July 12, 2007 09:00 ET

New NEC Research Lab to Develop Future Information Communication Systems With World's Leading Researchers

Open, Yet Secure, High-Tech Lab Built to Generate Maximum Innovation

TOKYO--(Marketwire - July 12, 2007) - Research activities kick off today at NEC's new C&C (Computers and Communications) Innovation Research Laboratories in Nara, Japan*. The new laboratories will focus on research and development of future information communication systems, post full-scale convergence of computers and communications. Under a policy of open and secure innovation, the laboratories will collaborate with the world's top researchers at up to 20 research institutes, universities, and enterprises around the world to develop world first, cutting edge technologies.

Research will be focused on (1) cognitive computing and applied systems to generate completely new kinds of innovation, and (2) communication and applied systems, surpassing the boundaries of time, space, language, distance, and culture.

Features of the new laboratories include:

(1) Open and Secure Research Environment: The open laboratory accommodates NEC and guest researchers on site, while also realizing open communication with non-present research partners via a High Definition Remote Research Window -- a real-time, two-way, visual connection with remote research facilities, realized by high definition cameras/TV. In addition, the laboratories ensure top-class security through NEC's thin clients, which prevent information leaks by server-concentrated data management, and RFID tags, which are attached to the facilities, including library books and PCs.

(2) Intellectual Activity History Recording System: This system has been designed to analyze the innovation generation process via a data base of activity history that is accumulated by recording all image, voice, movement, human contact, book, document and whiteboard use, and PC operation inside the laboratory. Utilizing this data, NEC will strive to reveal the relationship between human-to-human/human-to-object contact and innovation generation, and to identify the process of intellectual activity.

(3) Inspiration Path: Researchers can relay and build ideas freely and instantaneously via an Inspiration Path, which consists of an asynchronous dialogue system that is located in the corridors of the laboratory. Overcoming the barrier of time, researchers can share their ideas with the system, which will communicate them to other researchers.

(4) Wiki-type Open Source Development Platform: Development of a platform created by multiple parties through the accumulation of knowledge scattered around the world. For example, NEC could utilize this system to generate new user scenarios for NEC's research robot PaPeRo (Partner-Personal-Robot) by enabling collaboration of people with various skill sets, such as software professionals, robot scientists, artists, and children, to design various robot behaviors.

(5) Engine to Enable Automatic Extraction of Causal Relationship of Web Information: NEC is developing an engine that enables extraction of human relationships from web information, and displays them in the form of human networks. NEC hopes to expand this system to enable identification of the causal relationship of all kinds of information in the future.

"NEC has a history of developing leading technologies in the fields of computers and communications. The convergence of these fields is already spurring on the development of new and exciting technologies," said Keiji Yamada, General Manager, C&C Innovation Research Laboratories. "Our new open and secure laboratories have been built with a host of highly advanced technologies to ensure NEC maintains its position as a leading innovator of future technology."

*The establishment of the new laboratory marks the 30th anniversary of Koji Kobayashi's, former chairman of NEC Corporation, C&C vision, which foresaw the convergence of digital communications with the computer. Over the past 30 years, convergence has progressed to enable a networked society that empowers people to access information anywhere, and anytime, through a variety of information communication devices.

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