Kyocera is expanding its Software Laboratory, which is responsible for combining hardware and software technologies across several diverse fields including components for automotive, electronic and semiconductor applications as well as industrial cutting tools, printing devices and energy solutions. Ultimately this will form part of Kyocera’s Internet of Things (IoT) business.
Kyocera‘s Software Laboratory undertakes tasks including strengthening R&D infrastructure for embedded software in its components businesses; enhancing the development capability of cutting-edge software technologies for equipment businesses; and creating new businesses by integrating components & devices, equipment & systems, and services.
The Laboratory launched with a team of 20 employees and doubled to approximately 40 as of March 2016 with plans to further increase to around 200 by the FY2020 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2020).
Since last December the Software Laboratory has been using IBM’s Bluemix platform, which provides the database and infrastructure to create, deploy and manage applications for the cloud. This has allowed Kyocera to share developed software with customer companies and to meet diverse needs for customization of existing services that Kyocera offers in the field of energy management.
The IoT market is continuing to grow as more and more devices are connected. In Germany, the computerization of manufacturing has been promoted since the government’s Industry 4.0 action plan began in 2011. The U.S. is also making efforts toward developing IoT by establishing the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), which involves major electrical and electronic manufacturers, semiconductor firms and telecommunications equipment manufacturers. Japanese manufacturers have also been pursuing efforts to combine hardware technologies with software, expecting new business opportunities as a result of the proliferation of IoT.
Kyocera’s main activities in this area include: developing driverless assistance and pre-crash safety systems for the automotive industry; developing digital healthcare support systems with sensors for things like blood pressure and body temperature; and improving security and surveillance systems.