Jun 11, 2021 18:09 JST
Honda Announces the Establishment of Ashirase, Inc., a Startup Originated from IGNITION, a Honda New Business Creation Program
- Startup will strive to launch Ashirase, navigation system in shoes to help the visually impaired -
TOKYO, Jun 11, 2021 - (JCN Newswire) - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the establishment of Ashirase, Inc., the first business venture to originate from IGNITION, Honda's new business creation program. Ashirase, Inc. is currently developing an in-shoe navigation system to support the visually impaired with walking and will strive to begin sales of the system, also named "Ashirase," before the end of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.
|Overview of Ashirase navigation system|
The Ashirase is a navigation system consisting of a smartphone app and a three-dimensional vibration device including a motion sensor, which is attached inside the shoe.
Based on the route set with the app, the device vibrates to provide navigation. When the user should go straight, the vibrator positioned on the front part of the foot vibrates, and when the user is approaching a right or left turn, the vibrator on the right or left side vibrates to notify the user. The navigation provided by Ashirase enables intuitive understanding of the route, and therefore the user does not have to be constantly mindful of the direction, which makes it possible for the user to walk more safely and with a more relaxed state of mind.
Key features of Ashirase
- Guidance information for the visually impaired user is generated based on GNSS(1) positioning information and data based on the user's foot movement.
- Navigation is provided through vibration on the foot, so as not to interfere with the user?s hand which is holding a white cane, or ears used to listen to ambient sounds.
- Vibrators are located aligned with the nerve layer of the foot, making it easy to feel the vibration.
- Soft material that maintains its original shape is used for the device in order to limit any discomfort to the user.
Issues related to walking of the visually impaired
- In Japan, the number of people with visual impairment including low vision(2) was estimated to be 1.64 million as of 2007, and the number is forecast to increase to nearly 2 million by 2030(3).
Visually impaired people constantly check their safety and route to the destination when they walk alone. However, as they are required to use all remaining senses to acquire information to compensate for their limited sight, it is somewhat inevitable that they will be unable to pay thorough attention and face functional issues such as "getting lost" or "falling into unsafe situations." Moreover, discovery sessions conducted by the development team with the visually impaired revealed that such functional issues lead to psychological issues, as indicated by comments such as:
"I feel frustrated when I remember the time when I was walking freely without vision problems." (comment by a person with low vision)
"When I get lost, people around me sometimes do not respond when I try to talk to them. It is scary because I don?t know why they are not responding." (comment by a person with late-onset total blindness).
With the concept of "navigation which enables safety and a relaxed state of mind for the visually impaired," Ashriase is being developed as a product which helps the users reach their destinations safely and have a more independent lifestyle.
(1) GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite System, a collective name for satellite positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) systems.
(2) The 2006-2008 report on the "social cost of visual impairments in Japan" published by a research team of the Japan Ophthalmologists Association defines "people with corrected vision of more than 0.1 (20/200 in the US system) and below 0.5 (20/40 in the US system) in their best-seeing eye."
(3) Source: The 2006-2008 report on ?social cost of visual impairments in Japan? published by a research team of Japan Ophthalmologists Association. URL: https://www.gankaikai.or.jp/info/kenkyu/2006-2008kenkyu.pdf (Japanese only)
Comment by Wataru Chino, Representative Director of Ashirase, Inc.
"An accident suffered by one of my family members motivated me to take action to realize safer and more free mobility for visually impaired people. I developed the Ashirase and applied to IGNITION, Honda?s new business creation program, which led to the establishment of Ashirase, Inc. I am sure that we will face many obstacles as we work toward the market launch of Ashirase; however, we will overcome such obstacles one by one and devote ourselves wholeheartedly to realize the freedom of mobility for visually impaired people."
About IGNITION new business creation program
Honda's new business creation program which gives shapes to the original technologies, ideas and designs of Honda associates and contributes to solving social issues and creating new value for customers, going beyond existing Honda business.
Key features of IGNITION
- All full-time Honda associates in Japan are eligible to submit proposals regardless of their length of employment and assigned divisions.
- Ideas that pass the final evaluation process will be commercialized within the company or through a startup venture.
- In principle, the decision on commercialization will be made within a 6-month period, during which a taskforce team consisting of internal specialists will be formed to support each proposer.
- The venture capital firm will provide advice and support to each proposer throughout the evaluation process.
- In order to ensure independence of the startup, the ratio of capital contribution by Honda will be limited to no more than 20%
Sectors: Electronics, Automotive
Copyright ©2021 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.
More Latest Release >>
Honda Exhibits the World Premiere of All-new BF150, BF135 and BF115 Large-size Marine Outboard Engines at the Genoa International Boat Show 2021
Sep 16, 2021 19:08 JST
Applus+ IDIADA and MHI Group to Develop Testing and Verification System for Highly Automated Vehicles
Sep 16, 2021 14:52 JST
Honda: Takahisa Fujinami to End 26-Year Trial World Championship Career
Sep 15, 2021 19:30 JST
NEC Utilizes Digital Technologies to Create Healthcare and Life Science Business
Sep 15, 2021 09:59 JST
Eisai to Join The Global Environmental Initiative "RE100"
Sep 14, 2021 17:46 JST
Telefonica and NEC to Build Open RAN Live Pilots in 4 Global Markets as a Key Milestone Toward Mass Deployment
Sep 14, 2021 17:03 JST
Toyota to Launch All-New Corolla Cross
Sep 14, 2021 14:05 JST
Eisai to Present Abstracts on Oncology Products and Pipeline at ESMO Virtual Congress 2021
Sep 14, 2021 12:36 JST
Lucid and Cross Marketing Co. Ltd. partner on 'Global QiQUMO'
Sep 14, 2021 09:00 JST
Showa Denko Concludes Long-Term Contract to Supply SiC Epitaxial Wafers for ROHM Co., Ltd.
Sep 13, 2021 17:00 JST
AbbVie, Eisai, and EA Pharma Launch "Humira Support Tool Ordering Service for Patients"
Sep 13, 2021 16:37 JST
Epic Triumph for Rovanpera and the Toyota Yaris WRC in Greece
Sep 13, 2021 14:34 JST
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Osaka Gas Acquire Clean Energy Solution, Brighter Future Solar Project
Sep 13, 2021 13:04 JST
Hitachi Sets New Target to Contribute to a Net Zero Society
Sep 13, 2021 11:41 JST
Tech Leaders from The Philippines to Draw Insights From Use-Cases and Informative Keynotes at Trescon's World AI & RPA Show
Sep 11, 2021 09:00 JST
MHI Thermal Systems' Air Conditioners for the Australian Market Receive Highest Ratings Once Again
Sep 10, 2021 13:02 JST
Chevron Agrees on Framework to Join Hydrogen Joint Venture with Magnum Development and Mitsubishi Power
Sep 10, 2021 11:15 JST
Hitachi Elevator Philippines Receives 67 Elevators and Escalators Order for Its First Railway System Project
Sep 09, 2021 13:57 JST
Mitsubishi Corporation and Shell Sign MoU to Collaborate on Hydrogen Plans in Alberta
Sep 09, 2021 12:36 JST
All-New Outlander Earns Highest Safety Rating from IIHS in the US
Sep 09, 2021 11:09 JST