SHARP Blog

Changing the world with 8K Ecosystem

November 27, 2017

Under our business vision “Changing the World with 8K *1 and AIoT,” we are pleased to announce the world’s first 70-inch 8K compatible TV in China in October this year, in Japan in December, and 70-inch 8K monitor will be released in Taiwan next February and in Europe in March. In addition, we will release 8K professional camcorder in Japan in December as 8K related equipment which will be released in North America, China and Taiwan next year as well.

8K is not merely a technology to make images high definition and clear. It is expected to develop not only the broadcasting / video field but also medical care, security, etc., and there is also the possibility of changing society.

Therefore, this time, I talked with Hirokazu Nishiyama, Head of 8K Ecosystem Business Strategy Office, about the potential of 8K technology and our “8K ecosystem” strategy.

*1 Video technology that has 16 times the resolution of the current terrestrial broadcasting. Test broadcasting is being conducted from August 2016 to start practical broadcasting in December 2018.

 

Hirokazu Nishiyama, Head of 8K Ecosystem Business Strategy Office, Director and Executive Officer

 

– First of all, please tell us why our company is working on 8K.

(Nishiyama) Since developing and introducing Japan’s first television in 1953, Sharp has always been developing the latest technology of television for more than half a century. We have been aiming to create the “ultimate television” to display images closer to reality by advancing colorization, large display size, slim sizing and high definition. As the resolution reaches 8K, we found out that the image appears as close as possible to what we actually see with human eyes, and the sense of reality is almost the same as the real thing.

If you display the scenery of mountains, you can see the fine parts of the trees clearly, and it will make you feel as if you are actually there. If you display a person, you will see clearly the larvae and little black pigment (mole). You can see what you did not see before, and the impression you receive is totally different from the images you have ever seen.

I think that you can understand if you actually see 8K images. We are exhibiting 8K at the event “White Sacas” which is held at Akasaka Sacas and at the Yaesu Exit of JR Tokyo station, so please take a look if you have the opportunity.

 

 

Installation image of JR Tokyo station signage show case

 

– Please tell me about “8K Ecosystem” in an easy to understand manner.

(Nishiyama) In business scenes, “ecosystem” refers to the idea of ​​developing business involving several companies and organizations. 8K Ecosystem is a strategy to develop 8K combining the strengths of several companies.

 

 

(Nishiyama) In order to deliver images to customers, a series of processes such as shooting, editing, accumulation, distribution, etc. are required as well as display devices. Our company, which has developed television for many years, has strengths related to the development and manufacture of products that “receive” and “display” images, but there is no such development / manufacturing accumulation for image production equipment. In the development of the 8K professional camcorder announced the other day, we received the cooperation of Astrodesign, Inc who has 8K video related technology, enabling us to develop the world’s first “shooting, recording, playback, line output of 8K video” with 1 unit.

 

Professional camcorder that can “shoot”, “record”, “play”, “line output” with one camera <8C-B60A>

 

(Nishiyama) By launching 8K professional camcorder, I believe that “shooting,” which is the entrance to 8K video production, can be made more familiar. With this, creative people can try photography / production of 8K images, and hopefully that many 8K films will be produced and enjoyed by many people.

 

– So 8K Ecosystem will be deployed not only by our strength, but also in collaboration with other companies. I see.
In what kind of fields do these technologies and products have the potential to change society?

(Nishiyama) When the image becomes high definition 8K, it is possible to shoot more detailed images than ever before, and vague images in the conventional 2K and 4K becomes clearer and clearer. Things that we could not see before becomes visible. By utilizing the high resolution and high definition of the image as data, various infrastructures and systems can be evolved, leading to the development of industry.

 

(Nishiyama) For example, in the medical field, 8K has already been adopted as an endoscope camera and it is used for laparoscopic surgery. With conventional endoscopic cameras, the resolution of the image was insufficient, and in order to clearly see the state of the affected part, it was necessary to bring the camera closer to the surgical area. However, when approaching too much, the possibility of the camera coming in contact with surgical instruments increased, making surgery difficult. However, by using the 8K endoscopic camera, the surgical area clearly appears even when taken from a distance. Also by connecting to our 70-inch 8K monitor, the state of the surgical area can be shared on a large screen, assisting surgery to be performed more safely and accurately.

In the security field, if the security cameras become 8K, people’s faces appear more clearly. By linking with face recognition systems, a target can be found more easily. A scene from spy movies finding targets in the crowd can actually be realized.

Also, 8K can be used to check infrastructure. For example, if you shoot a bridge every day with an 8K camera, you can shoot clearly even if you shoot from a distance, so we believe that you can detect positional misalignment, that is, the progress of bridge distortion. Using captured image as data for detecting abnormality, I believe, is a method of utilization unique to 8K that clearly displays lines and points.

These are some of the possibilities of 8K. Besides, there is an idea to introduce 8K camera to the quality inspection process of a semiconductor factory in order to detect the deviation of the attached parts. I think 8K has the potential to promote evolution and change in society and industry, and if combined with other technologies, its possibilities extends further.

 

– How does the possibility of 8K spread?

(Nishiyama) We believe that collaboration with other technologies can make the possibilities further expanded, which we call “8K + (plus)”.

For example, in the case of “8K + 5G *2“, by distributing 8K images with large amount of data using next generation communication system, it becomes possible to enjoy high definition 8K images even in places where cables transmitting video do not reach. We collaborated with NTT Docomo, Inc. conducting multi-channel transmission experiment of 8K video utilizing 5G technology and succeeded in the experiment the other day.

*2  5th generation mobile communication system.

 

“8K multi-channel transmission demonstration experiment” System configuration diagram

 

(Nishiyama) With “8K + AI (artificial intelligence)”, you can construct a mechanism that AI analyzes 8K image data holding huge amount of information. New experiences and values never created before, so we are currently examining specific ideas and are also looking forward to suggestions from other companies, research institutions, and organizations.

We hope to contribute to the development of the industry by bringing our strengths and other companies’ strengths together, establishing an “8K Ecosystem” at an early stage, and make 8K a major trend in the world.

 

– I understand now that 8K will expand its possibilities by combining our company’s 8K technology with technology possessed by other companies.
Finally, please tell us your future prospects.

(Nishiyama) As a pioneer of display, we have been involved in the evolution of images from display equipment such as televisions and monitors. Although 8K is in line with the direction of this evolution, it is not only that the image becomes finer and the presence of the image such as television and movies increases. By increasing the definition and the amount of information, it has the potential to change in various fields such as medical care and infrastructure. A year later in Japan in December 2018 8K practical broadcasting will start and I think that products and mechanism will accelerate to 8K. By spreading 8K, we will fulfill its role to realize “8K society” that is more convenient, safer and exciting.
I hope to create new value as a new generation Sharp, to provide new products and services, and to change society.

Please look forward to Sharp’s 8K !

 

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