METAWATER to launch "Smart Field Service" in Japan for enhanced water and wastewater infrastructure management under Fujitsu's cloud environment and with AR technology
METAWATER Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and Representative Director: Tomoyasu Kida; hereinafter referred to as "we" or "METAWATER") has started to provide Japanese municipalities on October 22 with "Smart Field Service," a water infrastructure management service available under the cloud environment.
Incorporating AR technology (*1) of Fujitsu Limited (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President and Representative Director: Masami Yamamoto; hereinafter referred to as "Fujitsu"), and utilizing smartphones or tablets for inspection work of water and wastewater facilities, "Smart Field Service" is intended to simplify inspection work and make it more efficient, and also to gather various information related to water and wastewater as well as the know-how of inspectors. METAWATER aims to introduce the service in 1,000 Japanese municipalities by 2017.
After the launch of the service in Japan, METAWATER will analyze collected information about water and wastewater facilities in order to make maintenance and management of the facilities more efficient, while strengthening ties with Fujitsu in the water and wastewater business with the aim of establishing a platform for a next-generation water and wastewater infrastructure that will support the water environment into the future.
Aging of the Japanese public assets and facilities constructed around the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964 has become an issue, and it is said that the time will come when social infrastructure crucial to our life, including highways and water utilities, has to be renewed on a massive scale. However, the frontlines that support the social infrastructure are facing many problems, such as increasing renewal costs and a shortage of trained engineers.
To solve these issues, in 2011, METAWATER started the "Water Business Cloud" with use of Fujitsu's public cloud service, "FUJITSU Cloud IaaS Trusted Public S5," and has assisted municipalities so that their water and wastewater services can continue without interruption.
For further strengthening of the business, METAWATER, in collaboration with Fujitsu, will begin to provide a water infrastructure management service in Japan, "Smart Field Service," which runs in the cloud.
Smart Field Service
How "Smart Field Service" is provided can be outlined as follows. AR markers are attached to devices to associate them with locations. This makes it possible to accumulate various information in the cloud - daily inspection records, measures in case of emergency, inspectors' know-how, and instruction manuals and maintenance histories for water and wastewater facilities, which are now managed by suppliers. The accumulated information will be shared, and thereby, facility management will become possible without depending on the experience of inspectors.
For example, when an inspector works on a water facility, if he places his smartphone or tablet over an AR marker which is attached to the device, all the previous inspection records are displayed on the screen, and he can input the results of his inspection on site after the work is done. Since all the information on the water facility is centralized and able to be viewed, inspection and maintenance work will become more efficient and renewal costs will be reduced. Since inspectors can view a relevant manual, past records, and operation know-how just by placing their tablets over an AR marker, this service will ensure that the technology and technical skills for facility management can be passed on to less experienced engineers.
Fuijtsu's AR integrated product, "FUJITSU Software Interstage AR Processing Server", is used in "Smart Field Service." The Interstage AR Processing Server will handle the information in the cloud, in the core system, and in other places, to provide a large amount of data for inspectors to use on site. Furthermore, with the help of the unique-to-Fujitsu AR marker (patent-pending), which is hardly influenced by low illumination, far distances, and hand jiggling, a smartphone/tablet recognizes the AR marker at a high speed of less than 0.1 second even from a far distance, in dim light, whether indoors or outdoors, enabling field inspection to be carried out more efficiently.
To provide the service, METAWATER has started operation of a system with about 110 units of docomo tablets "ARROWS Tab F-05E" and docomo smartphones "NEXT series ARROWS X F-02E."
By analyzing information collected through the service, METAWATER intends to create new values to support water and wastewater services and return benefits to customers. Also by strengthening our alliance with Fujitsu and establishing a platform for a next-generation water and wastewater infrastructure that will connect parties involved in the work --- municipal governments, business entities, and residents ---, we aim to realize a sustainable water and wastewater business.
Let us note that this service was granted a "Good Design Award 2013" by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (Address: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Chairman: Motomi Kawakami), as announced by the institute on October 1.
Press release for "Water Business Cloud"
Website to introduce "Interstage AR Processing Server" http://interstage.fujitsu.com/jp/arprocessserver/?pr
The proper nouns such as the product names described in the article are trade names or registered trade names of each company.
*1 AR technology: Augmented reality technology The technology augments and supplements the human senses by superimposing digital information obtained by using ICT on information obtained by the five human senses (reality). The AR marker is referred to images used to determine a position when displaying information in a layer.
All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.