Future Tech

Future Tech

Stories on advanced technologies that offer a glimpse into the future.
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SoftBank Corp. Testing Terahertz Frequency to Realize Ultra-high Communication Speeds in 6G Era

While it has been about four years since SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) launched commercial 5G services, SoftBank and the telecommunications industry are already looking ahead to 6G, a mobile communications technology expected to see commerc…

Quantum Computers: Challenges, Initiatives, and Prospects

Quantum computers, with their computational capabilities that have the potential to far surpass what traditional computers can achieve, are at the vanguard of information technology. Given their potential, quantum computers could profoundl…

Revolutionizing Baseball Viewing with AR Glasses

From April 3 to 4, 2024, a pioneering trial took place at Fukuoka PayPay Dome (now MIZUHO PayPay Dome FUKUOKA) to demonstrate a new way to experience baseball game viewing with augmented reality (AR). Get a first hand look at how this adva…

An Engineer's Rise to the Rank of AWS Jr. Champion with 12 AWS Certifications

Ginga Miyata, an engineer at SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434), was selected for the 2023 Japan AWS Jr. Champions, a program that chooses young engineers in their first to third working year who have demonstrated a certain degree of technical s…

SoftBank Corp. Launches Development Project in Collaboration with Microsoft Japan to Optimize its Call Center Operations with Generative AI

In March 2024, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) announced it is aiming to further enhance its call centers for mobile, fixed-line and Internet communication services in Japan by using generative AI. To achieve this goal, it is launching a join…

SoftBank Corp.’s Vision to Build Infrastructure for an Unwired Society with 6G

While the latest global wireless standard 5G is still continuing to see adoption, 6G is not too far away on the horizon. But what is 6G? And how might it change the way we communicate and live? When the term 6G comes up, many might associa…

SoftBank Corp. Launches “Private 5G (Dedicated Type)” Service, Enabling Enterprises to Deploy High-speed, Closed 5G Networks

On March 13, 2024, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) launched its "Private 5G (Dedicated Type)" service that enables enterprises, local governments and other organizations to build customized 5G networks on their premises with dedicated base st…

How AI-RAN Can Transform the Telecommunications Industry in the AI Era

The formation of the AI-RAN Alliance, a new collaborative initiative aimed at integrating AI into cellular technology to further advance radio access network (RAN) technology and mobile networks, was one of the top stories of Mobile World …

Institute for AI and Beyond Leads Discussions at AI House Davos During the World Economic Forum

2024’s World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting was held from January 15-19 in Davos, Switzerland, and this year’s program featured AI House Davos, a new initiative that brought leaders in industry, civil society, government, the investin…

Harnessing AI to Transform Wireless: Industry Leaders Form AI-RAN Alliance

How can AI innovations be utilized to advance the telecommunications industry, and society at large? To address this challenge, leading technology, industry, and academic institutions came together at Mobile World Congress Barcelona on Feb…

SoftBank Corp. Leads Global Efforts to Expand Spectrum Crucial to HAPS Services of the Future

From November to December 2023, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) was there representing Japan, along w…

SoftBank Corp. and Keio Research Institute at SFC Unveil Virtual Campus Built on Metaverse Platform

Keio Research Institute at SFC (KRIS) and SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) established a “Digital Twin Campus Lab” in 2022 and have been collaborating on research and development of next-generation infrastructure, including Digital Twin techno…

HAPS Alliance Holds First In-person Only Member Meeting to Accelerate its Mission of Connecting the Unconnected

SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434), which is developing a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business to offer telecommunication services from the stratosphere, is also a founding and executive member of the HAPS Alliance, an industry associa…

How SoftBank Corp. is Enabling Safe Truck and Bus Platooning with 5G

In its research and development efforts to realize next-generation networks, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) has been actively researching Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) technologies and working to implement them, as evidenced by a Bus Rapid Transi…

SoftBank Corp.’s HAPS Technologies Showcased at UN-hosted Internet Governance Forum Kyoto 2023

From October 8th to 12th, 2023, Internet Governance Forum Kyoto 2023 (IGF Kyoto 2023), the latest in a series of yearly forums hosted by the United Nations, which brings together a wide range of stakeholders to engage in dialogue on all is…

