NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business of the NTT group, announced the immediate launch of initiatives involving digital humans and the metaverse as part of its business co-creation program, “OPEN HUB for Smart World,” with the goal of expanding opportunities for all people, including those with workplace or time constraints, and strengthening solutions to address issues such as Japan’s declining labor force.
OPEN HUB, which was introduced in October 2021, has been utilized by over 3,000 individuals at around 1,300 businesses for business co-creation in real and remote contexts. Established in the metaverse, OPEN HUB Virtual Park employs a human-like “digital catalyst” created by digital human technologies, such as three-dimensional computer graphics (3DCG) and high-definition scanning and motion capture, to generate a photorealistic human figure that responds to human visitors. The initiative is one of the many ways in which NTT Com intends to use the metaverse to innovate workstyles, create new customer contact points that are accessible to all, and develop services that address issues such as Japan’s labor shortage and improve productivity for the greater good of society.
The OPEN HUB now employs 400 internal and external professionals, known as catalysts, who are utilized by businesses for business co-creation. The latest catalyst, a digital catalyst dubbed CONN, was produced by integrating human-like sights and personalities formed by NTT’s Human Informatics Labs’ body motion-generation AI technology and voice-synthesis generation AI technology. CONN will execute duties often performed by NTT Com employees in actual situations, such as directing visitors in the OPEN HUB Park, highlighting the potential for blending digital humans into new workstyles and as customer touch points.
The OPEN HUB Virtual Park will also function as a habitat that transcends spatial and temporal limitations. With the NTT XR Space WEB “DOOR” metaverse platform, community members will be able to engage in ongoing conversations with the digital catalyst and communicate with one another.
Also, the OPEN HUB Virtual Park will be a metaverse setting where businesses may exhibit novel technologies that cannot be applied in the physical world. Users will be able to collect and utilize data from real and virtual surroundings, as well as digitally present prototypes created in the actual world to receive feedback, hence simplifying corporate co-creation.
NTT Com will strive in the future to link catalysts and community members based on communication logs, action logs, visiting histories, and other information gathered from real and virtual surroundings. Via the OPEN HUB and other co-creation projects, as well as through delivering innovative solutions for 5G, XR, and robots, NTT Com is dedicated to contributing to societal and industrial digital transformation.
The enterprise businesses of NTT DOCOMO, NTT Com, and NTT COMWARE have been consolidated under the new DOCOMO group and its “docomo business” name. The firm, led by its Mobile Cloud First approach, seeks to create new solutions for society and business by collaborating with corporate clients and partners under the tagline “Changing worlds with you.”
NTT Com collaborates with clients and partners to co-create value, both for the present and for post-COVID society, in accordance with 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.