Announcing the CEATEC AWARD 2021 Winners of The Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award, The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award, and Category Awards.
October 18, 2021
Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association
The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA: Satoshi Tsunakawa, Director and Chairman; also Representative Executive Officer, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation) is pleased to announce the recipients of CEATEC AWARD 2021, including the two ministerial awards – the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award – as well as the Category Awards, all of which are selected from technologies, products, and services on display at CEATEC 2021 ONLINE held between October 19th (Tue.) to 22nd (Fri.), 2021. The CEATEC AWARD 2021 review board panel of judges have selected the CEATEC AWARD 2021 to be implemented with the goal of realizing Society 5.0 through CPS/IoT, which will contribute to the creation and development of new value and markets while invigorating related industries.
The Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award, and Grand Prix, Super City/Smart City Category Award
The Smart Cities NEC Aims To Create: Super Cities(Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
The NEC Urban OS links assets that include FIWARE infrastructure software – used as a data collaboration platform for super cities and smart cities – and NEC’s proprietary AI and biometric authentication technologies. By combining multiple services that efficiently coordinate data, such as information held by local governments, with the administrative services provided to residents, Urban OS will contribute to the evolution of cities where people can enjoy active daily lives and peace of mind.
The Urban OS was conceived as a cloud service that supports the communal functions required to provide the sort of advanced services envisioned for super cities and smart cities. To enhance the efficiency of administrative services spanning multiple fields – such as tourism, medical care and welfare, and disaster prevention – the NEC Urban OS is based on FIWARE, a curated framework of open source platform components already employed in Europe. In addition, it features data analysis using NEC’s AI system called “NEC the WISE”, identity verification using face recognition and other biometric authentication features, and ID linkage management functions. All of this contributes to lowering development costs and speeding up implementation. This award recognizes NEC’s track record (providing support for several local governments) and its comprehensive capabilities, including the ability to craft systems tailored to regional characteristics and needs, such as inter-regional cooperation and communal management.
The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award, and Grand Prix, Carbon Neutral Category Award
Film-Based Perovskite Photovoltaic ModuleToshiba Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
As Japan transitions to becoming reliant on renewable energy for the bulk of its power generation, one of the challenges it faces is a lack of space for installing solar cells. Offering one solution may be film-based perovskite solar cells, noted for being light, thin, and flexible. Perovskite film can be employed in many different places, including urban areas, where the installation of silicon solar cells can prove difficult. Toshiba has developed a proprietary method for film growth, achieving an energy conversion efficiency of 15.1% – the highest in the world for any large-scale solar cell module comprised of perovskite film. This represents significant progress toward realizing a practical application for this technology.
Toshiba’s lightweight and flexible solar cells made from perovskite film have achieved an energy conversion efficiency of 15.1%, equivalent to that of the polycrystalline silicon solar cells in widespread use today. Employing perovskite film for solar power generation is expected to raise the relative contribution of renewable energy sources, since this material can be installed in so many different places, including curved surfaces and windows, where conventional solar cells cannot be used owing to higher strength requirements. Until now a two-step process has been used for film preparation, but Toshiba’s single-step process contributes to improved energy efficiency and faster production. The award recognizes that this new technology will serve to promote practical applications of perovskite film in solar cells. Photovoltaic power generation is essential for realizing a carbon-neutral society, but due to the flat form and weight of conventional solar cells, there has been a limited choice of locations where installation is possible. That is why this new technology is expected to give rise to a wide range of practical applications, and it was highly evaluated for its potential contribution to the growth of renewable energy.
1) A New Society in the Age of Society 5.0 Infrastructure Category
Carbon Neutral Category Award
Grand PrixToshiba Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area) The outline and assessment are omitted because the project was also awarded the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award. For Ministerial awards, please refer to the previous pages.
Film-Based Perovskite Photovoltaic Module
Semi Grand PrixKyocera Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
Visualization Of Various Sea Conditions with a Tidal Current Power Generation System Energy Harvesting Smart Buoy
Visualization of marine conditions such as ocean pollution and rising water temperatures is a challenge for the realization of sustainable societies, but stable power supplies are a hurdle to data collection at sea. The combination of Kyocera's IoT technology and Nagasaki University's tidal current power generation technology has led to the development of an "energy-harvesting smart buoy" that uses a tidal current power generation system mounted on the buoy to provide the power needed for ocean data collection. The prototype has been successfully tested in actual sea conditions and enables continuous data acquisition at sea.
