Change the way work is done in the office
Ten scenarios for the near future

01 Understand everything
in an instant
Digest Info
02 Translate the unsaidIntelligent Translation
03 Meet your best selfHigh-Density Office
04 Share the life
of furniture
05 Ask predecessors
for wisdom
AI Partner
06 Make an office
within a crowd
Smart Sonar
07 Control a sustainable and sensible diet Smart Meal Management
08 Touch the heart of a skill Tacit Archive
09 Create new work
and manpower
Task Clipper
10 Release your inner
Design as God

What’s office vision?

New technology, the state of the world, underlying lifestyle values: all influence one another while forming the outline of society.

Of course, the office is also influenced by this big flowing wave, and it has gradually changed.

In 2020, the office will reach its biggest turning point.

We have drawn ten scenarios for this change, and continue to study the shape of the office in the near future.

01 2015 2020

Over half my work is checking reports from countries in different time zones Understand everything
in an instantDigest Info

Edit information into a form that can be grasped in an instant, to find out what was discussed in a meeting you missed, and what was happening in the office while you were away. Streamline projects with skilled staff and experts scattered around the globe, who have difficulty finding a time and place to come together.

Development Interview 01

Digest InfoUnderstand everything
in an instant

Hirokazu Tsujimura

In our society of advanced globalization, surely more and more projects are being created with people located in multiple countries and regions. When team members located in different time zones come together for a web meeting, the members who must participate late at night suffer an extra physical burden. This only gets worse if they have several such projects going on. It's impossible for everyone to stay awake around the clock.
Messy meeting notes take time to read, and notes that only record the results of discussion tell nothing of how those conclusions were reached. It may be possible to videotape the meeting, but by watching a video of a meeting, business will be halted. The starting point for the Digest Info idea was this need for a way to understand the discussion process, the results, and the outcome, without spending a lot of time.
To be able to sense emotions of agitation and anxiety, atmospheres of excitement and agreement, to learn the important points of the discussion process, and accurately summarize the results and outcome. If this was possible, it would certainly further stimulate business with the people of the world. If this technology was used, reports summarizing the day's activities could be made easily and accurately, benefiting both the person reporting and the person who must hear the report. There are of course technical challenges to finding a way to sense human emotion and the atmosphere of a scene, but the issue of privacy is an even bigger problem..


Digest Info

Be able to grasp in an instant what sort of discussion was held during conferences and meetings while you were away.
A picture that captures the moment a meeting heats up, graph data that senses the atmosphere, and images that visualize the words that fly about in a meeting. Such features give a direct sense of the content of the debate, agreement of participants, and the mood in the space. The results of the meeting are briefly summarized so that the content can be grasped at a glance.
Meeting records that can be, “not read, but sensed with the eyes” speeds up business.

01In the future In 2020 02Translate the unsaid
02 2015 2020

My words are understood, and yet something is wrong Translate the unsaidIntelligent Translation

Differences in values and methods of expression that cause miscommunications due to a diversity of nationalities, generations, and cultural backgrounds are brought to workers attention, or are secretly corrected. It recognizes individual workers’ unspoken thoughts and habitual actions, and assists communication between workers with diverse personalities.

Development Interview 02

Intelligent TranslationTranslate the unsaid

Hiroaki Fujita

As diversity progresses, surely more and more people will need to communicate with people of a variety of ages, nationalities, and cultures. Miscommunication will happen even more than ever between people with very different backgrounds. For example, some systems are appearing that can do simultaneous interpretation of simple words, but there are times when the same words can include several different meanings. For example, though a Japanese person may say “Iketara iku ne (I will go if I can)”, this phrase that seems to mean “I will go”, it is sometimes used to turn down an invitation. Just as such words have another side, or as true meaning isn't always put into words, we believe that there will be a need for a system that can accurately sense the mood of a scene and the occasional vague nuance. This is where the idea for Intelligence Translation comes from. Furthermore, even among people of the same generation or nationality, there can be people with good intuition and others without, who can hear the same story and come away with completely different ideas.
It is an absolute must for business that the people in the same space share a common awareness. However, it is difficult to know how to grasp the mood and nuance of a place and communicate it. Nuance and mood can be greatly influenced by emotion, so this requires technology that can identify emotion and supply a method for feedback. There are times when it would not be good for all emotion to be exposed. There are also challenges surrounding how to generate expressions that can be accepted naturally and do not cause any discomfort for the people present.


