ANA presents Moonshot Avatar concept at XPRIZE Visioneers Summit


LOS ANGELES, CA – Founded upon the principles of innovation and personal connection, ANA, Japan’s largest airline, is participating in the inaugural XPRIZE Visioneers Summit at the end of September, at which nine hand-selected teams will each present a concept for an XPRIZE competition, aspiring to create disruptive impact across multiple domains.

Led by esteemed scientist, Dr. Harry Kloor (PH.D., PH.D.), the ANA Visioneers Team is focused on innovating “limitless travel” with the “ANA Avatar XPRIZE” to allow people to be in multiple places at once using advanced avatar technology that combines robotics, haptics, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR). The team will present to a panel of 270 leading CEOs, technology innovators, political leaders, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists, with the goal of being selected as the next XPRIZE competition to be launched.

“Since we first launched ANA with just two helicopters more than 60 years ago, our mission has always been to bridge gaps of distance, time, and culture to bring people together,” said Shuich Fujimura, Executive Vice President, Int’l Affairs, Alliances and Purchasing, ANA, and Innovation Board Member, XPRIZE. “As aviation technology has advanced, ANA has always been committed to the continual innovation of our fleet. Now, the ANA Avatar XPRIZE allows us to take a giant leap forward and push travel beyond the limits of physical aircraft by instantly transporting a traveler’s consciousness to an avatar located anywhere in the world. If we are selected to win at the Visioneers Summit, we hope to drive greater attention for the development of new technologies to make the Avatar XPRIZE a reality, and truly connect our world.”

The ANA Avatar XPRIZE is endorsed by authorities in numerous fields, including science, education, philanthropy, and venture capital. Experts in robotics, haptics, motion capture, AR, VR, artificial intelligence (AI), and deep machine learning from top universities and some of the world’s biggest tech companies have expressed their support and excitement for the program. These supporters include esteemed futurist Ray Kurzweil; entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kamen; President and CEO of Sony Computer Science Laboratories Hiroaki Kitano; former director of DARPA David Neyland; head of studio for SoftBank Robotics Americas Omar Abdelwahed; and many more.

“We’ve brought together some of the greatest minds of our day to contribute to the design of an Avatar XPRIZE, and assess the impact a general avatar system would have on the world,” said Kloor, an American scientist, film producer, director, writer, educator, technologist, and entrepreneur, with experience in a wide range of exponential technologies from AR and AI to robotics and motion capture control systems. “The ANA Avatar XPRIZE will democratize mankind’s physical talents – healthcare, education, engineering, and more – by bringing those skills to people who need them instantly, easily, and affordably. A village with a single avatar will have access to every doctor, every teacher, every engineer, every mechanic – every one. By solving the challenge of individual transportation, we are able to solve so many of the world’s problems.”