There is a growing need for continuous collection of ocean data to address environmental issues such as ocean pollution and rising sea temperatures. This joint research with Nagasaki University led to the development of an energy-harvesting smart buoy that uses a tidal current power generation system installed on the buoy to supply the necessary power. In an actual test at sea, it was confirmed that the amount of electricity generated exceeded the amount consumed, thanks to a highly efficient turbine that can respond to tidal current speeds that change with time. As a device that will spur the marine industry to digitalization, this technology holds promise for "visualizing the ocean" in various scenes such as fishing and marine research.
Super City/ Smart City Category Award
Grand PrixNEC Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
The Smart Cities NEC Aims To Create: Super Cities
The outline and assessment are omitted because the project was also awarded the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award. For Ministerial awards, please refer to the previous pages.
■Semi Grand PrixSoftbank Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
SoftBank’s “Smart City Platform”
Based in Takeshiba, Tokyo, Softbank is working with Tokyu Land Corporation to build a smart city. The company has developed a "Smart City Platform" for collecting and utilizing building and city data in real time. Utilizing various data inside and outside of buildings and verifying cutting-edge technologies across a wide range of areas such as mobility, VR, 5G and robotics, the company will build a model case for a smart city and expand it to other areas in the future.
The Smart City Platform is being operated as a verification experiment in Smart City Takeshiba and is a project that aims to promote digitalization in towns to solve problems. Through the use of AI and IoT, the platform will utilize more than 1,400 sensors to support users in making behavioral decisions such as avoiding congestion. For building managers and tenants, the system will provide information such as visitor numbers and thus holds promise for greater efficiency through optimal deployment of staff enabled by optimizing flows of people by guiding them to the shortest route to the floors they want to visit through face recognition and measures such as issuing signage and coupons for visitors. Although the system presently only works with buildings, it was appraised for its future potential as there are plans to expand it to surrounding facilities and entire towns.
Digital Transformation (DX) Category Award
Grand PrixSoundUD Consortium (Exhibit Area: Society 5.0 Area)
Remote Cheering System Powered by SoundUD
These days attending a sporting event is not necessarily easy or possible. This remote cheering system allows sports fans to cheer for the players and teams they support without having to leave home. To cheer, fans tap a button on their smartphones while watching a TV sports broadcast or streaming service. Their cheers – potentially from all over the world – can be heard from speakers installed at the actual venue. This system is also contributing to the realization of diversity-conscious cheering and to the prevention of Covid-19 in the sports industry. It is helping to create a new cheering culture through collaboration with Japan’s J-League (professional football) as well as professional baseball.
This innovative system delivers remote spectators’ vocal support to the venue – a completely new way of cheering, never before possible in the long history of sports broadcasting. As well as transmitting the cheers of those spectators who are unable to watch the game in person for whatever reason, it can also deliver live feeds. The cheers can be heard by the players or athletes from the speakers at the venue, even at closed events which spectators are not allowed to attend. This system has already been introduced for various sports. Additionally, cheering behavior and other data is expected to be of economic benefit (monetization and fan services). The award also recognizes its potential to motivate players.
Semi Grand Prix
Smart Checkout System – Equipped with Kyocera’s AI Object Recognition Technology
Kyocera Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
There are growing needs to improve efficiency and save labor with store operations and to reduce instances of interpersonal contact in this era of the “new normal”. Kyocera’s image-recognition-type smart unmanned cash register system for the retail industry can recognize multiple overlapping products with high accuracy using a single camera, thanks to its unique object recognition AI technology. This technology has also succeeded in significantly reducing the learning time required for new product registration compared to conventional methods.
A smart cash register system that meets the need for efficiency and labor saving in store operations while reducing interpersonal contact as part of infection control measures. It’s unique image recognition AI enables the system to recognize multiple overlapping products with a single camera, reducing the burden on users and the need for store clerk support. Requiring less equipment for implementation and enabling additional registration of new products (through AI learning) contributes to cost reductions with installation and operation. The system was also evaluated for its potential application to other types of business such as restaurants and supermarkets, and other image recognition technologies such as inspection work and automated driving.
Category Award 2) Open Category
Solutions Category Award
Grand PrixSoftBank Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
Non-Terrestrial Network Solutions Providing Connectivity from Space and the Stratosphere
The Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) concept involves providing communications services from space and the stratosphere. It will employ Skylo (geostationary orbit satellites), OneWeb (low earth orbit satellites), and HAPS (a telecommunication platform based in the stratosphere). SoftBank will promote the global deployment of NTN to provide these services.
