2013 No.10

Quality with a Japanese Flair


Japanese-style Quality
Helps Make Life Better

Positive living in the modern world includes a commitment to the environment, good health and crime prevention. Quality, Japanese style, has solutions that raise security and everyday convenience, both inside and outside the home.

Photos courtesy of Geo Power System Co., Ltd., TOTO Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and SECOM Co., Ltd.
Illustration by Oguro Kenji


Ventilation aided by underground temperatures
Geo Power System Co., Ltd.

Above: The pipe in the ground helps regulate the temperature and humidity of exterior air before it is drawn into the house. The air circulates in the house, ventilating it and reducing heating and cooling costs, thereby reducing CO2 emissions and large temperature fluctuations in the house. It also inhibits the entry of allergens such as pollen, dust and exhaust gases—a reassurance for people with allergies.


Installing a Geo Pipe in the ground. Pipe length: 5 to 7 meters.

A newly developed ventilation system provides comfortable indoor temperatures without the need for heavy-duty air conditioning and heating equipment, so it reduces CO2 emissions. Called the Geo Power System, it uses underground temperatures because they remain relatively constant throughout the year. For example, water in a well is cooler than the air in summer and warmer in winter. The system requires a specially designed pipe placed in the ground when the house is being built. Outside air is drawn through the pipe, then circulated under the floor and throughout the house, to provide warm air in winter and cool air in summer. In addition, air moving through the special pipe is filtered to adjust humidity levels and reduce outdoor allergens like pollen and dust.

Tools for easy living

A number of products make life more comfortable and convenient in the home. There is, for example, the hightech toilet. Its seat is heated for warm comfort on cold days. And, before the user gets off the toilet, a simple press of a button will cause a bidet nozzle to appear and send out a spray of warm cleansing water. Advanced toilets have other advantages too, like low water consumption and easyclean surfaces. Use this toilet once, and you will want to depend on its cleanliness and comfort.

Another innovative development, the one-rider UNI-CUB personal mobility device, is now undergoing tests to explore its practical applications. It applies the balance control technology used by the two-legged walking robot, ASIMO, together with a unique system consisting of many small wheels linked together to make one large wheel. This lets the user remain seated while moving forward, backward, sideways and in other directions, simply by shifting his or her weight. In the future, people with difficulty walking may use it to get about in the home or even outside.


Super high-tech toilet

High-tech toilets use their own swirling action for a complete, sanitary flush that requires little water. Automation takes over to lift and lower the toilet cover, and to flush. "Neorest Hybrid Series" toilets treat incoming water with electrolysis, giving it a sterilizing capability to rid the bowl of grime that even the eyes cannot see.


Next-generation personal mobility
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

The UNI-CUB lets the user move forward, backward, sideways and in other directions. The developer is presently collaborating with a home construction company to test whether the UNI-CUB can be a stress-free aid to mobility in the home.

A 21st century protector

In Japan, you will also find tools for peace of mind outside the home. For instance, take the "21st century protector," the name the manufacturer of this system gave it. It uses GPS satellites and cellphone base stations to give the location of a small, dedicated terminal device. Secure the device to a person, pet, car or other object and you can pinpoint their location with a high level of accuracy. As an example, use the service to find out the location of a child or elderly person who is late coming home. Upon request, the service provider will send emergency response personnel to the location.

As populations age faster, more and more people will surely come to depend on this kind of system.


Peace of mind on the go
SECOM Co., Ltd.

With COCO-SECOM, family members use a computer or cellphone to pinpoint the location of a child, elderly person or other loved one. The person wearing the device can push a button on it to send an alert to the service provider, SECOM Co., Ltd.


Map courtesy of Mapple by Shobunsha