Top Page | English | 简体中文 | 繁體中文 | 한국어 | 日本語
Friday, 11 June 2021, 17:09 HKT/SGT

Source: Honda
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, June 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: (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%

Topic: Press release summary
Source: Honda

Sectors: Electronics, Automotive
From the Asia Corporate News Network

Copyright © 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.

Honda Links

July 14, 2021 13:16 HKT/SGT
Honda Reaches 15 Million-unit Mark in Cumulative Power Products Production in China
July 14, 2021 12:11 HKT/SGT
Honda Issues "Honda Sustainability Report 2021"
July 12, 2021 17:05 HKT/SGT
Honda Reaches 15 Million-Unit Mark in Cumulative Automobile Sales in China
June 28, 2021 23:09 HKT/SGT
New Honda Prologue SUV Begins Next Chapter in Brand's EV Direction in North America
June 24, 2021 10:50 HKT/SGT
Honda Holds World Premiere of the All-new Civic Hatchback
June 14, 2021 18:38 HKT/SGT
JAXA and Honda to Begin a Feasibility Study on a Circulative Renewable Energy System
June 11, 2021 16:10 HKT/SGT
Honda Begins Company-wide Expansion of its New Business Creation Program, "IGNITION," to Help Realize Ideas and Dreams of Honda Associates
June 10, 2021 13:48 HKT/SGT
Honda and Komatsu Announce the Start of Joint Development of Micro Excavators Powered by Swappable Batteries
June 10, 2021 11:33 HKT/SGT
Honda Launches All-New Civic Hatchback Teaser Page on its Company Website
May 31, 2021 17:16 HKT/SGT
Honda to Begin Supplying Electrified Power Unit, eGX, for Commercial-Grade Work Equipment
More news >>
 News Alerts
Copyright © 2021 ACN Newswire - Asia Corporate News Network
Home | About us | Services | Partners | Events | Login | Contact us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | RSS
US: +1 800 291 0906 | Beijing: +86 400 879 3881 | Hong Kong: +852 2217 2912 | Singapore: +65 6304 8926 | Tokyo: +81 3 6859 8575

Connect With us: