Message from the President February.2022

Linking the real and virtual worlds

Each year, the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) takes place early in January, starting the international events calendar. CES 2022 was held in a hybrid real/online form. At the event, companies proposing metaverse technologies attracted particular attention. Among them, the automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor Company proposed a metamobility concept that made me feel that a dream world was just around the corner.

"Metaverse" is a generic term for three-dimensional virtual spaces on the Internet based on core extended reality (XR) technologies that include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and substitutional reality (SR). Among the technologies enabling reality and virtual spaces to interact, the digital twin technology is well known. Presented at the recent CES, metamobility is the concept of linking physical movement to information movement to shift freely between real and virtual worlds. An example is remotely operating an avatar in a virtual world that operates a robot in the real word conducting work in a remote location.

In theory, technology has reached a level where it is possible to realize operations like this. We may see a world beyond space and time in the near future. After the technology becomes available for a variety of purposes, we will be able to enjoy physical experiences such as going into the deep sea or to outer space from the comfort of home. That will totally change our work and daily lives.

As the evolution of technology accelerates with each passing day, the development of autonomous driving and electric vehicles is proceeding far ahead of schedule in the automobile industry in a once-in-a-century transformational period. I suppose that engineers understand the speed of technological evolution. It will be more difficult than ever for them to continue to grow at this pace. However, it does not mean that they can just stand still. Technologies do not evolve by themselves. They can only be advanced through the untiring effort of engineers with a can-do spirit.

I understand that engineers' job is to create a fulfilling society that is convenient, safe and fun.
I hope they are proud of their profession, that they ask themselves what they want to create for what purposes, and that they discuss this with their colleagues at their places of work.  

February, 2022