Unveiling “Future Festival,” an unmissable highlight of Rakuten Optimism 2023

With Rakuten Optimism 2023 just around the corner, new details about the highly anticipated “Future Festival,” an immersive, hands-on event taking place during Rakuten’s largest annual business and consumer event, have been revealed. Held at the Pacifico Yokohama event center from August 2 to August 6, Future Festival promises an exciting five days of cutting-edge technology and a slew of thrilling content showcasing the Rakuten Ecosystem.

For the first time since 2019, Rakuten Optimism returns this year as an in-person event. Admission is free, and attendees can expect a myriad of experiences from the festival grounds, including interactive encounters with AI, VR, AR, and Rakuten’s robust ecosystem of digital services.

Okaimono Panda to celebrate 10th anniversary

Event goers can receive a limited-edition Okaimono Panda Umaibo at Rakuten Optimism 2023.
Event goers can receive a limited-edition Okaimono Panda Umaibo at Rakuten Optimism 2023.

As part of the Future Festival, visitors will be delighted by a special Okaimono Panda zone. This dedicated space will immerse guests in the world of Rakuten Group’s beloved mascot, Okaimono Panda, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Engaging activities include a “Human Tower Battle with Okaimono Panda” game, photo opportunities with a giant Okaimono Panda balloon and picnic area to relax and relish delicious food and drinks offered by Rakuten Ichiba merchants. Additionally, an Okaimono Panda shop specially created for Rakuten Optimism 2023 will offer limited-edition commemorative merchandise, such as cushions, smartphone straps and key holders.

Attendees will also be welcome to participate in an Original Okaimono Panda Umaibo Campaign, which will allow them to receive a limited-edition Okaimono Panda Umaibo – a variety of popular puffed corn snacks – at the venue.

Discover innovation in real-time

Rakuten GORA’s AI Golf Swing Analysis program, developed in collaboration with Rakuten, the Rakuten Institute of Technology and external partners, will be available to experience at the Future Festival.
Rakuten GORA’s AI Golf Swing Analysis program, developed in collaboration with Rakuten, the Rakuten Institute of Technology and external partners, will be available to experience at the Future Festival.

In the Discovery Area of Future Festival, visitors will have the chance to test their golfing skills and experience Rakuten GORA’s AI Golf Swing Analysis program. Developed in collaboration with Rakuten, the Rakuten Institute of Technology and external partners, the AI-powered program utilizes computer vision to analyze golfers’ posture and club movement during swings, providing an overall swing rank. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer seeking some data-driven improvements or a beginner looking to take a thrilling first swing, the experience is perfect for participants of all skill levels.

Immersive experiences combining VR technology and video data will be prominent in the 4K 360 Degree VR Experience Area of the Future Festival.
Immersive experiences combining VR technology and video data will be prominent in the 4K 360 Degree VR Experience Area of the Future Festival.

The Rakuten Mobile booth will showcase 5G technology through a virtual motorsports demonstration. Guests can immerse themselves in a Super Formula AR Experience Race, competing against professional racing driver Tomoki Nojiri using a racing simulator that incorporates Nojiri’s actual driving data. Moreover, spectators can enjoy real-time viewing of the virtual race with the Suzuka Circuit replicated in AR through a smartphone app.

In the 4K 360 Degree VR Experience Area, visitors can simulate the movements of top athletes in various sports, including skateboarding and para-cycling. This immersive experience combines VR technology with video data captured during professional athletes’ competitions, offering a uniquely exhilarating perspective.

Expanded lineup of speakers revealed

Alongside the Future Festival, the Rakuten Optimism business conference promises plenty of enlightening discussions with industry leaders and innovators. This year’s edition of Rakuten Optimism includes an opening keynote by Rakuten Group Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani and sessions featuring Ibrahim Gedeon, Chief Technology Officer, TELUS; Yusuke Narita, Assistant Professor at Yale University and founder of Hanjuku-kaso Inc; former Japanese national soccer team manager Takeshi Okada; women’s wrestling gold medalist Saori Yoshida and more.

With fireside chats and insightful presentations, the conference aims to inspire visions of a shared brighter future with a special focus on technological innovation, AI and digital transformation, among other themes.

For more details, check out the conference schedule now available on the official Rakuten Optimism 2023 website.


For more details about Rakuten Optimism 2023, click here.

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