How AGI Differs from Conventional AI

With rapid technological advancements, artificial intelligence, or AI, is now becoming a part of our daily lives. In addition to conventional AI, the term "AGI" is now entering common parlance. At this year’s SoftBank World, SoftBank's lar…

“Smart Fleet” Vehicle Management Service Utilizes Technology to Prevent Drinking and Driving

It’s a sad fact that people still operate vehicles while intoxicated, and this continues to bring disastrous results for motorists and pedestrians. Japan is also grappling with this problem, and in an effort to prevent accidents, new legis…

Autonomous EV Shuttle “MiCa” Gets License Plates for Japan

As reported earlier by SoftBank News, BOLDLY Inc., an autonomous driving systems development and service subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434), brought a new autonomous EV shuttle called “MiCa” from Estonia to Japan for initial demons…

Rwanda and SoftBank Corp. Achieve World-first Milestone with Stratospheric 5G Connectivity Test

The Government of Rwanda and SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) announced a groundbreaking achievement in the world of telecommunications on September 24, 2023. Both successfully conducted a test of SoftBank's proprietary 5G communications paylo…

Meet the Robots of Smart City Takeshiba, Part 3: Moving Vending Machine Robots

After spending some time in the country, one thing that many visitors to Japan immediately notice is the large number of vending machines. According to Statista, at the end of 2022 there were close to 4 million vending machines in the nati…

5G and Autonomous Driving Technologies to Power Japan’s First Bus Platooning Trial on Public Roads

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a public transportation system designed to provide a high-capacity bus service that combines the speed and reliability of rail systems at much lower costs. With these advantages, BRT systems are seeing increased …

SoftBank Corp. Data Scientist Wins Gold Medal at World’s Largest AI Competition

Masaya Ogino, a data scientist at SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) won a gold medal in the "Feedback Prize - English Language Learning" competition held by Kaggle, the world's largest data science competition platform. The goal of this AI codi…

SoftBank Corp. and Microsoft Japan Form Strategic Alliance in Generative AI Domain to Accelerate DX in Japan

As President & CEO Junichi Miyakawa mentioned at the earnings briefing for Q1 FY2023 on August 4, 2023, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) views generative AI to be the most important technology for the future. Accordingly, SoftBank is working o…

Behind the Scenes: Testing a Sub-scale Model Aircraft to Develop a Next-generation Uncrewed Aircraft System for HAPS

SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and its subsidiary HAPSMobile recently announced they collected crucial data for the development of a next-generation “Sunglider,” an uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) designed for High Altitude Platform System (H…

Unlocking Urban Innovation: 'Smart City Takeshiba' Project Revolutionizing Takeshiba District with Real-time Data

As cities become increasingly digitized, innovative technologies are making daily life more convenient than ever before. Smart Cities are driving this trend by leveraging AI, sensor networks and other advanced technologies to improve energ…

How SoftBank Corp. and Keio Research Institute at SFC are Using Digital Twin to Enhance Autonomous Shuttle Bus Operations

Keio Research Institute at SFC (KRIS) and SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434)’s Research Institute of Advanced Technology are collaborating on a new project that may serve as a model for automated driving. In May 2023, SoftBank and KRIS announced…

100 Showers with 100 Liters of Water: Water Tech Solution Comes in Handy for Emergencies

After a natural disaster occurs, ensuring the availability of lifelines like water, electricity, gas and communications is of critical importance. In the Turkey-Syria Earthquake of February 2023, the Japan International Cooperation Agency …

Solving Real-world Problems with AI: SoftBank Corp. and The University of Tokyo Hold Data Hackathon

As the world becomes increasingly digitalized, advancements in IoT devices and sensors have helped convert virtually everything around us into data. And as public institutions and businesses continue to provide more data openly, expectatio…

SoftBank Corp. and Sumitomo Electric Collaborate to Realize 5G-based Smart Factories

In March 2023, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. announced a partnership aimed at creating smart factories through the utilization of 5G. The collaboration will involve the integration of industrial 5G ter…

