’s hardly surprising, then, that 4G networks are straining to …

(Video) SoftBank Corp.'s BOLDLY Successfully Operates Autonomous Bus in Winter Conditions

BOLDLY Inc., a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) that develops operation systems and provides services for autonomous driving mobility previously featured in SoftBank News, continues to make great progress. From December 15 to 19,…

Business Leaders and Researchers Discuss Future of Deep Learning at the Institute for AI and Beyond’s 2nd International Symposium

The Institute for AI and Beyond held its 2nd International Symposium virtually on February 12, 2022. Among the topics discussed were the strides deep learning has made over the past decade, what we can expect to see in the future, and the …

The State of Cashless Around the World: a PayPay Inside-Out and SoftBank News Collaboration

When talking about the group companies of SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434), one would be remiss not to mention PayPay Corporation. Jointly formed by SoftBank Corp. and Yahoo Japan in 2018, in collaboration with India’s largest digital payment …

Introducing SoftBank Corp.’s AI-powered Forecasting Service that Helps Reduce Food Waste and Optimize Staff Allocations

According to Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 5.7 million tons of food was discarded in 2019. With Japan’s population of 126 million, that roughly translates to the equivalent of one bowl of rice per person, per day…

Inside Look: SoftBank Corp.’s Next-generation Battery Lab is Helping to Usher in a New Generation of Drones and More

Located in Tochigi Prefecture’s Utsunomiya City, approximately 100km north of Tokyo, the hexagonal complex pictured above is the Battery Safety Testing Center and Utsunomiya Test Center of ESPEC CORP. a world-leader in environmental test c…

(Video) SoftBank Corp.'s Precision-controlled Drones Helping to Transform Local Businesses and Create Opportunities

As reported in a previous article, last year 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 SoftBa…

SoftBank Corp.’s Content Distribution System Delivers Ready-for-TV Video from Expo 2020 Dubai in Successful Demonstration

Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East and Africa region, opened its doors on October 1, 2021 and will run until March 31, 2022. Originally scheduled to be held approximately a year earlier to commemorate the 5…

SoftBank’s Corp.’s “AI-on-5G Lab.” Aims to Help Enterprises Transform Themselves Digitally

What does converging AI with 5G technology make possible? The short answer is the transformation of an enterprise’s operations and processes into digital formats to make it more competitive and responsive in a changing technology world. Ka…

Growing the HAPS Ecosystem: HAPS Alliance Holds its First Public Event

SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and its subsidiary HAPSMobile—which are both working to provide stratosphere-based telecommunication platforms with a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business—are also founding members of the HAPS Allianc…

e-kakashi’s Science-based Approach to Agriculture is Raising Yields While Helping Make Farming Sustainable

The AI-powered “e-kakashi,” an agriculture science and technology solution from SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434), made business news headlines in October with its launch of an advanced terminal called the “TED Portable IoT Gateway” that collec…

Supermarket Chain Uses SoftBank Corp.'s AI System to Transform the Shopping Experience

On August 26, 2021, a next-generation, AI-powered supermarket opened its doors in Osaka. The unique Gyomu Super pilot store, owned and operated by retail operator Kobe Bussan Co., Ltd., is using an AI-based system developed by SoftBank Cor…

SoftBank Corp. and JR-West Leverage Automated Driving and Platooning Technologies in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Trials

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a new mode of public transportation that is attracting attention around the world. How is it different from regular bus services? BRT transit systems use dedicated corridors and stations to deliver fast and relia…

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…