30 Jan Asics Ventures Invests In Smart Shoe Technology
Asics Corporation announced that its investment subsidiary Asics Ventures Corporation invested in a Japanese startup No New Folk Studio Inc., developer of sensing solution Orphe Track, which measures and analyses foot movement.
Asics is, jointly with No New Folk Studio, currently developing smart running shoes that give runners real-time feedbacks on the changes in its foot movement. Foot movement data, including number of steps /distance, cadence, and angle of ground contact are collected and together with biomechanics expertise at Asics Institute of Sport Science, is analyzed to provide runners feedbacks on gait analysis, including step length and foot strike pattern. A prototype of the smart running shoes was presented at the Asics booth at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, and Asics intends to launch its first smart shoes in 2020.
No New Folk Studio Inc. was founded in October 2014 and has conducted multiple proof-of-concept projects with Asics Institute of Sport Science since April 2017, to jointly develop smart shoes that can measure foot movement during running and walking. The company won the Grand Prize in the Asics Accelerator Program for startups, held from March through July 2019.
One of the core strategies of Asics’ medium-term management plan Asics Growth Plan (AGP) 2020 is enriching sports lives through the use of digital technology, and the company is focusing on improving the sense of fulfillment customers get from sports by using digital technologies. The investment in No New Folk Studio is part of that strategy, as Asics has actively sought to utilize state-of-the-art expertise and technology from outside the company in the fast-growing digital field.
Asics plans to keep accelerating its digital strategy by promoting use of sensing technology and big data analysis in collaboration with other companies and to offer even more personalized services to its customers.