The Japanese government is leading a research initiative to help 10 Japanese technology companies shift from electronics hardware to search-related services. According to a report in the Financial Times, the project “hopes to use Japan’s strength in developing devices, such as mobile phones and car navigation systems, to create proprietary search and information retrieval functions.”
The project teams 10 companies together to build a specific type of search function. For example, NTT Data, Toyota InfoTechnology Center, and Toyota Mapmaster are charged with developing a car-based search and navigation system. The government has allocated Y14bn-Y15bn ($121m-$130m) to the project.