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updated: 13-11-2008


Special Session on Foods and Entertainment

Mr. Shuntaro Yamazaki
Chief Manager
NEC Central Research Laboratory

Title: Information and Communication Technologies for Food and Entertainment

Up to now, we have researched and developed ICT as a tool to improve productivity and the efficiency of the business. However, creating the innovation in sense of previous manner will become difficult, because symbiosis with the human is to be important for ICT in the future. Therefore, we are doing the research activity based on the vision of symbiosis. This talk introduces two of research activities releted to food and the entertainment. The first is an icebreaker system named "Active Avatar", which activate accidental communication among people. This system is to be used as the means to cause inter-personal communication while eating in the party. In this case, casual communication will play the role of entertainment. We have conducted a field trial using Active Avatar. Some results and verification of the effectiveness will be introduced in my talk.

The second research activity is a sommelier robot. This is achievement of the artificial intelligence that employs the nutrient analysis technology of food by the near-infrared spectroscopy in the robot, and can play the role as the sommelier. This aims at the interaction between the person and robot, which will result in the entertainment in the place of food. We believe that these activities could contributes to the embodiment of the vision of symbiosis.

About the Speaker
Mr. Shuntaro Yamazaki is a chief manager of NEC central research laboratories. He received the B.S. and the M.S. degrees in applied physics from the University of Tsukuba in 1982 and 1984, respectively. Since 1984 he has been with NEC central research laboratories investigating optical network, home network, mobile network, and network services platform. From 1992 to 1993, he worked as a member of research staff of NEC USA C&C research laboratories in Princeton. Currently he is in charge of leading human communication research group in common platform software laboratories.


Mr. Kousei Kitayama
Iwasaki Co., Ltd

Title: Eat with Eyes: Work of Food Sample

Food sampling is one of the unique cultures in Japan, which combines food and entertainment. Most of the time, displayed food looks much more delicious than in reality. It is common to see such food sampling outlets in front of restaurants everywhere in Japan. This usually is the deciding factor when choosing a restaurant. This lecture will provide an introduction to history of food sampling, its preparation procedures and a performance food samples preparation while narrating rare stories based on experience. In addition, this lecture will also provide you with a unique experience and insight to the relationship between food and entertainment.

Food Samples