Table of Contents
- 1 More companies and organizations than expected applied for the first collaboration
- 2 Apps are used to combat "unwellness" among the elderly.
- 3 Connecting local government Wi-Fi with apps
- 4 Enables analysis of inbound tourists' behavior
- 5 Expectations for "unibo," a cute support robot
- 6 Collects valuable purchasing data, including that of competitors
- 7 Using the hot topic of voice recognition to promote tourist attractions
- 8 Leveraging Video Chat Infrastructure for Business
- 9 Efforts to consider new forms of disaster prevention
- 10 The theme of the 2016 collaboration is solving social issues
More companies and organizations than expected applied for the first collaboration
Kokusai Kogyo, a member of the Japan Asia Group that aims to realize green communities, is a long-established company founded in 1947 that operates a spatial information consulting business. The company boasts high name recognition among people involved in urban development, and has a large number of public offices and private companies as clients.
Known as a so-called "B to B" or "B to G" (government) company, we conducted an open innovation with creww in November 2015 with the aim of developing a new business. We received applications from a diverse range of startups and are in the process of collaborating with 8 of these companies.
At the event, Kokusai Kogyo President Satoshi Hijikata enthusiastically expressed his enthusiasm, saying, "We would like to work with startups to build multi-billion scale businesses together toward the year 2020 and beyond. Then, Mr. Satoshi Ijichi, President of Creww Corporation, addressed the audience, saying, "Creww will stand between large companies and startups to successfully match their interests and accelerate the growth of both parties.
Eight startups and organizations that are collaborating with Kokusai Kogyo after participating in Open Innovation in 2015 then presented their current projects and the progress of their collaborations.
Apps are used to combat "unwellness" among the elderly.
The first speaker was Ray Frontier K.K. (Edogawa-ku, Tokyo), which develops "SilentLog Analytics" to visualize behavioral information. SilentLog Analytics can analyze people's behavior in real time using artificial intelligence and other technologies, and is said to be useful for decision making in the event of a major earthquake or other emergency. Kokusai Kogyo's collaboration reported on an example of using the SilentLog application, which automatically records the actions of people just by starting up the application, to address the unwellness of the elderly.
The app has helped 60% of the elderly who use it increase the number of steps they take, despite some initial problems, such as stopping too soon. It is similar to the popular game app "Pokémon GO," which leads to good health because you get out and walk," said Norihiro Sawada, Director and COO of the company.
Mr. Yasushi Fujiwara of Kokusai Kogyo's New Business Development Division said, "Kokusai Kogyo has been working on disaster-resistant community development and the creation of a low-carbon society, and in recent years, in response to the super-aging society, we were considering new community development that would allow the elderly to live healthy and active lives in the community, when Ray Frontier Ray Frontier was the first to apply for the project. Ray Frontier was the first to apply for the project. "We were right on target," he said.
Connecting local government Wi-Fi with apps
(Minato-ku, Tokyo), whose "Town WiFi" application, which automatically connects to free Wi-Fi in town, is gaining popularity, took the stage next.
The application has gained widespread support, with more than 900,000 downloads in just two months, and President Takehiro Ogita said, "By increasing the ratio of Wi-Fi usage, you can free yourself from communication capacity restrictions. It is called a "god application" by many people.
Meanwhile, linking with Wi-Fi services provided by local governments in various locations is the next challenge, and further development is expected through collaboration with Kokusai Kogyo, which has a strong presence in the public sector. We are currently standing between them and local governments, for which we are very grateful," says President Ogita.
Mr. Fujiwara of Kokusai Kogyo said, "Town WiFi is not only convenient for users, but also useful for administrators, and we are currently touring the country together to have it used for tourism promotion and community development in various areas.
Enables analysis of inbound tourists' behavior
Knightley Inc. is developing "inbound insight," a service that analyzes the tourism behavior of foreign visitors to Japan through social media analysis. This service provides the supporting data necessary for inbound marketing by creating its own database of location, word-of-mouth, nationality, gender, travel routes, and other information.
They are also planning to collaborate with Kokusai Kogyo to jointly develop products based on the data. President Yutaka Ishikawa says, "We are currently conducting proposal activities while interviewing people inside and outside the company about their needs. Specifically, they plan to conduct surveys and consulting services for local governments, and develop services such as support for foreign visitors to Japan and joint reporting, in conjunction with Kokusai Kogyo's GIS (Geographic Information System) data.
Mr. Fujiwara of Kokusai Kogyo introduced the reason for the collaboration, saying, "Mr. Knightley has exactly the kind of data sought by organizations that are promoting regional revitalization through inbound tourism.
Expectations for "unibo," a cute support robot
Uni-Robot Corporation (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) is developing "unibo," a lifestyle support robot using artificial intelligence, which was created based on the concept of promoting interaction among family members and supporting their daily lives. President Taku Sakai says, "It is a next-generation social robot that is exactly like the world of Doraemon," and development is underway for a March 2017 winter release.
In collaboration with Kokusai Kogyo, they plan to promote services for the elderly and others to support self-care using unibo, including daily life reminders, health and diet management, daily conversation, and monitoring. Kokusai Kogyo, Kanazawa University, and UniRobot will consider conducting demonstration tests in the future.
