IoT Current Status and Featured Companies in Japan


We will explain the current state of the IoT in Japan compared to the rest of the world, as well as the featured companies related to the Internet of Things (IoT), which has been growing rapidly not only overseas but also in Japan over the past few years.

What is IoT (Internet of Things) ?

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.


To put it more simple, IoT is about attaching sensors to things, and those sensors collect information and perform activities based on the information collected.

Current status of IoT in Japan

Let’s take a look at the current state of IoT technology in Japan.

In 2017, the Japan Center for Economic Research published a study on the current state of IoT and AI in Japan.
(See chart below.)

Source: Status of AI and IoT adoption by Japanese companies/ Japan Center for Economic Research

As you can see, at the time of this survey, 14.6% of companies had already introduced IoT technology, and 36.4% of the total if you include companies that are considering adopting it.

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, according to the Japan Center for Economic Research, investment in Japan’s IT industry has grown significantly, and the current impact of the new coronavirus is expected to further increase the proliferation of the IoT and development using the IoT.

Japanese IT Industry Market Size Compared to the World

Japan’s Featured IoT Companies

When you think of the IoT, you might think of Intel, Microsoft and other major companies worldwide that make devices and semiconductors on which the IoT is based.

However, these days in Japan, start-ups and small and medium-sized companies are also actively engaged in the IoT field. We’d like to introduce some of the IoT companies that are getting a lot of attention in Japan.

Smart Home IoT Company

PhotoSynth Inc.

PhotoSynth Inc. is developing Akerun, an IoT-based access control system.

Akerun is a service that makes it possible to operate a door attached to an ordinary door using only special bonding tape or screws and to unlock it from a smartphone using an IC card such as a Suica or nanaco card or face recognition. In addition, it is also possible to make a duplicate key for a specified time and day of the week, allowing a large number of people to enter and exit the building while maintaining a high level of security.

Big Data IoT companies

Abeja Inc.

Abeja Inc. offers Abeja Insight, an in-store analytics service for retail stores.

Based on the concept of “Visualize all the numbers in a retail store”, the system collects and analyzes consumer behavior data from cameras installed in stores to make recommendations for improvements in retail store operations.

Featured Foreign Companies

Next, I would like to introduce some of the companies which are using IoT technology and are attracting attention overseas.


Hexoskin (Carre Technologies), a Canadian company, has developed a smart shirt with sensors called Astroskin. Just by wearing this shirt, you can measure your heart rate, lung capacity and more.

It collects various data during exercise, daily life and sleep, and it manages and analyzes the data on the cloud. This makes it possible to constantly measure and visualize the heart rate that we should be aware of in our daily lives. It is expected to play an important role in the prevention and early detection of diseases.


Live Map is a Russian company that develops motorcycle helmets, but instead of a standard helmet, they are developing a helmet that uses IoT. Instead of relying on the GPS function of a mobile phone while riding, the helmet itself has an AR function and it displays the traffic information on the helmet visor. In addition, the helmet is equipped with a microphone and headphones inside, so the helmet can be operated by voice instead of manual operation.


As introduced above, IoT has become an essential technology in a wide range of fields, from retail to automated driving. For this reason, it can be stated that the market for IoT will continue to grow in Japan.

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