BreakThrough Study Idea

It would be ideal for SMEs and universities to cooperate and work for a win-win relationship.Emi Tamaki

<Series 4 / complete>

2019.04.25

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This is part four of the interview with Ms. Emi Tamaki. Though her career was brilliant, she says that she faced difficulties in managing the business and there were some aspects that she had not noticed. While touching upon this subject, the writer asked her about the ideas and concepts required for manufacturing in the future? In the end, she gave a message for small and medium-sized enterprises.


Creating Usage Rules is Essential

When we incorporate our research and development into society, the research for “Establishing rules” for use is necessary, though it presents some difficulty. “BodySharing” is the process of inputting and outputting body movements to an “Interface” and sharing it with multiple people. “BodySharing”, for example, will enable all the employees in this office to “Visit Hawaii together, at the present moment”.

While this is fun, it is associated with risks. Even if employees are present in this office and intruders, there is a concern that no one will notice the intruders even with the employees physically present because their “Consciousness has shifted”.
Laws have to be prepared and put in place to regulate such dangers. Rules have to be prepared and announced so that the product can be used only by following the rules without causing any social problems. In new fields, where such rules do not exist, we have to prepare the rules on our own.

“BodySharing” is the mutual sharing of the body of characters, robots or humans, and various senses of the user

When she started the development, she concentrated on the development of an interface that makes it possible to “Go out while being confined to a hospital room”. Therefore, it seemed that it was unexpected that she will work on the rules to use the interface. Ms. Tamaki also has some thoughts on product development in the medical care and welfare fields.

How Should the Medical Care and Welfare Field be Considered as a Market?

There is a device Kinect which captures the movement of the body and is commonly used for rehabilitation. This device is used in the medical care and welfare fields, but it became popular with its use in dance games. Such a process can be said to be effective in producing results. This is because if a product is deployed to the market in a different field, and it is used by many people in various scenarios making it popular, instead of being developed as a rehabilitation device for the medical care field and promoting its sales or dissemination then people will think that “It may be possible to use this device for rehabilitation”. The process will be efficient if medical care and nursing care is considered after a product becomes popular among the general public and data related to safety has been collected as mass production arrangements would have been already established.
The current financial system does not have an investment system that matches the market. Development for the medical care and welfare requires a considerable amount of time before the products are realized, and the current concept of investment is to set the recovery time in years, and very short durations are set. Therefore, at present, it is considered that the development of devices for full-scale entry into the medical care and welfare fields is difficult.

Ms. Tamaki's expectation, “Experience the outside world while being confined to a hospital room” cannot be realized with PossessedHand and UnlimitedHand. It can be said that these tools are closely related to changing human lifestyle and way of life in addition to its use in the fields of medical care and welfare.
Finally, what are the ideas and concepts required for manufacturing? Ms. Tamaki gave a message for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ideas and Concepts Based on Awareness of World Markets

It is now easier than ever before to globally release products that have been developed. Thanks to advertisements on Websites and Internet sales, even local companies are in a situation where they face competition from outside Japan. We can now communicate with remote areas immediately by telework. While it is easy for us to go outside Japan, it has also become easy for foreigners to enter our local area. Therefore, I consider that ideas, development, and concepts with an awareness of the global market will be required in the future. Our development products are being deployed around the world thanks to the affordable and easy-to-use “UnlimitedHand”.

Message to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

I want SMEs to work closely with Universities. When working together with universities, it is better not to think that the development will be as you expect. As there is a stage at which researchers and companies do not know whether the research can be applied to product development. I think it would be a good idea to exchange information with several university teachers.
Collaborating with industries will also have benefits for the universities. Researchers working at universities have the role of disseminating knowledge, and it would be beneficial if we can obtain information on the social demand of our research. If we receive the feedback to the question “What was the contribution to society?” from those who are engaged in business, then it will be easy for us to explain when writing research papers. “I am working on this research because of such a reason”. It has a big advantage that the significance can be determined. It would be ideal for SMEs and universities to cooperate and make it a win-win relationship.

Interview Date: March 14, 2019

 

Series

Development of a new interface to realize “Stepping outdoors while being confined indoors”

PossessedHand as an interface that can be used in various fields, including medical and welfare fields

Utilizing crowdfunding can be said to be effective marketing.

It would be ideal for SMEs and universities to cooperate and work for a win-win relationship.


Emi Tamaki

Ms. Tamaki was born in 1984 in Okinawa Prefecture. She graduated in 2006 from Department of Information Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of the Ryukyus. She completed the master’s course in 2008 from the Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Tsukuba. Worked as a seeds search intern at the University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC), in 2009. She was engaged in research at Disney Research, Pittsburgh 2010.
In 2011, announced “PossessedHand”, a device in which human hand movements are controlled by a computer, which attracted attention in several conferences. “PossessedHand” was reported by CNN and ABC of the United States and was selected as one of the 50 Best Inventions by the “TIME” magazine. In the same year, received a doctorate from the University of Tokyo. Awarded “University of Tokyo President’s Award” and served as a valedictorian at the same time.
She founded H2L Co., Ltd. in 2012 to provide research equipment to researchers and share it with consumers. Moved to Waseda University in 2013, and continued research activities. Announced the world's first tactile-type game controller “UnlimitedHand” through the Kickstarter Website in 2015, which achieved its target in 22 hours. Awarded the runner-up prize for the “Woman of the Year Award by Nikkei Woman”. In 2016, received “WIRED Audi Innovation Award 2016”, “Nikkei Business One hundred people creating the next generation”, and “National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) Researcher (Noteworthy work in science and technology) Award”. From the same year, she served as a member of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation of the Cabinet Office and Expert Panel on Basic Policy for Science, Technology and Innovation, for the comprehensive strategy for the 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan. Appointed as an ambassador of WINDS initiative (Women's Initiative in Developing STEM Career) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2017. As of 2019, she is working as an associate professor at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University.

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