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Hitachi Group Pavilion - Expo Aichi 2005

At the entrance to Private Pavilion Area B near the North Entrance, visitors will immediately notice a pavilion with a section that appears to have been cut out and through which water is flowing like a waterfall in a gorge. This is the "Encounter with Nature - Ubiquitous Entertainment Journey at the Hitachi Group Pavilion". The theme of this pavilion is "Encounter with Nature - Encounter with Endangered Species, Visually Reproduced by Hitachi IT Technologies".

Ubiquitous technology refers to technology that allows access to images and information services anywhere and anytime. At the Hitachi Group Pavilion, state-of-the-art ubiquitous technologies - including personal information viewing techniques and image processing computer technology - are used to bring rare endangered species to life, giving visitors the opportunity to encounter rare animals. Another feature of the pavilion is that it offers various services coupled with the 0.4 mm square µ-chip (miniaturised IC chip) integrated into all EXPO 2005 entrance tickets, giving each ticket a unique identification code.

Visitors to the Hitachi Group Pavilion first present their entry ticket at the counter and register their name and photo, and then are given a Nature Viewer information terminal. The Nature Viewer is a terminal that contains Hitachi Group's advanced technologies: a fuel cell for mobile devices, a "mini iVDR", which is a compact high-capacity hard disk drive (HDD) and a µ-chip reader. Weighing about 600g, the Nature Viewer operates in four languages: Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese.

Visitors then pass through the Pre-Show Area where 42 rare and endangered animals, such as the hawksbill turtle and the black rhinoceros, are displayed. By approaching the Nature Viewer, which can be worn around the neck near the integrated µ-chip access point, the rare animal's ID is read by the computer terminal. This allows images, photos and other data to be viewed anywhere and anytime.

Then comes the main show. It is a 16-seater vehicle that travels through five environmental zones, including a jungle, a savannah and the ocean. In each zone, visitors can interact with rare animals using state-of-the-art Mixed Reality (MR) imaging technology. It includes dioramas that realistically recreate the habitats of rare animals integrated with 3D computer graphics.

When visitors board the vehicle, they look through a type of binocular, the AdventureScope, and wear a sensor on their right hand that is used to communicate interactively with the rare animals.

When the Ubiquitous Entertainment Journey begins, Dr. Owl, the show's guide, appears in front of the visitors and surprises them by suddenly calling their names to welcome them to the journey. In the jungle area, the visitors throw a number of virtual bananas they find in their right hand to the monkeys; the primates approach and pick them up. A huge Orinoco crocodile suddenly appears close to the visitors with its mouth open, causing some people to shout in surprise. In the savannah area, a black rhinoceros irritated by the sound of the vehicle's horn starts charging at the visitors. During the ocean journey, visitors can take their time to observe a giant mantis and dolphins. They can place an approaching sea turtle on the palm of their hand and turn it as they wish. No doubt many will want to prevent the extinction of such animals at all costs. At the end of the journey, visitors will still be surprised to see themselves surrounded by animals in a photo projected in front of them.

The final attraction of the pavilion is the Post-show. By holding their EXPO 2005 admission ticket in front of a device, visitors will be called by name and will be able to see the photo they saw earlier on the screen. They will be able to see it again even after they have returned home. To do so, they simply access the Hitachi Group Pavilion website and enter the serial number from their EXPO 2005 ticket and the date they visited the pavilion. The commemorative photo will be visible at any time during EXPO 2005 from the day they visit the pavilion. The Hitachi Group Pavilion is truly a remarkable and satisfying pavilion.

© Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition