Having revolutionised tech in the 20th century, Japan is again investing in young pioneers

From the Sony Walkman to Playstation, Japanese companies once led the world in consumer tech innovation. But though Seoul and Silicon Valley have since dominated the digitised CE market, Japan is again breaking new ground on the technology frontier at the interface between humans and machines.

As cyberspace and reality become increasingly integrated, a new Japanese government initiative called Society 5.0 is encouraging so- called J-Startups to create AI and IoT technologies that can be seamlessly accessed, especially in an ageing society.

That is why Japan, with the backing of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, is the first Global Innovation Partner at IFA Next. “The interface between machines and humans is very important, that is why we have created the ‘Interface with Consideration and Sensibility’ concept at IFA Next,” Masaki Nagamoto, Deputy Director, IT Industry Division, at Japan’s Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, told IFA International.

With 20 J-Startups from among 10,000 in Japan selected to come to Berlin for the first time, visitors to the Japan Pavilion at IFA Next have the chance to experience far eastern future technologies for the senses. These include the Pixie Dust Technologies’ Holograph Whisper, a speaker that delivers sound to a target person via ultrasonic waves for a “magical experience”; or QD Laser’s Retissa Display, glasses that project images directly onto the retina using a tiny projector, and which thus overcomes sight impairment. Looking further into the future, SkyDrive is presenting its “affordable, reliable and safe” flying car that aims to democratise air travel for the mass market by 2023.

> HALL 26, STAND 213

Photo: Cutting the ribbon at the IFA Next Japan Pavilion