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Konica Minolta involved in healthier people

Walk, sleep, even smell better with IT gadgets

The Yomiuri Shimbun

An insole developed by NEC Corp. analyzes how users walk.

11:22 am, March 07, 2020

The Yomiuri ShimbunHealth is on everyone’s minds, and electronics companies are putting their energy into helping people maintain it using cutting-edge technologies. With work style reforms among the reasons people in Japan are gaining more health awareness, these companies are also trying to tap into a new source of revenue.

NEC Corp. will launch a service as early as this spring to provide advice through videos and other means on stretching to improve the “quality” of how a person walks based on data collected from their insole. A sensor embedded in the insole measures walking speed, stride, direction of the toe, landing foot angle and other conditions, and analyzes the data, NEC said.

This A-rrowg insole was developed by NEC jointly with health app developer FiNC Technologies Inc.

“We would like to target men in their 30s and 40s who have poor posture due to long hours of desk work,” said Osamu Fujikawa, a corporate officer of NEC.

Panasonic Corp. will offer a service to support comfortable sleep jointly with major bedding manufacturer Nishikawa Co. A sensor embedded in the mattress will measure the depth and hours of sleep and other factors, while also automatically adjusting the air conditioner’s temperature and air flow direction, brightness of room lighting and other conditions. As a wake-up time approaches, the set temperature of the air conditioner is gradually increased and the lighting gets brighter in a phased manner, which may help users to wake up feeling refreshed, according to Panasonic.

Konica Minolta, Inc. has developed a device to measure odors generated from a lack of keeping up daily habits. The company has begun providing measures to help users improve aspects such as their diet and exercise based on odors from their mouth, head and other parts of the body. The company is now carrying out a project to improve the odors of 30 company employees and others in the Marunouchi district of Tokyo, with the participation of companies including Mitsubishi Estate Co., Daiichi Sankyo Healthcare Co. and Asics Corp.

According to research company Fuji Keizai, the domestic market for health care equipment and services is expected to grow to ¥308.3 billion by 2022 from ¥205.5 billion in 2017. More companies are likely to launch equipment and services using their technological capabilities

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