Mr. Koji Hasegawa of Kokusai Kogyo's New Business Development Division said, "unibo has a reputation for being just plain cute. Being liked by users is the most important point for a tool that aims to help." He also expressed high expectations for future development.
Collects valuable purchasing data, including that of competitors
(BearTail, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), whose fully-automated household account bookkeeping application "Dr. Wallet" has attracted much attention, boasts a high accuracy rate of reading receipts captured by smartphone cameras and manually input by approximately 2,000 operators. So far, more than 1.2 million downloads have been made.
Dr. Wallet can also collect data that is not widely available in the world, such as data from convenience stores," says President Kenichi Kurosaki.
The collaboration with Kokusai Kogyo will include linkage with the company's electricity rate plan optimization service "Ene gaeru," as well as with the company's spatial information data to develop a trade area analysis service.
Mr. Hasegawa of Kokusai Kogyo said, "Our executives were surprised when they saw BearTail's data, saying, 'This is amazing. It is valuable to be able to get data from competitors as well," he said.
Using the hot topic of voice recognition to promote tourist attractions
(Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) is attracting attention for its "Shabette Coupon" service, which offers coupons when you speak certain keywords into your smartphone. Kenji Tanaka, president and CEO of iCotoba, Inc. says, "With 20% of Google searches now being done by voice, the age of voice recognition is here to stay, and it will be the next key technology. This is the next key technology," says President Kenji Tanaka.
The cost of issuing a coupon is almost negligible, and the possibility of increasing awareness is high as users themselves "speak" the name of the product, etc. It is expected to penetrate the market as an inexpensive and highly effective service to attract customers in the future.
In collaboration with Kokusai Kogyo, the company plans to use the iCOTBA system to promote tourism to local governments. For example, a service in which visitors can receive specialties and goods in the form of a stamp rally by answering questions in the form of quizzes at tourist attractions is being devised.
Kokusai Kogyo's Mr. Hasegawa said, "We would like to expand into consulting and research services for tourism inbound and DMO (tourism policy).
Leveraging Video Chat Infrastructure for Business
Next, Mr. Kenji Manabe, Director of FacePeer Corporation (FacePeer, Minato-ku, Tokyo), which operates the FaceHub video chat platform, took the stage.
He explained that FaceHub utilizes WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) technology, which, unlike Skype or google Hangouts, can be easily used on a browser without installation or account registration. He introduced FaceHub's features, saying, "We developed FaceHub by adding various functions to make it easier to use in the business world, such as enabling 'one-to-many' and 'multi-person-to-many' communication.
In collaboration with Kokusai Kogyo, FaceHub is being considered for sales support to local governments, customer support for installed software, and maintenance for the mega solar power plants that Kokusai Kogyo operates.
Mr. Hasegawa of Kokusai Kogyo recalled the collaboration, "We received a presentation from FacePeer President Hidehiko Tada that was just passionate.
Efforts to consider new forms of disaster prevention
The last speaker, BOSAI GIRL (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo), is a general incorporated association that realized the importance of communicating the necessity of disaster prevention to the younger generation in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The organization was founded by women in their 20s and 30s from all over Japan with the concept of "making disaster prevention more fashionable and easier to understand.
We have been developing activities that lead to disaster preparedness from a perspective never before seen, such as planning evacuation drills for young people using the location-based game "Ingress," which utilizes augmented reality technology, in collaboration with Shibuya Ward.
Kokusai Kogyo, which specializes in disaster prevention/mitigation measures and urban planning, was a good match for the project. "I wanted to use Kokusai Kogyo's spatial information data to encourage women and young people to fall in love with maps," said Hasegawa, when asked to propose a new product. I participated in an evacuation drill myself using Ingress, and I felt a new form of disaster prevention," said Hasegawa of Kokusai Kogyo, who decided to collaborate with the company.
As a first step, we created tote bags using 3D hazard maps. Together with Kokusai Kogyo, we conducted the project on the crowdfunding site "CAMPFIRE.
The theme of the 2016 collaboration is solving social issues
After reports from eight companies and organizations, Mr. Hasegawa and Mr. Fujiwara of Kokusai Kogyo, which has been the point of contact with startups, took the stage to present details of the 2016 CREWW collaboration.
This year, under the theme of "Business that leads to solutions for social issues," he introduced his hope to realize collaborations that address issues in a wide range of fields, including safety and security, the environment, climate change, energy, health and welfare, urban development, technological infrastructure formation, food, and education.
We believe that businesses that are necessary for society have great business opportunities. The team in the New Business Development Department, which will be your (startups') partner, has been strengthened with new members, and a new office has been set up in the International Building in Marunouchi. （We have a solid budget (for collaboration), so let's build a bigger business together," declared Hasegawa.
Li Dongtor, the person in charge of creww, said, "Collaboration in 2016 is a theme with high potential for commercialization. We are looking forward to receiving proposals that will lead to business after drawing up a big vision," he appealed to the participants in the audience.
Afterwards, a social event was held at the venue, where visitors could be seen talking passionately with each other.
INNOVATIVE PORT" is an open innovation media operated by Creww, Inc. that connects startups, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs in recovery, and companies aiming to create new businesses on the theme of social issues.