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Osamu Tokumi


The reason I applied to SECOM
 My master's thesis was on exploration of an archaeological site by images obtained from underground radar. I chose to work at SECOM because I was impressed with one of SECOM's philosophies, "the pursuit of righteousness." I also thought I would be able to do challenging research using image recognition technology at the Intelligent Systems Laboratory (ISL), which had just been established a few years earlier, in December 1986.


Researching image recognition technology throughout my career at ISL

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 My main research work has been in image recognition technology since I entered ISL. At that time, there were only a few practical applications of products or services which used image recognition technology. I still remember the days when I devoted myself to research, dreaming of practical applications for the future.

 Due to advances in image processing hardware, especially the advances in performance and reduction in price, algorithms which were considered impossible to be processed in real-time had become not just possible, but also cost-effective. I felt that I would be able to realize my dream, so I worked hard so as not to miss that chance. Up to now, I have developed products such as "SECOM AX", the world's first intruder detection sensor using image recognition technology, and "SECURIFACE", an intercom system which identifies suspicious individuals who do not show their face clearly by using a "face detection function". Step by step, I have started to realize my dream of developing a product which uses an algorithm I created.

 

Integrating technologies: Commercialization and Patents

picture SECOM produces many services and products that are all related to our customer's safety, thus errors and inaccuracies are not tolerated. In other words, real-world technologies are sought after. To accomplish this, we must not only constantly accumulate skills but also maintain a high level of motivation and continuous effort. Although there are very high technical requirements, the delight and feeling of accomplishment after releasing a new service or product is exceptionally special. This is the most exciting part of our job as SECOM's researchers, who have a duty to provide safety to our customers.

 Naturally, it is possible to apply for patents if the technology we make is innovative. Creating new technologies, applying them to a product and getting a patent is a source of joy for me as an engineer.



The experience of training others

 Fortunately, I have been able to experience various positions since I entered ISL, ranging from fundamental research to product development. Through product development, I had many chances to communicate with people from both inside and outside SECOM, allowing me to learn about values from diverse viewpoints and to expand my point of view. After releasing a product, I had many opportunities to listen to customer feedback through technical support. The customers' frank opinions were invaluable seeds to the next step. On the other hand, I have also experienced many failures. Looking back, I believe that those failures were the basis for my later successes. It is said that experience nurtures people. Through my work, I feel strongly that it is true.

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 The demand for different applications of image recognition technology is becoming larger and larger. This demand leads to intensified competition with other companies. Therefore, researchers involved with image recognition technology at ISL must work closer than ever. Although I am now in management, by relating my experiences to younger researchers, I am trying to bring our skills as a team to a higher level and nurture many competent researchers.

 I believe that my current role is to foster an environment where young researchers with a spirit to challenge can fulfill their dreams. Through experiences in our aggressive technical development process, we look forward to helping you develop unique technologies to fulfill your own dreams.


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