Published on in Digital Transformation

We’re halfway through the day at Fujitsu World Tour 2017, and what a morning it has been!

Almost 1,000 people have descended on a bright and clear corner of Greenwich in East London –  and it’s not only to take in the beautiful views of the Thames and Canary Wharf.

Guests from throughout the UK and beyond have gathered to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing our businesses and society – and the technology that can address them.

Already we’ve heard three exceptional keynote speeches and checked out a fascinating technology showcase. So after a busy morning, what are five big questions being asked at Fujitsu World Tour?

Will you change your business before someone else does it for you?

The daunting challenge facing everyone attending this year’s World Tour is how to respond to digital disruption. A quick survey of the audience during the opening keynote found that an astonishing 42% of attendees believe their audience will be unrecognisable within the next five years.

As James Johnston set out in his opening speech, technology is clearly a worrying prospect – but it’s also a huge opportunity. Through digital technology, organisations can achieve amazing outcomes – and throughout the day, there will be sessions with DHL to Specsavers which show what can be done.

But to realise these possibilities, businesses must be open to change – and collaborative innovation. That’s why this year the theme for World Tour is Digital Co-Creation: working together to develop bold new ideas. And conference attendees are being invited to try it for themselves.

In the Technology Showcase, there is a Co-Creation Station to bring people together, complete with lego, picture cards and a wall of challenges. Everyone attending Fujitsu World Tour is invited to come down to the Technology Showcase to share their challenges and help others to solve theirs. At the end of the day, Fujitsu will be taking one idea forward and collaborating with the company to develop a solution – so it’s well worth a visit.

What will charity look like in the digital era?

In his introduction to Fujitsu, James Johnston highlighted the importance of doing business in the right way, even in the face of digital disruption. Human-centric innovation is another key focus for World Tour, and Fujitsu as a business.

So as part of this year’s World Tour, we’re working with our corporate charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support to tackle the question of how to use digital technology to increase donations in busy areas, using contactless payments.

Ahead of the event, the charity team developed 48 solutions which they whittled down to two concepts being showcased today. Attendees have been asked to check out the ideas and choose between:

  • High Five for Macmillan!  – A foam hand that allows you to donate by swiping your hand across it
  • The Contactless Collection Bucket  – A collection tub for the digital age, that collects payments from contactless cards instead of cash

So what will charity look like in the digital age? With the help of attendees today, we’re hoping to find out.

Can a robot diagnose depression?

In his morning keynote, Dr Joseph Reger gave a fascinating account of the potential of technologies to digitally disrupt organisations – and fundamentally change how they work. One such technology is machine learning, the subset of artificial intelligence which involves a system learning patterns and responses.

To show how artificial intelligence can work, Dr Reger looked at the example of medicine and specifically diagnosing mental illness. At San Carlos Hospital in Madrid, Fujitsu has implemented a machine learning system that has analysed 36,000 patient records to understand the risk factors and symptoms associated with depression.

The system can now diagnose depression 95% as accurately as a team of 8 clinicians – but within seconds. This accuracy will only improve over time, freeing up doctors’ time and ultimately leading to improvements in diagnosis and care.

As 4 in 15 people suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives, the potential benefits for human life are incredible.

Machine learning is just one of the incredible technologies leading to transformational outcomes – and the potential in areas from quality control to cybersecurity are huge. We’re looking forward to learning more throughout the day.

What will the future sound like?

In his Perspective from Tokyo, Yoshikuni Takashige shared his own view on digital co-creation, from Fujitsu’s own Technology and Service Vision. This centres on the idea that by working together and using co-creation, we can create a borderless world, where the only limit is our imagination.

To show the potential of co-creation in action, Takashige shared an incredible project being developed by Fujitsu with Yamaha, the musical instruments manufacturer. Yamaha was keen to combine its expertise in sound and music with digital technology, so by partnering with Fujitsu the two have created a new concept: sound intelligence.

Sound intelligence fundamentally works like augmented reality, but through sound. A networked microphone collects and stores sounds, together with data about the time and place that they were collected. Using sound intelligence, those noises can then be used to create a soundscape, which understands where we are and what we’re doing.

Think for example of walking through a forest and hearing noises from a jungle, or visiting your favourite beach and reliving memories from the last time you were there.

Sound intelligence has now passed the proof of concept and is being released commercially. By working together, Fujitsu and Yamaha have created a whole new concept in sound – showing again the incredible potential of technology and co-creation.

And finally… what does it feel like to skydive?

There are lots of quirky and surprising exhibitions in the Technology Showcase – but perhaps none more so than the K5 Cloud Challenge that greets you as you enter the room. The team has hooked up a ‘cradle’ (a sort of metal hammock) to a VR headset to simulate the sensation of skydiving.

Guests are being challenged to ‘fly’ across a virtual landscape, tilting the suit to glide through a series of loops and gain points. All of this is being powered by the K5 cloud platform, which is storing ‘flight data’ in the cloud and will allow the team to run data analysis of the day’s performances!

There is a leaderboard (being topped by one very aerodynamic visitor from the public sector), so it’s an incredible chance to see what skydiving feels like, without the wingsuit.

There’s still so much to see at Fujitsu World Tour, so watch this space for further blogs and check out #FujitsuWorldTour on Twitter.

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Jim Millen

Digital Content Editor at Fujitsu
I'm the editor for the Fujitsu UK & Ireland blog, and love to write about the exciting work Fujitsu do in digital & technology innovation.

Any feedback on the blog or our other social channels? Please do connect and let me know!

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