March 9, 2023
NTT Com expands "OPEN HUB for Smart World" business co-creation program beginning with digital human and metaverse demonstrations
TOKYO, JAPAN, March 9, 2023—NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT group, announced today 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.
Digital catalyst named CONN
OPEN HUB Virtual Park
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.
NTT DOCOMO, NTT Com and NTT COMWARE have integrated their enterprise businesses under the new DOCOMO group and its “docomo business” brand. The group, guided by its Mobile Cloud First strategy, strives to deliver innovative solutions for society and industry through collaboration with enterprise clients and partners under the slogan “Changing worlds with you.”
NTT Com collaborates with clients and partners to co-create value, both for today and for post-COVID society, based on its Re-connect X™ business vision of reconnecting everything (“X”) in society and industry with mobile and fixed-line convergence services and solutions for a more sustainable world.
About NTT Communications
NTT Communications solves global technology challenges by helping enterprises utilize managed IT-infrastructure solutions to overcome complexity and risk in their IT environments. These solutions are backed by our worldwide infrastructure, including industry-leading, global tier-1 public and private networks reaching over 190 countries/regions, and more than 500,000m2 of the world's most advanced data-center facilities. As the core provider of the DOCOMO group's enterprise-business services and solutions, we create value by providing global-scale support for restructuring in industry and society, new workstyles and digital transformation in communities. Together with NTT Ltd., NTT Data and NTT DOCOMO, we are the NTT Group.
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Appendix: Overview of the OPEN HUB
NTT Com launched this business co-creation program in October 2021 to facilitate the creation and implementation of new business concepts with clients and partners. The program provides people, technologies, and places as functions to realize Smart World.
NTT Com works with “catalysts” (expert personnel working in various fields) and partner companies to create business solutions that combine diverse ideas and cutting-edge skills in real or sometimes virtual venues. The initiative includes OPEN HUB Journal, an owned media covering business trends and case studies, currently used by some 400,000 members, and the OPEN HUB Base, a community for clients and partners numbering more than 15,000 members. OPEN HUB Park opened in February 2022 as the main activity base for OPEN HUB and attracted 3,000 visitors from some 1,300 companies in its first year. Under the OPEN HUB Play initiative, catalysts are working with enterprises on some 400 co-creation projects.