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Honda Announces the Establishment of Ashirase, Inc., a Startup Originated from IGNITION, a Honda New Business Creation Program

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…

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 company creation program. Ashirase, Inc. is now developing an in-shoe navigation system to support the visually impaired with walking and will try to start sales of the machine, also named”Ashirase,” until the end of the fiscal year end March 31, 2023. Summary of Ashirase navigation systemThe Ashirase is a navigation system consisting of a smartphone app and also a three-dimensional vibration apparatus including a movement sensor, which can be attached within the shoe. Dependent on the route set with the program, the device vibrates to give navigation. When the user ought to go straight, the vibrator positioned on the front portion of the foot vibrates, and when the user is coming a left or right turn, the vibrator on the left or right side vibrates to notify the consumer. The navigation given by Ashirase enables intuitive understanding of the path, and so the consumer does not need to be continuously conscious of the management, making it possible for the consumer to walk more securely and using a more relaxed state of mind. Key features of Ashirase- Guidance advice for the visually impaired user is generated according to GNSS(1) placement data and information depending on the user’s foot movement. – Navigation is supplied through shaking on the foot, in order not to interfere with the user?s hand which is holding a white cane, or ears used to listen to ambient sounds. – Vibrators are found aligned with the nerve layer of the foot, making it effortless to sense the vibration. – Soft material that maintains its original form is used for the apparatus so as to limit any distress to the user.Issues related to walking of their visually impaired – In Japan, the amount of individuals with visual impairment involving 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 security and path to the destination when they stroll independently. However, since they’re required to use all remaining senses to acquire advice to compensate for their limited sight, it’s somewhat inevitable that they’ll be not able to pay thorough attention and confront functional issues such as”getting lost” or”falling into unsafe situations.” Moreover, discovery sessions conducted by the development group with the visually impaired revealed that such functional issues lead to psychological issues, according to comments like:”I feel frustrated when I remember the time when I was walking freely without vision problems.” (remark by a individual 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 individual 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 way of life. (1) GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite System, a collective name for satellite positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) systems. (2) The 2006-2008 report about the”social cost of visual impairments in Japan” printed 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 ? Social cost of visual impairments in Japan? Printed by a research group of Japan Ophthalmologists Association. URL: (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 development programHonda’s new business development program which gives shapes to the first technologies, ideas and layouts of Honda partners and contributes to solving social issues and creating new value for clients, going beyond present Honda business. Crucial 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 business or via a startup venture. – In principle, the conclusion on commercialization will be earned inside a 6-month interval, through which a taskforce team consisting of internal specialists will be shaped to support each proposer. – The venture capital company will provide advice and support to every proposer throughout the evaluation procedure. – In order to guarantee independence of the startup, the proportion of capital contribution by Honda will be limited to no more than 20% Copyright 2021 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved.
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