ANA HOLDINGS INC. Announces Collaboration with
RIKEN Science Laboratory


  • •Innovative researchers will work to develop new optical system for ANA AVATAR program.
  • •Cutting edge interface will help make real-world Avatars a reality.

TOKYO, July 1, 2019 - ANA HOLDINGS INC. (hereinafter "ANA HD") will be working with scientists from RIKEN Science Laboratory (hereinafter "RIKEN") to develop an optical system for the ANA AVATAR program. A leader in the Japanese tech sector, RIKEN is widely respected for its track record of high tech breakthroughs that combine practicality with forward-thinking innovation.

"As one of Japan's most prominent laboratories, RIKEN represents a natural partner for ANA HD as we seek to lay the foundation for the ambitious ANA AVATAR program," said Shinya Katanozaka, President and CEO of ANA HOLDINGS INC. "RIKEN shares our vision of creating a better-connected world and they also believe in upholding the highest standards in everything that they do. With these values in common, it is easy to see why they are such a natural fit for ANA HD in our quest to make Avatars more effective and accessible."

RIKEN will be tasked with creating a new optical system called the "ANA AVATAR Human-Like Vision System." This will form the visual backbone of ANA AVATAR Program, one of the most significant aspects of the program's control interfaces. Harnessing image processing technology cultivated at the RIKEN Center of Advanced Photonics (hereinafter "RAP"), the visual component will capture images in high definition and overlay them with images that are transferred in lower detail to create immersive composites without any data lag. This dual-formatting allows the system to operate at a high standard even when connection speeds are limited - such as in remote areas and those affected by natural disasters.

This incredible flexibility will make Avatars useful far beyond their current application as a communications platform. This new technology will enable Avatars to be used as a tool for medical first responders in areas with poor transportation infrastructure as well as a rescue option in the first 24 hours after natural disasters. The possibilities are endless, with Avatars even representing a viable alternative to human exploration of inhospitable settings like deep space or extreme environments.

The current research agreement will last until 2024, and will involve scientists from RAP and Innovation Design Office. Leading scientists from both divisions will apply their past research and experience developing cutting edge technological solutions for the ANA AVATAR program, upholding the high standard that both RIKEN and ANA HD apply to all of their endeavors.

The ANA AVATAR program represents ANA HD's commitment to innovation as well as its desire to stay at the forefront of technological and social change. The development of this communications solution also highlights the company's belief in providing unrivaled customer service and convenience in every aspect of its operations.

Contact: ANA Corporate Communications, TEL +81-3-6735-1111, publicrelations@ana.co.jp

About ANA
Following the "Inspiration of Japan" high quality of service, ANA has been awarded the respected 5-Star rating every year since 2013 from SKYTRAX. ANA is the only Japanese airline to win this prestigious designation seven years in a row. Additionally, ANA has been recognized by Air Transport World as "Airline of the Year" three times in the past 10 years - 2007, 2013 and 2018, becoming one of the few airlines winning this prestigious award for multiple times.

ANA was founded in 1952 with two helicopters and has become the largest airline in Japan, as well as one of the most significant airlines in Asia, operating 81 international routes and 120 domestic routes. ANA offers a unique dual hub model which enables passengers to travel to Tokyo and connect through the two airports in the metropolitan Tokyo, NARITA and HANEDA, to various destinations throughout Japan, and also offers same day connections between various North American, Asian and Chinese cities.

ANA has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999 and has joint venture partnerships with United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines.

Besides the full service and award winner carrier ANA, the ANA Group has two LCCs as consolidated subsidiaries, Vanilla Air Inc. and Peach Aviation Limited. The ANA Group carried 53.8 million passengers in FY2017, has approximately 39,000 employees and a fleet of 260 aircraft. ANA is a proud launch customer and the biggest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
For more information, please refer to the following link.
https://www.ana.co.jp/group/en/