What we saw at Rakuten Technology Conference 2018

Rakuten Technology Conference — an annual event which brings together innovation experts from around the globe to discuss topics such as AI, Big Data, Blockchain, API Economy and cloud-native — returned to Rakuten Crimson House in Tokyo last weekend for what was it’s biggest (and busiest) installment to date.

Now in its 12th year, the one-day conference drew more than 3000 developers, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts and their families. The draw: a chance to hear top-notch techies speak on a wide variety of subjects, as well as a host of interactive options such as intimate roundtables and fireside chats.

2018’s theme was “Rakuten Tech x Startup Tech,” and true to its title, the conference featured speakers from a number of buzzy startups, including Cinnamon founder and serial entrepreneur Miku Hirano and SWIM.AI CTO Dr. Simon Crosby. Headlining the schedule was Rakuten CEO Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani and Dr. Masayo Takahashi, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of retinal regeneration, who outlined her optimistic vision for the future of health technology.

For the tactile learners, the event also featured an interactive exhibition where attendees got the chance to interact with cutting edge tech like Dot Watch, the world’s first braille smart watch and Holoeyes, a VR service that enables medical practitioners to map out surgeries in 3D. And for younger attendees, the Kids Park gave children the chance to play with some high tech toys, none more popular than Aibo, a robotic pup that develops its own unique personality through everyday interactions with its owners.

In addition to the festivities in Tokyo, Rakuten Technology Conference was held at multiple satellite locations across Japan, China, Singapore and the USA.

Regardless of where attendees joined from, it’s safe to say that Rakuten’s techiest tradition was successful in year 12. Above are some photo and video highlights from the event.

For more about Rakuten Technology Conference 2018, visit here.

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