Hitachi is set to release six systems over the next six months as part of its social innovation vision.
During Hitachi’s Innovation Forum in Tokyo, vice-president of solutions marketing at Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Ravi Chalaka said the business is driving for safer, smarter and more sustainable societies.
The company recently announced its Hitachi Visualization system, the first of the the following six:
1. Hitachi Visualization announcement
This system was unveiled at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (IACP) in Orlando, and supports law enforcement and emergency services personnel to prevent and respond to public safety situations by capturing, managing and analysing real-time information.
“This is our police and law enforcement announcement," said Chalaka. "Video cameras are difficult to collaborate with other agencies, plus there are public and private cameras. After 9/11 there were 14 agencies that would not collaborate until they were forced to comply. This aims to foster public safety through connected intelligence.”
More on big data analytics
Combining the internet of things (IoT), big data analytics and IT infrastructure technologies, Hitachi Visualization includes capture devices called Hitachi Visualization Platform (HVP) and an integrated map-based software platform called Hitachi Visualization Suite (HVS) to pull together disparate data.
Hitachi bolstered its position in this area when it bought public safety technology firms Pantascene and Avrio RMS Group.
2. Hitachi Insight Platform for telco analytics
Hitachi is also set to unveil a system for telcos aimed at giving companies better visibility of networks.
“Telco providers have the challenge of a lack of visibility of the network in real time,” said Chalaka.
“Can you predict the bandwidth you need if you don’t have visibility? Is there really a problem or a false alarm?”
The Hitachi Insight Platform uses data streaming for real-time analytics and will include Mars software, which is a visualisation engine.
3. Hitachi Connected Health
When unveiled, the Hitachi Connected Health system is designed to bring together data across different departments quickly and securely.
“In healthcare the challenge is that data is in silos – different departments use different systems and therefore it is difficult to search and access clinical data when needed," Chalaka explained. "Hitachi Connected Health uses a metadata search tool across all departments so, for instance, the term “cancer” can be searched and the data can be found in many places.”
4. Hitachi Connected Cars
Hitachi Connected Cars – yet to launch – is aimed at automotive fleets and will use real-time streaming to connect to tolls and to manage incidences.
“It will enable cars to actively protect, entertain and inform passengers,” said Chalaka.
5. Hitachi Connected Energy
Hitachi Connected Energy will be part of Hitachi’s oil and gas system. “This will include sensors for seismic images to look below the ocean,” Chalaka explained.
6. Hitachi Connected Machine
Hitachi’s Connected Machine system will be for data analytics, and will find correlations and peaks in real time. Chalaka said it uses visualisation for prescriptive analytics to predict future trends.
The internet of things that matter
HDS chief of social innovation strategy Sara Gardner said the systems side is new to the business and its focus has now shifted from just building infrastructure to driving systems as well.
“We call this the internet of things that matter. I can’t help but still stumble across things I didn’t know we had built, such as mining equipment, railways, water treatment, robotics and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners," she said.
With all this data coming in, it’s about knowing how to interpret it and how to feed it back to make sense
Sara Gardner, HDS
"There are lots of toys being plugged into the internet, but we focus on the mission-critical applications. To do that we use big data and analytics to find trends and predict the future. Big data analytics fuels social innovation. This means in healthcare, for example, we can move from disease management to patient outcomes instead,” she added.
Gardner said raw data is interesting and while HDS can sell storage to someone who wants to store it, it is far more interesting to see how the data can be used through a combination of services, hardware, software and big data analytics.
"With all this data coming in, it’s about knowing how to interpret it and how to feed it back to make sense,” she said.
She added data was previously about why things happen, but it can now be used to find patterns and make predictions.
“In the past we only knew what to do with data if it fit in our database," she said. "This is not the world now and we need to know how to blend data and how to use it at scale. Now it’s how to use data in real time to be predictive and prescriptive.”
Applying this to industry, Gardner gave the example of healthcare: “In the past cancer would only be treated, but now data can be used to prevent some of the precursors of the disease. It’s like a truck blowing a gasket, which is expensive to replace. If you could’ve seen the warning signs it would’ve been easier and cheaper to prevent.
“This can also be used to prevent crime before it happens, to find new energy resources and to prevent datacentre outages instead of reacting to them," she said.
Hitachi's smart cities
Hitachi plan to have 26 smart cities – where its projects are developed – operational by 2025. “All of our labs used to be in Japan, but a year and a half ago we established regional labs,” said Gardner.
Hitachi's global centres for innovative analytics so far include:
UK/France: Healthcare, automotive, transportation
USA: Energy and earth resources, communications, automotive, analytics framework
Denmark: Energy efficiency, healthcare, smart cities
China: Transportation, energy, healthcare
Singapore: Communications, oil and gas, transportation, energy, healthcare
India: Energy, transportation, analytics frameworks