This week’s CeBIT 2017 digital business expo has just got underway in Hannover, Germany, and it’s putting the spotlight on Japan and its future.
Japan is this year’s “partner country” for the event, with Hitachi being its official representative. As such, CeBIT got started this year with a Japan Summit organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and CeBIT organizer Deutsche Messe. Participants took the opportunity to lay out Society 5.0, the Japanese government’s vision for the next major phase of humanity, following the “hunter-gatherer, agrarian, industrial and information societies” that preceded it, as JETRO explained in a statement.
Society 5.0 will revolve around the Internet of Things, and will see promotion of smart technology on a holistic and interconnected basis, rather than the investment of resources behind a few prominent companies or sectors. That can lead to the development and implementation of smart city solutions like Hitachi’s new laser-based pedestrian traffic monitoring system, which could help to reduce congestion in heavily trafficked routes.
The Internet of Things has taken some time to take shape, and indeed it’s still a nebulous concept; likewise, Society 5.0 will not be realized over night. But a first major step has been taken at CeBIT, with Japan-based cross-sector group the IoT Acceleration Consortium having signed a memorandum of cooperation with Europe’s Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation, paving the way for collaboration that could prove highly productive over the coming months and years.