Motor Co has 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.
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.
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.
features of Ashirase
information for the visually impaired user is generated based on GNSS*1
positioning information and data based on the user's foot movement.
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
are located aligned with the nerve layer of the foot, making it easy to feel
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
Japan, the number of people with visual impairment including low vision was
estimated to be 1.64 million as of 2007, and the number is forecast to increase
to nearly 2 million by 2030. 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.”
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