TEPCO announced today that it has joined forces with IT and entertainment developer Pocket Queries Inc. to develop a mixed-reality (MR) solution that will combine the real and virtual worlds for fast, easy, three-dimensional visualization of data in the workplace.
TOKYO, May 17, 2018 - (JCN Newswire) - Electric industry leader Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) announced today that it has joined forces with IT and entertainment developer Pocket Queries Inc. to develop a mixed-reality (MR) solution that will combine the real and virtual worlds for fast, easy, three-dimensional visualization of data in the workplace. In the initial phase, collaborative research will focus on supporting frontline personnel working in power plants or factories. The collaboration agreement runs from May 2018 to March 2020.
During their research, the two parties will utilize mixed reality to develop a highly accessible and easy-to-use system for consolidating and displaying data, such as inspection readings, and supporting manual data entry. A working model will be tested on-site in mixed-reality environments that merge physical and digital spaces. Test sites will include a mix of TEPCO power plants and the TEPCO Research Institute.
Mixed reality areas will be constructed in physical spaces to display sensor- and support-related data for ready access during routine inspections and patrols. Also, an advanced communication protocol will be developed for sharing visual, audio and holographic data in real time between on-site and control room personnel. Such scenarios will be used to identify how and where mixed reality technology is most applicable, based on which practical interfaces will be devised.
The aim will be to not only raise efficiency and performance, but also change how work is conducted by redefining the boundaries of time, location and worker experience. The introduction of mixed reality in Japan's electrical utility field would be an industry first.
"By combining gaming-world and mixed-reality technologies, we aim to bring about an evolutionary change in the way people work and allow them to use their limited working hours as effectively as possible," said Nobuhiko Sasaki, CEO of Pocket Queries.
"As an electric power company that prioritizes both safety and efficiency, TEPCO is looking to leverage the power of MR to help us work more efficiently and ensure greater safety for optimal energy services," said Taishi Yamakawa of the TEPCO Research Institute Management Strategy Research Office. "Through our collaboration with Pocket Queries, we look forward to developing a mixed-reality solution that will greatly enhance our work processes."
The results of the collaborative research and practical trials at TEPCO are also expected to be applied in a commercial "QuantuMR" MR-based package solution that Pocket Queries would offer to various industries.
The collaboration will focus on core "Q" themes based on the "Quantize the World" concept:
- Queuing your mission data: Automatically create MR spatial data
- Query to remote-worker: Communicate remotely via an MR space
- Quest like a game: Provide on-site suggestions and guidance via MR
- Quick and magical tools: Improve efficiency with MR-specific tools
- Quote for your working report: Tie data to physical objects for use in reports
- Quantum for everyone: Convert MR data into knowledge for sharing/application
Data is the lifeblood of everyday operations at TEPCO electrical plants and other industrial facilities. As the Internet of Things and digitalization of workplaces expand, the management of such data will grow in importance. Going forward, the question is, how will businesses navigate between the real and virtual worlds to make data work for them increasingly quickly and efficiently?
Pocket Queries, drawing on its experience and expertise in the fields of game design and the development of augmented-reality and virtual-reality software, has been researching how to bring upgrade work floors with practical MR-based technology tailored specifically for the industrial sector. The company seeks to combine the power of gaming and advanced mixed reality for new solutions that enhance workplace efficiency.
TEPCO has a similar vision to strengthen frontline support and bring increased innovation to factory floors. Under its mission to provide a stable source of energy combined with high-value service, TEPCO is committed to exploring the latest technological advances in facility operation and maintenance.
For more about QuantuMR, including updates on test results as they pertain to mixed reality, please visit http://quantu-mr.com. QuantuMR will be demonstrated at de:code 2018 hosted by Microsoft in Japan on May 22-23. https://www.microsoft.com/ja-jp/events/decode/2018/
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.
Corporate Communication Office
Tel: +81-3-6373-1111 (Operator)
Pocket Queries Inc.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TSE: 9501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is the largest utility in Japan serving millions of homes and businesses. Worldwide the company has more than 34 subsidiaries and 32 affiliates in 8 countries and employs approximately 42,060 people. Consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, totaled 5.3 trillion Japanese yen. The company was established in 1951 and is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For more information visit http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/
About Pocket Queries
Founded in 2010, Pocket Queries, Inc., was one of the first companies in Japan to embrace development on the Unity platform. While their headquarters is located in Shibuya, Japan, they also have production studios in Vietnam (Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh Vietnam). With a team of over 120 engineers, artists, planners, and directors spanning multiple locations, Pocket Queries, Inc., is fully capable of overseeing every stage of solution development from start to finish. Please visit http://www.pocket-queries.co.jp (Japanese).