Solving future problems through design

We are proud to announce our competition winners!

2021 Winners

2021 Theme

Solving crimes in a future society where technology has become too advanced

As we move into the future, the development of technology is essential for many aspects of our lives. But is it possible that technology will develop too much and have adverse effects on our lives? If you've ever watched movies about AI or robots, you know that's a possibility. While the number of criminal offenses in Japan are currently at the lowest level since the end of World War II, with public security improving, there has also been an increase in various types of fraud. With the ability for technology to be used for crimes, what can we do?We believe the power of design may be able to solve crimes in a future society where technology has become too advanced. Future Design Challenge calls upon young creative talent and innovators around the world to solve potential problems with i-PRO.

* The US dollar prize money is a reference amount that is presented from the exchange rate at the time of publication, and may differ from the actual amount.
* The prize money may vary when deposited to the local currency of the account held by the winner.
* The prize money will be paid after deducting taxes such as withholding tax according to the tax system of Japan or the remittance destination region.


Jul 8th
Competition opens
Aug 31st
Competition ends
Sep 1st – Oct 31st
Judging period
Nov 18th
Announce Award Winners


Gold Award


JPY (Approx. $2,700 USD)

(1 person or 1 group)

  • Future Design Challenge award
  • Meeting with i-PRO engineers for potential prototype creation
  • Mentoring sessions with one of the judges
  • Featured in media

Silver Award


JPY (Approx. $910 USD)

(1 person or 1 group)

  • Future Design Challenge award
  • Meeting with i-PRO engineers for potential prototype creation
  • Mentoring sessions with one of the judges
  • Featured in media


The challenge is open to the public and challenge designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, organizations to submit their innovative design concepts relevant to Future Design Challenge 2021 Theme.

What we're looking for:

  • Concept name *
  • Concept description *
  • Sketches, photos, design files that showcases the concept *
  • Presentation (could be a presentation report, pitch video, etc.) *

Please upload your files to a cloud folder (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) and share the link to us. *

* tangible or intangible, any designs are eligible

You may make edits after submission. Please submit your concept again and mention that it is an updated version.
There is no limit to the number of submissions. You can submit as many concepts you would like.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at

Winner's Work

Gold Award
Concept: PORTA
Name: La Myra Bening
Concept Description: PORTA is a digital gate that can detect anomalies in a smart home’s activities. It is a new secure solution to a safer smart home and smarter living. PORTA automatically terminates the wifi connection once an anomaly is detected and uses the backup data to run the devices. It utilizes a voice-based password that once it recognizes it’s not you, it will deactivate.
Silver Award
Concept: Glass - A Future Interface
Name: Arnav Nigam
Concept Description: With the increasing complexity of the world, it is hard to manage and control our interaction and its repercussions. 'Glass' works as a control mechanism, which also provides a seamless digital experience. Imagine 'Glass' as a window to the parallel universe, where your digital twin lives. With the advancement in Brain-Machine Interface and AI, we might be able to control our parallel (digital) universe.
Concept: QGene
Name: QGene Solutions (Vinay Sudhakaran, Mohd. Saim Nasim Lari, and Arun Thangaraj)
Concept Description: QGene is a Polymorphic - DNA based tattoo to prevent digital impersonation attacks in the future. Once applied on the skin, it extracts your DNA and key behavioral traits, to generate a unique Digital Matrix based on your genome sequence - the order of your As, Cs, Gs, and Ts. This Digital Matrix is the ‘Digital Gene’ of your Digital Avatar on the internet.The solution leverages Quantum Cryptography to authenticate into the digital world, replacing the current authentication technologies.


Bjoern Eichstaedt

Managing Partner and Co-Owner of Storymaker GmbH, Germany

Bjoern’s focus is on supporting companies in telling their story to their respective stakeholders – his main passion is supporting Japanese technology companies in communicating with German and European audiences. This journey started in 2010 when he visited Japan for the first time during his honeymoon. At the time, he discovered that there are many Japanese companies that are virtually unknown in Germany and Europe – so Bjoern set out to start changing that.

Mariko Nishimura

CEO / Producer

Graduated from International Christian University in Tokyo, Mariko started her career as an IT engineer at IBM Japan. After her career at Adobe Systems as a field marketing manager and Bascule Inc. as a producer, she founded HEART CATCH Inc. in 2014. As a producer who connects business, creative and technologies beyond borders, she starts not only projects of her own company but various projects ranging from start-up, other companies, and government projects.In 2020, she founded HEART CATCH LA in Los Angeles, USA.

