CEATEC 2023, an exhibition of digital innovation sponsored by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), was held at Makuhari Messe in Tokyo from October 17th to 20th. This was the first time in four years that CEATEC held an exhibition and conference at a live venue. 684 companies and organizations exhibited, and 89,047 people visited the exhibition.
This year's CEATEC came with the theme "next generation.” At each company's booth, many products currently under development — and not expected to be mass-produced for a few years — were introduced, and signage announcing terms such as ‘world's first’ were conspicuous.
The opening reception for CEATEC 2023 was held on the day before the show, and was attended by approximately 700 people from the political and business worlds and embassies in Japan.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida took the stage in his address. “This year's CEATEC is geared toward the "next generation" and features technologies and services related to green, digital, and super cities," he said. “Ukrainian companies will also exhibit here for the first time. We hope that this will be an event where we can create the future together, regardless of national borders.”
He added, "For the first time in four years, innovators from various fields will gather to discuss the Digital Rural City State concept, AI, and other topics. The government will also work to commercialize digital services such as drones and automated driving as fast as possible toward a society where everyone can live conveniently and comfortably anywhere in Japan. To this end, we will move forward with efforts through public-private partnerships.”
NEC unveiled their domestically produced LLM (Large Language Model) to the general public for the first time. While not the first LLM to function in Japanese, NEC’s demonstration showed their model smoothly generating responses to prompts in colloquial Japanese, taking advantage of the large amount of Japanese language parameters available.
Hitachi gave a hands-on demonstration of the data sharing technology that it is working on with railroad operators to disseminate maintenance information utilizing the metaverse and AI. Even new workers who are not accustomed to maintenance and responding to abnormalities can learn how to respond, which is difficult to train staff for. The company believes that the system will help address issues such as manpower shortages at work sites and properly passing on skills to future workers.
Overseas companies are also active in the use of AI. A Ukrainian startup won the runner-up prize in the global category of the CEATEC Awards for their algorithm that uses IoT-enabled devices and AI to seek predictive signs of heart disease and other conditions. Although medical device regulations are an issue, the company has a proven track record in many countries and may be able to expand its business in Japan.
TDK exhibited a full-color laser module that can project images of the virtual world directly onto the retina. Augmented reality (AR), in which the real world and the virtual world are viewed simultaneously, is possible with the device, and the size of the module has been reduced to about one-tenth that of conventional optical modules. It is focus-free, does not require a change in focus, and does not cause motion sickness.
Other electronic component manufacturers also presented a variety of next-generation exhibits. Kyocera demonstrated a wide range of technologies under development, including Spatial Wireless Power Transmission, High Definition Aerial Display, and Walking Sensing & 3D Demonstration System. Murata demonstrated its Ultrasonic Raindrop Removal System (USCD), which can atomize water droplets on an in-vehicle camera at high speed using ultrasonic vibration.