NTT Com Expands - OPEN HUB for Smart World

NTT Com Expands "OPEN HUB for Smart World" Business Co-creation Program Beginning With Digital Human and Metaverse Demonstrations

NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT group, announced its immediate launch of initiatives involving digital humans and the metaverse under its business co-creation program, "OPEN HUB for Smart World," with the aim of expanding opportunities for all people, including those with workplace or time challenges, and strengthening solutions to address issues such as Japan's declining labor force.

OPEN HUB, which was launched in October 2021, has been used by some 3,000 people in about 1,300 companies for business co-creation in real and remote environments. Established in the metaverse, OPEN HUB Virtual Park utilizes a human-like "digital catalyst" generated by digital human technologies, including three-dimensional computer graphics (3DCG) and high-definition scanning and motion capture, to create a photorealistic human figure that responds to human visitors. The initiative is one of many ways NTT Com aims to use the metaverse to innovate workstyles, create new customer contact points accessible to all, and to develop services that address problems such as Japan's labor shortage and improve productivity, ultimately for greater wellbeing in society.

The OPEN HUB currently has 400 internal and external specialists, real people called catalysts, that companies utilize for business co-creation. The newest catalyst, actually a digital catalyst named CONN, was created by combining human-like visuals generated by Toei Zukun Laboratory of Toei Corporation's Digital Human Technology with human-like personalities generated by NTT's Human Informatics Laboratories' body motion-generation AI technology and voice-synthesis generation AI technology. CONN will perform tasks traditionally performed by NTT Com employees in real environments, such as guiding visitors in the OPEN HUB Park, demonstrating possibilities for incorporating digital humans in new workstyles as well as contact points for customers.

The OPEN HUB Virtual Park will also serve as an environment that transcends the limits of space and distance. By utilizing the NTT XR Space WEB "DOOR" metaverse platform, community members will be able to interact with each other and engage in discussions with the digital catalyst on an ongoing basis.

In addition, the OPEN HUB Virtual Park will be a metaverse environment where enterprises will be able to demonstrate new technologies that cannot be implemented in the real world. Users will be able to collect and use data from real and virtual environments, and virtually exhibit prototypes they create in the real environment to obtain feedback, thereby facilitating business co-creation.

Going forward, NTT Com will work to match catalysts and community members based on communication logs, action logs, visitation histories and other data obtained in real and virtual environments. NTT Com is committed to contributing to social and industrial digital transformation through the OPEN HUB and other co-creation initiatives as well as providing advanced solutions for 5G, XR and robotics.

Source: media announcement

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