Ken Sakamura

Ken Sakamura (坂村 健, Sakamura Ken, born July 25, 1951 in Tokyo, Japan), as of April 2017 is a Japanese professor and dean of the Faculty of Information Networking for Innovation and Design at Toyo University, Japan. He is a former professor in Information science at the University of Tokyo (through March 2017). He is the creator of the real-time operating system architecture TRON.

Ken Sakamura
Alma materKeio University
AwardsTakeda Award
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Tokyo Toyo University

In 2001, he shared the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Well-Being with Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds.


As of 2006, Sakamura leads the ubiquitous networking laboratory (UNL), located in Gotanda, Tokyo as well as the T-Engine forum for consumer electronics. The joint goal of Sakamura's Ubiquitous Networking specification and the T-Engine forum, is to enable any everyday device to broadcast and receive information. It is essentially a dusted-off TRON, paired with a competing standard to RFID.

Since the foundation of the T-Engine forum, Sakamura has been working on opening Japanese technology to the world. His previous brainchild, TRON, the universal RTOS used in Japanese Consumer Electronics has had limited adoption in other countries. Sakamura has inked deals with Chinese and Korean universities to work together on Ubiquitous Networking. He has also worked with French software components manufacturer NexWave Solutions, Inc.

Ubiquitous Communicator

The Ubiquitous Communicator (UC) is a mobile computing device designed by Sakamura for use in ubiquitous computing. On September 15, 2004, YRP-UNL announced in Japan that it has started the production of a new model after creating five prototypes over three years. The model was used in trial tests circa late 2004. The new model (weighing about 196 grams) contains new features: RFID reader compatible for ucode, a two megapixel CCD camera, a secondary 300,000 pixel camera for video phone, support for wireless network technologies, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and IrDA, VoIP phone feature, SD and mini-SD card slots, fingerprint authentication, and encryption co-processor as options. It was expected to be sold for three hundred thousand yen (twenty seven hundred dollars).


In May, 2015, Sakamura received the prestigious ITU150 award from ITU along with Bill Gates, Robert E. Kahn, Thomas Wiegand, Mark I. Krivocheev, and Martin Cooper. The following is the citation given by ITU:

... Today, the real-time operating systems based on the TRON specifications are used for engine control on automobiles, mobile phones, digital cameras, and many other appliances, and are believed to be the among most popular operating systems for embedded computers around world. The R&D results from TRON Project are useful for ubiquitous computing. For example, UNL joined the standardization efforts at ITU-T and helped produce a series of Recommendations, including H.642 “Multimedia information access triggered by tag-based identification”. The idea behind H.642 series is based on de facto “ucode” standard developed by UNL for communication in the age of the Internet of Things ... For his achievements, Sakamura has won many awards: Takeda Award, the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government, Okawa Prize, Prime Minister Award, and Japan Academy Prize. He is a fellow and the golden core member of the IEEE Computer Society.

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