ENTERPRISE FUTURE
Future Life Brought by Society 5.0

This is what our future lives will look like.

This is what our future lives will look like.

In the future society realized by Society 5.0, progress in social application of digital technologies will enable a high degree of fusion between the real world and the virtual world, thereby providing solutions to various issues in society. Osaka Gas also provides customers with IoT gas equipment, which is one of the key elements constituting Society 5.0.Osaka Gas wants to play a role in creating the future society by providing various services using IoT equipment and collected data.

Presentation video for CEATEC
・A Future Kitchen (2 min. 36 sec.)

I would like to introduce the changes that are expected in our lives based on the contents of our presentation at CEATEC. First, in the kitchen, refrigerators equipped with interactive AI will be able to recommend ingredients and menus based on various data communicated through IoT, such as family members' health conditions.
Next, for energy for homes, the use of renewable energy, such as solar power, will continually increase, and notably, energy unconsumed at home will be positioned as an element constituting a "virtual power plant" for all of society.

Presentation video for CEATEC
・ A Future Living Room (1 min. 11 sec.)

The fuel cell systems, such as ENE-FARM, that can stably generate electric power regardless of weather conditions in combination with solar power generation systems to complement each other, will be installed at homes as a standard energy system of future homes in combination with storage batteries as a means for storing generated energy, or electric vehicles as a substitute for storage batteries.
This means that homes will become places where energy is generated as well as consumed, and will contribute to society by playing the role of stabilizer in the electric power system. This is the future energy system I predict.

Presentation video for CEATEC
・A Future Bathroom (58 sec.)

Lastly, the bathroom. In fact, one-touch full-automatic bath systems that can fill a bath with hot water to an appropriate level and keep the desired temperature are available only in Japan. Osaka Gas prides itself on having evolved bathrooms in Japan. We want to evolve them even more and we believe we are the ones who can do it. One of our targets is contributing to health management by enabling the measurement of vital data in the bathroom. We aim to develop a system that enables data collection during bath time for physical conditioning and disease prevention.
The bathroom is, as everybody has experienced, also a place where various activities are done, such as, in childhood, learning the multiplication table or hiragana (Japanese syllabary characters) while taking a bath with a parent, and even after growing up, reading a book, singing a song, or practicing English pronunciations. Once the bathroom is connected through IoT, services to provide a rich bath life will become available by taking advantage of advanced technologies. We believe that Osaka Gas is in the pole position to realize such services. Thanks to continuous innovations, individual lives will be more optimized, and at the same time, the entire society will play a certain role in the energy supply. This is what our future lives will look like.

The future has already begun.

The future has already begun.

In preparation for the future, Osaka Gas established an organization specializing in the analysis of big data as much as 20 years ago, and also realized residential gas equipment compatible with IoT in 2016. The development of ENE-FARM compatible with IoT, which was launched in April 2016, started from our intention to respond to changes in society earlier than others. However, we also asked ourselves, "is it really enough?"In the past, maintenance staff were dispatched to customers' homes after receiving their call informing of some failure. In some cases, several days had already passed after power generation had stopped. We then introduced a system that enables Osaka Gas to detect failures before customers notice them and to perform repairs or maintenance. This service became available precisely because Osaka Gas provides one-stop service covering equipment installation and maintenance as well as follow-up services.

The future has already begun.

