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I introduced the opening of the new Global Center for Social Innovation North America office – the Silicon Valley Research Center in my first article with some photos. In this month’s article, I’d like to expand and explain how the Research Center in itself is an example of how design thinking can improve a workplace, inspire the team and facilitate the innovation process.

Designing a research-based solution is both our commitment and expertise. We apply the principle of design thinking in empathizing, ideating, and prototyping solutions for our customers. The researchers and designers in the User Experience Design Laboratory (UXD) followed these steps in designing the new office itself. They identified challenges that stand in the way of our collaboration and innovation activities, and designed physical solutions directly into the space to improve our work. One of the most prominent examples being the townhall area – an open space where office traffic converges, and everything from work and meals to informal conversation becomes a natural, everyday event.  Here is a short video for a quick insight.


We tackle customer challenges in the same way. UXD members use the Discover and Design approach in designing solutions for customers. Using our prototyping tools and foresight database, we inspire, build, and test solutions alongside our customers and help them design products and services that are sustainable, profitable, and highly engaged with in various industries.


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As many of you know, the world’s largest IoT event, Internet of Things World 2016, was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center on May 11th -12th with over 10,000 attendees from the IoT industry.

Hitachi took this opportunity to announce to this community the formation of its new “Hitachi Insight Group” that will be driving Hitachi’s unified Internet of Things (IoT) business.  After the announcement, many guests visited the Hitachi booths.  Hitachi Global Research was there with 4 research presentations from the Global Center for Social Innovation - North America, among the eight demonstrations showcased by Hitachi.


1. Oil & Gas  – showcased the live insight solution for oil field operations where we demonstrated the business goals, system architecture design using Pentaho, and different analytics applications that we have built. Specifically, we introduced the production characterization application and the enhanced oil recovery application based on water injection. Visitors were intrigued by our solution, and interest was expressed by some component (sensor) providers to partner/provide services.


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                                                                                            Oil Field Optimization


2. Connected Car demonstrated three features . Simulator - collection of real-time data from a simulated car, events, and geo location, also showed how two KPIs were derived and showed in real-time. Driver Behavior - based on the instrumented data from the cars, demonstrated the ability to determine who is driving the car using finger-print. Integration of ‘design-time’ product development and manufacturing(e.g. shock absorbers) - combining a ‘simulated’ version of the product with real-time data to determine ‘failure prediction’. The basis for this was the combining physical model simulation with big data analytics platform.  Many visitors were surprised to learn that Hitachi was a significant player in the automotive market.   
  Connected Car-small.jpg                                                                                           Connected Car


3. Predictive Maintenancea demonstration was given of a predictive maintenance solution with a suite of technologies that have been applied to a variety of use cases across different verticals. The technologies included equipment monitoring, performance analytics, maintenance analytics, failure prediction, and operation & maintenance (O&M) recommendation. Considerable interest was shown in Hitachi’s solution in this area and in the broad spectrum of use cases presented at the booth. Visitors expressed a range of interests from being customers of a predictive maintenance solution to partnering with us in the predictive maintenance space.


Predictve-small.JPG                                                                                           Predictive Maintenance


4. Fleet management - demonstrated three parts: live monitoring, simulation based optimal truck assignment and automatically truck route construction. In the mining or construction industry, trucks, shovels and other mining equipment are expensive and dominate the operational cost. We showed how improving equipment efficiency could reduce daily operational costs.


Fleet-small.JPG                                                                                       Fleet Management


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