The increasing importance of IoT means there is a growing need for a wide variety of devices to be connected to the Internet, wherever they are located. As a way to eliminate connectivity “dead spots”, NTN solutions providing network coverage from the sky are attracting a great deal of attention. A special feature of this project is the variety of services it will offer, serving multiple applications from different altitudes – stratospheric, LEO, and GEO. Commercial services are scheduled to start in 2022, and a wide variety of applications is envisaged. This award recognizes the merits of this project, particularly the range of services that are planned for meeting the needs of various industries. NTN is expected to offer the business sector a roadmap for early introduction.
Semi Grand PrixToshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
Toshiba's QKD Creates a Secure Online Society
Strengthening the security of data communications is a prerequisite as we move toward ultra-smart societies. Toshiba's Quantum Key Distribution will realize societies in which everyone will be able to securely transmit important and valuable data online. Current encryption technology is under threat of being decrypted by quantum computers. Quantum cryptography is a communications technology that has been theoretically proven to be absolutely unbreakable. Thus, sending and receiving data with cryptographic keys that are guaranteed not to be intercepted ensures unconditional security.
Cryptographic communications technologies are becoming more and more important as societies become digitalized. However, cryptography difficult to break with current technologies will be broken in the future with the commercialization of quantum computers. Although writing and transmitting cryptographic key information in a single photon makes interception theoretically impossible, there are limitations such as communication speed and distance. Toshiba's Quantum Key Distribution is superior to those of its competitors in terms of transmission speed and distance, and has a proven track record in Japan and overseas. The technology is anticipated to become a main player in the industry, not only for its high security and other technical capabilities, but also for its ease of use.
Elemental Technologies/Devices Category Award
Grand PrixSharp Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
Medical Listening Plug Offering Healthy Hearing to Connect People
The Medical Listening Plug is a wireless, earbud-style hearing aid for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Certified as a controlled medical device, it offers the performance, quality, and safety of a hearing aid at a reasonable price. People can use their smartphones to enjoy integrated professional support, from initial fitting through to after-sales service, in the comfort of their own home. And, as with conventional wireless earbuds, users can listen to music and make hands-free calls.
Positioned as a reasonably priced hearing aid that is certified as a medical device, the Medical Listening Plug features a wireless earbud-like design so that it does not look like a hearing aid. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges faced by people with mild to moderate hearing loss when engaged in conversation. As part of the “new normal” life we lead, catching what someone is saying is made more difficult, thanks to the use of masks and protective screens, and having to maintain social distance or engage in online meetings. The device can be used just like a pair of wireless earbuds. This award recognizes the product’s contribution to helping those with potential deafness, maintaining one’s hearing – just as spectacles maintain one’s sight – and thus extending the user’s healthy hearing life span.
Semi Grand PrixTDK Corporation (Exhibit Area: General Exhibit Area)
VENUE: Geomagnetic Indoor Positioning Solution Will Change the Way We Work
By pre-measuring the geomagnetic field, which has a strength unique to every location on the earth, this solution (software) provides indoor positioning with high accuracy down to one meter based on smartphone magnetic sensor data. If the user has a smartphone, this software makes it possible to build an indoor location positioning solution with much smaller initial investment, because it eliminates the need to prepare new location information devices. This can significantly reduce the cost of initial investments especially in large warehouses and large areas of factories.
Time is often spent on searching for things in everyday operations and work is often hampered by over- or under-utilization of equipment and personnel because they are not properly allocated. To address these problems, instead of conventional expensive indoor positioning solutions, VENUE is a software-based real-time indoor positioning solution that utilizes geomagnetism and is characterized by its high accuracy and low cost. Utilizing long years of expertise in magnetic research, the solution was appraised for better accuracy with cell phones and terminals than conventional models at a lower cost, and the promise it holds for new usage scenes.
Startups & University Category
Grand PrixAISing Ltd. (Exhibit Area: Co-Creation PARK)
MST: Memory Saving and Low-power Edge AI Algorithm
The MST (Memory Saving Tree) edge AI algorithm can run on ARM Cortex-M level microcontrollers, requiring just a few KB of memory. With 92% ARM coverage, it is recommended for implementation on Cortex-A, Cortex-R, and Cortex-M series. As well as delivering ultra-light and extremely power-efficient AI, it offers high prediction accuracy and rapid response. Moreover, standalone sequential learning is possible even after edge AI implementation.
MST is a proprietary edge AI algorithm that supports additional learning with low memory requirements and high accuracy. It is a technology that can be applied in a wide range of fields including industrial applications and individual error correction. With a background in machine control, the engineers involved in AI development have expertise in multiple fields, including embedded systems. This technology exemplifies endpoint AI, which provides sensors and other devices with AI functionality. The award recognizes that MST is already a practical technology that can offer solutions to the sort of issues facing Japan’s industries that are in need of technological breakthroughs.