Intelligent Translation

Intelligence Translation is a system that will energize discussions between members of different cultures and generations.
At the table, check things like, “level of agreement participants have with the discussion” or “existence of hidden opinions or ideas that haven’t come up in discussion.” Additionally, the amount spoken by each member can be seen as an infographic, or such information can be used to encourage more speech by vibrating the chair of someone who may have lost interest in the discussion.
This will make an atmosphere where diverse teams can collaborate with a sense of security.

02In the future In 2020 03Meet your best self
03 2015 2020

My mind and body can’t keep up with this diversity of work Meet your best selfHigh-Density Office

Workers have to adapt their physical and mental condition to deal with a variety of tasks changing in rapid succession, such as intensive work and brainstorming. Guide them to maximize their performance and improve work quality.

Development Interview 03

High-Density OfficeMeet
your best self

Kei Nakayama

The growth of information infrastructure has diversified how people work, and many people are now able to work without coming to the office. Does this mean that someday the office will cease to exist? The starting point for this idea was to imagine what sort of office will be needed in the future.
Of course, the workplace is meant to be a place where people gather, and this physical interaction is an important role. We believe that the office of the future can be a place where a person's efficiency and work quality improve just by being there.
We imagine a place that puts people into optimum condition both physically and mentally for maximizing their ability and successfully performing a variety of tasks. For example, something that could aid in improved concentration for solo work, or more flexible thinking for brainstorming. This is completely different from an image of someone forced to work, emerging from the office exhausted at the end of the day. Efficient breaks can be taken at just the right timing. Rather than working and taking random breaks, workers can efficiently achieve a full and varied workday simply by going to the office. The name, High-Density Office, was made with the idea that it can be possible to achieve much more work within the same amount of time.


Mind Tuner

The system can sense the physical and mental condition of a worker, and adjust it to achieve an ideal state.
It generates visual data on “level of stress and/or relaxation”, “physical fatigue”, and even “mental flexibility” indicating whether the person is in a state where they can easily communicate with others, by sensing the blood flow in the fingertips. The system then recommends the most appropriate action, food, or drink in order to improve performance for the next task.
The mind tuner allows for both improved efficiency at work and management of physical condition. This could become an incentive for workers to come to the office.

03In the future In 2020 04Share the life of furniture
04 2015 2020

Unused furniture is just left sitting Share the life of furnitureCloudstock

Share the condition and level of deterioration of furniture your office no longer needs. People who have furniture to lend, and others who need it are connected in real time, to popularize a new office style where resources are shared.

Development Interview 04

CloudstockShare the life
of furniture

Hiroshi Takeuchi

Scarcity of resources is a serious problem on a global scale. We believe the throwaway lifestyle is coming to an end. There is no accurate data available, but surely there are far more chairs in this world than there are people. What is the best way to use office furniture in the future with our limited resources? This is where this idea begins. Many items are thrown away before the end of their useful life. As a manufacturer, it's sad when products that can still be used are discarded. By sharing products, they can continue to be used for their entire safe lifespan. From the user perspective, it is an effective system to use when starting up new limited-time projects. This can solve issues such as what to do with new furniture left after a short-term project wraps up, and high costs involved in procuring new furniture for a startup.
One challenge in achieving this future is the task of assembling data on products that are scattered far and wide. Even if the same item is used for the same length of time, one used by a person weighing 80kg will have a different level of wear and tear compared to one used by a person weighing 40kg. Its level of cleanliness will also be different depending on how an item is used. More research must be done on how to collect a reliable standard of both qualitative and quantitative information.


Scouter Furniture

By sensing both the state of the furniture and the state of the person using the furniture, it will be possible to manage both the furniture, and the posture and surrounding environment of the worker. When someone sits on a chair, the load on the seat is measured. The total load is stored in the chair, and this monitoring makes it possible to manage the timing of replacement and repair of the furniture. If the user has poor posture, the chair sounds an alert, and the chair automatically changes the height of the seat. It also automatically adjusts the lighting and temperature in the area, so the worker can build an ideal working environment.