ENE-FARM corner
Presentation board for CEATEC

As of now, as much as 80% of users of the ENE-FARM IoT system connect the system to the internet. This surprising percentage is reached namely because Osaka Gas has close contact with customers.
We also launched an IoT range last October, and it was developed to meet users' needs for fun in cooking as well as labor savings. We think that needs for the latter are increasing these days due to the social background of the increasing number of dual-income households. Then, we developed an IoT range that enables users to search through about 2,000 recipes and communicate the setting of heat level and timer through smartphone applications. Both menu planning and cooking processes are supported.
Depending on the recipes, the heating processes, including heat level adjustments, can be automated according to the recipe sent from a smartphone. We want to help satisfy users' universal wants—"Even when I'm too busy to spend time cooking, I want to have a delicious meal, I want to eat appropriately cooked and nutritious foods, and I want to please my family."
We also consider meal kits as a useful complementary service to reduce labor for cooking processes that we cannot handle only by improving ranges. Since precut (pre-cooked) ingredients are delivered to users of this service, they do not have to go shopping, and they can also reduce cooking preparation to some extent. By using this service together with a range that enables full automatic heating, the entire cooking process becomes seamless, and consequently any family member can easily cook a meal.

The future has already begun.

IoT range exhibition booth

displayed at the IoT range exhibition booth
Meal kit samples (provided by NTT Docomo)

"Kytell" is a new step toward the future.

Presentation video for CEATEC
・Future Kytell (34 sec.)

Fujita "Kytell," a communication application that we exhibited at CEATEC this time, is our new product developed beyond our business field. We developed this product jointly with our alliance partner, BUTTON INC. , which is a creative group aiming to "create a society that enriches communication with children. "Looking at the fact that relationships between parents and children are becoming tenuous, we created the idea of this product based on the concept, "enrich communication between parents and children by connecting them even when they are distant from each other."

The future has already begun.

Yagi In response to the reality that there are many parents who cannot "actually" spend enough time with their children, we considered that it may be possible to use an advantage of "virtual" space to assist raising children. We thought that, unlike communicating only with texts, drawing a picture together with parents might be able to make children feel as if their parents were right beside them. I became acquainted with the staff of BUTTON at an exhibition. Seeing their products, I felt that they know well what is required by families with small children and I became convinced that they have unique know-how that Osaka Gas does not have. That is why we made an alliance with BUTTON.

Fujita Honestly, I think that there are no established ways or methodologies applicable to developing services beyond our business field, such as Kytell. However, the key point that is eventually common to all of our business is "how deeply we know about customers. "How we notice issues and needs that customers do not recognize by themselves; in other words, "how much we know customers' needs that they do not know. "This is the starting point of new ideas.

New partners to step forward out of conventional business field

New partners to step forward out of conventional business field

Fujita We are aggressively looking for alliance partners to appropriately respond to customers' issues and needs. In this sense, there were two intentions behind our participation in CEATEC 2019 as an exhibitor. One is to communicate our visions with respect to future kitchens and bathrooms to solicit new partners that agree with our way of thinking. The other is to communicate the Daigas Group's various resources (contact with customers, data analysis ability, field test environment, etc.) to promote our versatility and attractiveness as an alliance partner. We want to expand our circle of alliance partners through such activities.

New partners to step forward out of conventional business field

LIFE UP Promotion
Presentation board for CEATEC

For example, BUTTON has unique ideas and strengths. We want to proactively communicate with such companies regardless of their scale and history. Combined with gas equipment, their unique resources can create new value for our customers. Such encounters also promote our own growth.
Our business was adopted as a subject of the LIFE UP Promotion, which was publicly solicited by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. We consider this initiative as the development of a system to connect with a variety of people. It is not a platform for Osaka Gas to gather data, but to seamlessly connect with people of all types. We provide new value created through this platform to customers, and it gives us chances to know our customers more deeply. This then leads to the creation of new value again. We want to create this virtuous circle.

New partners to step forward out of conventional business field

Yagi Since Osaka Gas has traditionally encouraged employees to have an enterprising spirit, it has been aggressively seeking new business. The essence of this spirit is to provide new value with the view of "service first. " By continuously providing customers with a better life as a service, we will be able to become an innovative energy & service company selected over the ages.
I think that the roles and goals of Osaka Gas and the Daigas Group are determined by customers, not by ourselves. To be a company group that customers continuously require as of 2030, and over the years after that, we want to aggressively challenge "something new" regardless of our conventional business field.

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