From the outside, Japan’s ability to innovate may seem to have stalled in the 90s. However, at the tech event, Slush, held at Tokyo Big Sight on March 28 and 29, innovation was on full display. Forward thinking speakers from around the world gathered to share their products and inspirations. Investors rubbed shoulders with startups and students eager to give their ideas a global platform. The vibe throughout the whole event was one of excitement and drive to make the world a better place through technology.
Hundreds turned out for Slush Tokyo
It’s that kind of feeling that the innovators of the tech frontier have always held at the forefront of their minds. As so many stories of innovative ideas turning to big corporations and greed surface in the media lately, it feels good to get back to basics, to let concepts and idealism rule.
Slush Tokyo had everything on display from the latest in VR tech to the smallest in USB-rechargeable automatic screwdrivers. By midday, the convention floor was packed with attendees, networking and making new connections with other like-minded individuals from around the world.
Controlling robots in space through VR
The big stars of this year’s outing were definitely cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence. Not coincidentally, since these are among the biggest buzzwords in the technology field today. Cryptocurrency especially has been the subject of much positive and negative press throughout 2018. Even though the field has proved difficult to navigate for Japanese regulators, that hasn’t stopped its momentum in Japan or the world at large.
While some speakers spoke praises of that new venture, many spoke of the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence and its practical application in everything from analytics to daily tasks to space exploration.
Stefan Thomas, CTO at Ripple gave the opening keynote
In the center of the convention space was a stage called The Dome, which had speakers scheduled throughout the event sharing their products and successes. Such talks as “How to Make Terrible AR,” “Gaming for Health,” and “Why Space, Why Now, Why Tokyo?” were among the topics presented.
Q&A sessions were held at a quaint little space called the Slush Cafe after the speaker’s talk, making the transition from a stage event to a more intimate discussion. As with most events held in Japan, everything ran like a well-oiled machine, punctually and without incident.
The startups, both Japanse and otherwise, who showed off the cutting edge of what the tech world had to offer, made Slush Tokyo a success.