Semi Grand PrixHomura Heavy Industries Corporation (Exhibit Area: Co-Creation PARK)
Marine Drone (Water Drone All Made in Japan) – Automation and Digitization for Work on the Water
Use: Automation of marine work with a marine drone. Main functions: Automated operation based on location information, unmanned and remote control of equipment for different work applications mounted on the marine drone, and virtual anchoring. Technologies/features: Hardware, software, data servers, more, all made in Japan. Programs developed in-house that do not use open-source software. Independently-developed specialist circuit boards that are resistant to outdoor and water environments. Highly reliable embedded OS.
Appraised for its versatility as a marine drone, and for its ability to navigate autonomously and remotely. Implementation of this system with the aging workforce on the water and with previously manual poaching countermeasures will reduce human and financial costs, enable sustainable countermeasures and offer the prospect of using navigation data for poaching countermeasures and high-value-added information proposals. The technology will also contribute to the utilization of water resources with the development of spaces such as stages and restaurants that move on the water. The company's commitment to pure domestic production was also highly evaluated.
CEATEC AWARD 2021: Award categories and judging criteria
Candidates eligible for CEATEC AWARD 2021 review are projects, technologies, products, and services, as well as supporting software, applications, components, and devices exhibited at CEATEC ONLINE 2021 that have been applied for by exhibitors for the CEATEC AWARD 2021.
The Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications AwardThe Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award recognizes candidates deemed to have contributed significantly to the improvement of living standards and society as a whole via digital transformation in the age of the “New Normal”.
Candidates will also be determined by their ability to enhance the efficiency of economic activities and promote added value by advancing the CPS/IoT community and realization of Society 5.0. This includes but is not limited to the innovative utilization of information and communications networks, data, AI technologies and IoT technologies in the so-called age of IoT and Big Data, as well as the formation of services based on the aforementioned technologies for use in local communities.
The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry AwardThe Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award recognizes the most innovative candidates with dynamic market potential that have contributed significantly both to the advancement of the CPS/IoT community and the realization of Society 5.0.The candidates will additionally possess the creativity and marketability to stimulate digital transformation in the age of the “New Normal” while finding solutions for issues facing next-generation lifestyles, businesses and industries. Other judging criteria include the ability of candidates to ensure new value using AI, robotics, and Big Data, as well as create transformational approaches to manufacturing via services utilizing IoT and the development of technology to promote IoT across diverse fields.
Category Awards – One Grand Prix and one Semi Grand Prix awards for each category1) A New Society in the Age of Society 5.0 Infrastructure Category Carbon Neutral Category Award The awards will be selected from projects with advanced technologies, products, services, new solutions and business models, including elemental technologies and concepts that contribute to the sustainable maintenance and development of industry, society and daily life, with the aim of realizing a “decarbonized society,” and that are recognized for their outstanding contribution to carbon neutrality.
Super City/Smart City Category Award
The awards will be selected from projects that promote the co-creation of technologies and services, such as innovative services, data collaboration and utilization in all aspects of the community and daily life, which encourage local governments and industries to work together to propose and develop super cities & smart cities at the forefront of societies in the age of the “New Normal”. Candidates will also be judged on criteria such as their potential contributions to future society well as their feasibility and innovation.
Digital Transformation (DX) Category Award
The awards will be selected from technologies, products, services, solutions, and business models that promote digital transformation (DX) in various fields of industry, business activities, society, and daily life in response to the transformation of society in the age of the “New Normal”, and that are recognized for their superb innovativeness, concrete feasibility and marketability.
2) Open Category
Solutions Category Award
The awards will be selected from a wide range of projects involving new technologies, products, services, software, applications, solutions and business models to sustain and enrich industry, business, society and daily life. The awards will be presented to those projects that are evaluated to be outstanding in terms of their innovativeness, concrete feasibility, and contribution to society.
Elemental Technologies/Devices Category Award
The awards recognize elemental IoT technologies and devices as well as the ideas behind them that are used to sustain and develop industries and businesses, as well as our society and the way we live in the age of the “New Normal”. Candidates are also evaluated on criteria such as innovation, technological advancement, and superior applicability to products and services.
Startup & University Category Award
The awards recognize innovative applications from start-up companies, universities and research institutes that develop IoT and other related technologies, products, services, software, and business models, and bring it to market. Candidates judged as superior from definitive perspectives such as practicality, contribution to society, technological sophistication and marketability, will be considered for the awards.