As a leading global telecommunications company, SoftBank is always looking for innovative new ways to expand their business and better serve their customers. With the proliferation of IoT sensors and connected devices across virtually all industries, SoftBank knew they needed a way to quickly and efficiently develop real-time applications to take advantage of bleeding-edge technologies and address the pain points of everyday city life.
This however is no small feat, seeing how many had failed before them, SoftBank wanted a testing ground to experiment with developing, deploying, and integrating real-time applications for various city functions such as food delivery, security monitoring, personalized billboards, automated cleaning, public transportation, and more. SoftBank created this real-life sandbox at Port City Takeshiba in the heart of Tokyo Japan, naming it the location of their new global headquarters.
In order to successfully orchestrate all of these different city systems and provide a seamless experience for both employees and visitors to Takeshiba, SoftBank needed a surefire way to develop and deploy real-time smart city applications.
One of the most interesting use cases for real-time technology in Takeshiba is the ability for signage throughout the smart city to immediately react to changes in the environment (such as weather delaying transit systems and signage automatically offering a drink coupon at a local bar) or even who is currently viewing the sign.
By combining image recognition cameras with AI algorithms SoftBank’s smart city platform is able to determine the age, gender, location, and more to show the most pertinent information on the sign. This has opened up both new potential use cases and business opportunities for SoftBank.
With plans to expand their Smart City framework to other urban areas it was a must to have some way of testing at scale. With the introduction of Port City Takeshiba, SoftBank is now able to deploy robots, drones, 5G, and other new technologies into a living breathing city.
Having this smart city sandbox at their fingertips will allow SoftBank to stay one step ahead of their competition and help them to rapidly expand these technologies to other smart city projects around the globe.
When the Takeshiba project was started there was no pandemic sweeping the globe, forcing entire nations into lockdown and bringing about new social norms. But as development on both the smart city infrastructure and real-time system was underway in the midst of this crisis, it became increasingly apparent how important it is to have an agile development framework at your disposal.
SoftBank isn now able to quickly shift aspects of various smart city systems to incorporate social distancing procedures, automated cleaning systems, PPE compliance detection, and more. In the event of a future crisis, whether it be a pandemic or something else, cities that have the capability to quickly react and evolve like Takeshiba will see major quality of life improvements for its citizens.