University of Tokyo, SoftBank Corp. and Others Establish New Company to Help Standardize Medical Data

The utilization of big data in Japan’s healthcare and medical system is lagging behind other developed countries due to legal requirements and systems that use different coding methods, among other reasons. This has made the efficient util…

SoftBank Corp. and NVIDIA Collaborating on Next-generation Data Centers

At the earnings briefing for the fiscal year ended on March 31, 2023 (FY2022) held on May 10, 2023, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) President & CEO Junichi Miyakawa unveiled a new long-term vision that positions SoftBank as a provider of next…

SoftBank Corp. and Partners Utilize Spatial IDs to Optimize Map Creation Process for Delivery Robots

As Japan’s birth rate declines and its population ages, a shortage of delivery workers looms while the need for deliveries has increased as more people find it difficult to shop at physical stores. Against this backdrop, autonomous deliver…

SoftBank Corp.’s BOLDLY Brings New Autonomous Shuttle “MiCa” from Estonia to Japan

In light of demographic shifts such as an aging population, a declining birthrate and a shortage of drivers, Japan’s transportation infrastructure is facing challenges as rail and bus services contract in outlying areas. To address these m…

SoftBank Corp. Launches Private 5G Service that’s Custom-built for Enterprises

Approximately three years after it began offering commercial 5G services to consumers, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) launched its “Private 5G” service for enterprises in Japan on March 29, 2023. SoftBank’s Private 5G is a managed service th…

Can AI be Utilized to Produce High-quality Caviar in Japan? SoftBank Corp. is Working with Partners to Find Out

Caviar is renowned as one of the world’s top luxuries. The delicacy is made from the salted eggs, or roe, of sturgeon. The most prized caviar comes from sturgeons native to the Caspian Sea, but they have become greatly endangered due to ov…

Experts Discuss the Future of Brain and AI Research at the Institute for AI and Beyond’s 3rd International Symposium

The Institute for AI and Beyond (BAI), a research institute established by The University of Tokyo, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and others to promote advanced AI research and business activities, held its 3rd International Symposium on Fe…

SoftBank Corp. Starts Autonomous Driving Trials in Tokyo

Following a previous announcement that it tied up with a US-based autonomous vehicle technology leader May Mobility, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) revealed it began conducting autonomous driving field tests in Tokyo in January 2023. In anti…

Activating Change: SoftBank Corp.’s R&D Arm Unveils Short Film to Convey its Mission

Through the ages, as a catalyst for social change, technology has played a key role in advancing humanity. To create new and better technologies, and to implement them into society to make a positive impact, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434)’s …

Trapped by an Earthquake, Saved by a Drone. Demonstration Shows How it Can be Done

In partnership with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) has been researching and developing drone systems to locate people lost in the mountains or buried under rubble caused by natural disasters like earthquake…

32 Companies and Organizations from 10 Countries Attend HAPS Alliance’s First In-person Meeting to Further Foster an Ecosystem that Connects the Unconnected

SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and its subsidiary HAPSMobile—which are both developing a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business to offer telecommunication services from the stratosphere—are also founding members of the HAPS Alliance,…

SoftBank Corp. Subsidiary Launches “HELPO” for Consumers to Offer Convenient Online Health Consultations

What do people usually do when they feel run down or a bit feverish? Chances are that many may feel reluctant to visit a hospital or clinic if their condition is not too serious. Getting an in-person health consultation can often be an ard…

Japan’s Digital Transformation Minister Kono Taro Goes for a Ride on SoftBank Corp.-backed Autonomous Bus Service

Sakai Town is a community located 70 kilometers north of Tokyo that has a population of approximately 24,000, with 29% classified as elderly. As the town lacks a railway station, residents were facing serious mobility challenges. As report…

SoftBank Corp. Helps Kyoto Prefecture’s Kameoka City Utilize IoT to Realize its Goal of Eliminating Litter

Kameoka City, located in Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture and about 20 minutes away from Kyoto Station by rapid train, is a municipality rich in history and natural beauty. The City is also a pioneer in safeguarding the environment. In 2012, it wa…

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…