Casey Lau

Co-host of RISE and Web Summit Tokyo

Casey is a startup founder, investor and community leader and is co-host of the largest technology conference in Asia.He spends his time across Hong Kong, Toronto, Lisbon and Tokyo, and is passionate about design, social media, and digital entertainment.

Brandon K. Hill

Founder & CEO of btrax, Inc.

Founder and CEO of San Francisco based Innovation Design Agency, btrax, Inc. btrax specializes in UX Design, Service Design, and Innovation Workshops.

Judging criteria

All submissions will be assessed anonymously. When making their assessments,
the judges will take into account the following criteria and requirements:

1. Uniqueness of concept

We are looking for concepts that haven't been introduced to the world yet. Innovative, original, and a compelling idea are some few keywords you should keep in mind.

2. Quality of design

We are looking for appropriate, relevant designs that are inline with the theme. We are also looking for any potential positive social, environmental impact your design may provide.

3. Presentation

We are looking for clarity in the thought process. The presentation should be covering the overall experience of your concept and design.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to apply with multiple people?
Yes, it is possible. You can submit as a team. Also, there is no limit to the number of team members.

Is there a participation fee?
You can apply for free. There is no cost to apply for this competition.

I'm a student, can I participate?
Of course! This competition can be joined by anyone, from students to adults. We are waiting for participants who are interested in design and have social issues that they want to solve!

Is it possible to submit a concept once and then resubmit it?
You can resubmit within the application period. In that case, please let us know in the application form that you are resubmitting or replacing the concept.

Does the concept have to be related to i-PRO services and products?
The concept does not have to be related to i-PRO services and products. There are no restrictions on categories or formats. After defining the problems that may occur in the future, come up with a visual concept that can solve them.

Where should I contact if I have further questions?
Feel free to reach out to for any additional questions!

Protection of Privacy and Personal Information Policy

Personal information provided by an applicant in the Future Design Challenge will be used only for application reception, inquiries, examination, notification of examination results, and other matters deemed necessary for management/operations of the Future Design Challenge (the “Purposes”).

We will not use or provide personal information to any third party for any purpose other than the Purposes without the consent of the applicant.

Please refer to the "Protection of Privacy and Personal Information Policy" of btrax Inc., the operator of this Future Design Challenge. Based on this btrax Inc.’ Privacy Policy, Panasonic i-PRO Sensing Solutions Co., Ltd., the organizer, use personal information provided by applicants when necessary.

Precaution / Property Rights

(1) Any and all frauds are prohibited when submitting works.

(2) Entries must be original by the applicant and have not been published in Japan or overseas.

(3) The submitted work is limited to works that are planned to be proposed to other design competitions or companies at the time of submission, or have not already been proposed.

(4) The applicant expresses and warrants that the submitted work does not infringe any rights of third parties including intellectual property rights and that there is no risk of infringement.

(5) The applicant shall have the rights to inventions, patents, utility models, designs, trademarks, and copyrights of all submitted works. Therefore, the applicant shall be responsible for protecting this, so please take measures such as protection of rights when applying. If not, the award may be invalidated.

(6) If the submitted work is the same as or very similar to the previously announced design, or if it infringes the intellectual property rights of a third party, the award may be canceled even after the award is announced.

(7) Applicants must apply if the submitted work contains materials (including, but not limited to, art, photographs, fonts, etc.) created by a third party other than the applicant. At applicant’s expense and responsibility, the applicant will process the rights, such as obtaining the permission of the third party.

(8) The organizer and the operator may exclude the submitted work from the examination if it judges that it infringes the rights of a third party or may infringe the rights of a third party.

(9) The applicant shall respond at their own expense and responsibility when a third party makes a claim of infringement, etc. to the organizer and the operator regarding the submitted work. And the operator does not take any responsibility.

(10) The applicant shall fully compensate the organizer for damages, expenses, etc. based on claims of infringement of rights from a third party, regardless of the name.

(11) The organizer reserves the right to display and announce the submitted work.

(12) When commercialized, the applicant and the organizer will separately coordinate and discuss royalties, etc.

(13) If the organizer or the operator is not able to contact the applicant by the designated date after notification of the examination result, the award may be invalidated.