04In the future In 202005Ask predecessors for wisdom
05 2015 2020

Meetings where time passes with no end in sight Ask predecessors for wisdomAI Partner

AI (artificial intelligence) can sensitively infer worries and hesitation with regards to work progress. It can assist the worker by obliquely displaying information that can lead to new realizations, or offer words of advice that draw out better ideas.

Development Interview 05

AI PartnerAsk predecessors for wisdom

Tetsuo Nishino

When I was trapped in stalled, stifling meetings, I had an idea. My idea of an AI partner developed from thoughts such as, "What would Steve Jobs say if he were here now?" and "If I were Itoki's founder Kijuro Ito, what would I say?" Wouldn't it be fun to have a meeting where you could consult with great people and founders from the past? This would not have to be limited to great people from the past. The company mandate could also be used as an aid to decision making, with a sort of corporate character as opposed to an individual character. After all, there are many companies that generate interesting ideas overall which can’t necessarily be traced back to a special individual. However, it would be limited to consultation. The actual people present would have to make the decisions. An AI partner wouldn't function to make decisions on behalf of people or teach them the correct answer, but rather pull out the possibilities within people and give them necessary advice when needed. This is the difficult part. Finding the answer itself is the simple part. Analyzing data and finding the method with the least risk is what computers do best. I think optimization is the biggest challenge.


AI Partner

The founder of your company, legendary creators, and more unique AIs support your creative work as an idea-generating partner. Write your idea on a post-it and paste it up, and, like a real co-worker, it reacts to ideas, produces related keywords, and so on. By changing the color of the lighting and other thoughtful details, it will draw out the creativity of workers naturally.

05In the future In 202006Make an office within a crowd
06 2015 2020

I can’t work unless it’s in an office Make an office within a crowdSmart Sonar

Change any space into one where you can have a meeting or concentrate on intensive solo work without feeling self-conscious. Change any place in town into a comfortable office environment, supporting active workers.

Development Interview 06

Smart SonarMake an office within a crowd

Ryoichi Morita

I believe that the work style where most people are affiliated with a company is going to change. In the future, more and more technically skilled people such as designers and programmers will work as freelancers instead of belonging to a single company. The starting point for this idea came when I began to wonder where people with this working style will hold their meetings and where will they go to do desk work that requires concentration. Currently, people calling themselves nomad workers do their work in many different places, holding meetings places like cafés when necessary. Unfortunately, the surrounding noise can be a drawback. Additionally, there is a risk that their conversation will be overheard or contents of documents may be spotted by other people. It would be nice if people could hold important meetings or share videos without fear of being observed. If only information could be shared exclusively with the intended recipient. It sounds like telepathy, but perhaps technology can help us achieve such psychic power. Even now, special microphones and speakers can be used for two designated people to have a conversation only they can hear, but there aren't many places with such facilities. The question is how to achieve this in any place, at any time. I want to think about how to make it happen without using wearable technology. That leaves us with telepathy, I suppose.

06In the future In 202007Control a sustainable and sensible diet
07 2015 2020

I’ve hardly made any progress on my work, and it’s already lunchtime. Control a sustainable and sensible dietSmart Meal Management

This system would recommend a balanced meal and the timing to eat the meal based on work to be done and the user’s physical condition for that day. This would improve the health and performance of workers while also contributing to Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate.

Development Interview 07

Smart Meal ManagementControl a sustainable and sensible diet

Ryo Takahara

One problem facing Japan today is the nation's low food self-sufficiency rate. I think that a way to improve this rate is for companies to take responsibility for the dietary needs of their own employees. My idea began when I imagined how the office would change if companies begin contributing to food self-sufficiency. I approached the issue by proposing that companies make their own food by building a garden within the office. Then, I began to expand the idea by exploring how the act of workers eating this food could also contribute to their health and physical condition. The act of eating contributes to a worker's overall performance. Many athletes take special care in selecting the nutrients necessary before, during, and after a sporting event. I wonder if office workers could also have different dietary needs depending on what they are doing: for example, work that requires intense concentration versus work like brainstorming. By eating just the right food at the right timing for the task at hand, surely worker performance can be improved, and as a result, the nation’s food self-sufficiency can also be raised. This may seem like a ridiculous fantasy, but I’m seriously considering it.

