Rakuten Institute of Technology was launched in 2006
as the dedicated R&D organization for the Rakuten Group.
“Front-Runner of the Global Business Evolution”
- A word from the Global Head of Rakuten Institute of Technology, Masaya Mori
"We launched Rakuten Institute of Technology in 2006 as the dedicated R&D organization for the Rakuten Group. Since then, anticipating that the constant scaling up of internet services will result in a shift from simple linear growth to a radically different paradigm, we have proposed a vision called the “Third Reality” to aim at novel research & development for the business. In a sense, our interest in the subject is not merely academic. It is the creative mind-set that drives us to open up an entirely new frontier.”
Rakuten Institute of Technology is now located in Tokyo, San Mateo, Paris, Singapore, and Boston, engaging in cross-location projects and supporting the globalization of the Rakuten Group. External to the Rakuten network, the Institute is partnered with Hidehiko Masuhara (Tokyo Institute of Technology), who serves as an advisor, and Yukihiro Matsumoto (creator of the Ruby programming language), who serves as a fellow.
R&D Vision: The Third Reality
At Rakuten Institute of Technology, our research is guided by a vision called the Third Reality, and we collaborate with various departments in Rakuten, as well as external organizations, in order to maximize our impact. The Third Reality vision is based on three key concepts.
Evolution of society
These days the physical world is becoming increasingly integrated with the digital world. There is no longer a clear border where one world ends and the other begins. As the cyber world evolves and expands to pervade all areas of life, users and physical reality are evolving even more. The border between them is disappearing such that together they are forming a new reality, which we call “The Third Reality”.
People may see a dichotomy when a new technology appears. However, the relationship between the real and online worlds can be seen as collaborative and we strive to propose ideas that go beyond the conflict. As such, we believe that a third option will give us power to move further forward.
The Third Reality arises from the interaction of users with the ever expanding virtual world. The ways users can interact with the online world are increasing and internet services can be ever more personalized to the individual. The new reality is created in collaboration with users, so user's seamless experience is always important to us.
Literally and figuratively, the Tokyo office works closely with the many business lines of Rakuten enabling frequent interaction and collaboration. Tokyo boasts a very diverse team of researchers from all over the world - the majority of whom are from countries outside Japan in Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.
Google Map TOKYO
Paris researchers thrive in a truly innovative environment where they are free to explore new and futuristic ideas
Paris collaborates closely with both Rakuten PriceMinister, located in the same office, and also with other researchers in Tokyo.
Google Map PARIS
In Singapore, where we see many new ventures and start-up businesses, the office has a close relationship with Rakuten Viki - the TV drama and movie site.
Google Map SINGAPORE
The Boston office is positioned in a major international academic hub of the US, where several world-renowned universities are located, allowing collaboration with institutions nearby.
Google Map BOSTON
NEW YORK (Satellite Office)
The NY satellite office is located in the heart of Manhattan, one of the busiest cities in the world. Nevertheless, as a small team, researchers enjoy an at-home atmosphere.
Google Map NEW YORK
The San Mateo office is based in the bay area of US, where emerging startups and leading universities are located, encouraging maximum innovation.
Google Map SanMateo