07In the future In 202008Touch the heart of a skill
08 2015 2020

I don’t understand just by reading Touch the heart of a skillTacit Archive

In many industries, manufacturing steps are automated, and the skills and intuition of craftsmen are being lost. We will encode these craftsmen's skills and preserve the unique craftsmanship of Japan and its regions for the next generation.

Development Interview 08

Tacit ArchiveTouch the heart of a skill

Yosuke Kato

As a society, in order to promote revitalization of rural regions and decentralization of power, we must develop each region's unique traditions and industries. Development of human resources is one challenge we face in doing so. What must be done for more people to take an interest in unique regional industries and traditional techniques? That was the origin for this idea.
A large barrier to finding successors for traditional crafts and industries is that the only way to encounter such industries is to travel to the production sites themselves. After all, it can take a lot of courage to plunge into such an environment. In order to solve this, I want to encode these unique techniques so that they can be experienced anywhere in the world. What a luxury, to experience the techniques of a national living treasure, or to have an experienced craftsman patiently teach a technique.
Of course, these skills would have to be recorded somehow in order to encode them. We must achieve the impossible task of transforming a skill that relies on feeling into data.
There is also a concern that by encoding unique regional techniques, these techniques could be leaked. We need to decide how to make the data available, choosing whether to protect local industry, or prioritize preservation of the technique. Either way, I think it is worthwhile to encode master craftsmanship.

08In the future In 202009Create new work and manpower
09 2015 2020

My skilled staff can’t take on these tasks Create new work and manpowerTask Clipper

Through development of UI technology for voice input and gestures, the concept of work as sitting at a desk, looking at a screen, and typing into a computer keyboard is changing. As a result, there is going to be a new way of taking on work.

Development Interview 09

Task ClipperCreate new work and manpower

Shoko Kishida

The declining labor force is getting more and more pronounced. A big challenge for companies is going to be how to acquire enough manpower. No matter how specialized their knowledge, skill, or experience, anyone could get injured or sick, or have to leave work to take care of children or elderly parents. I believe that technology can be used to create an environment where people can use their abilities even under such circumstances.
For example, by using artificial intelligence, people who are unable to work full-time, or who are unable to participate in an entire project can have a portion of tasks assigned to them that fit their situation and ability. Considered further, if there were tools that allowed people to work without being affected by their physical and environmental conditions, for example even if they are holding a child in their arms or are unable to move due to an injury, they would be able to continue working.
However, there are still many challenges that must be overcome before this can be achieved. It won't be easy to create a system that can appropriately divide up tasks for an entire project based on each worker's changing circumstances, artificial intelligence or not. Additionally, there will probably be a need to develop a system for the society or company side that can evaluate and manage the work of the people taking on the tasks.

09In the future In 202010Release your inner creativity
10 2015 2020

It’s not what I wanted,but I can’t tell my opinion to the expert Release your inner creativityDesign as God

Technologies surrounding design are evolving. An era is coming where the sense and instinct of the user can be used directly to make high-grade items, without using expert-level skills such as drawing diagrams, modeling, and so on.

Development Interview 10

Design as GodRelease your
inner creativity

Kosuke Hoshi

The speed of business is getting faster and faster. So fast, that even taking the time to change office layout for each project or business unit is time that can be better spent working. Until now, offices have been made by experts taking time to make a design and then using that design to draw up plans and do construction work to complete the office. However, there is going to be a need for a new way of making an office that prioritizes speed.
For example, using artificial intelligence to create an office design rather than using a human designer, using AR (Augmented Reality) spaces, or VR (Virtual Reality) spaces to try layouts and interiors. If something isn't as desired, there's no need to give expert-level directions, but instead just by offering impressions and requests, the AI can instantly recommended several new patterns. This is how a new era will come that uses a variety of technologies to utilize the sense and intuition of office users themselves in the field of design that was once a specialized technical skill.
Even so, it will still take time to enable AI to understand construction-related regulations, fire laws, and other important specialized knowledge, as well as efficient and creative office layouts.

10In the future In 2020