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Asics Ventures invests in startup No New Folk Studio, developer of foot movement sensing solution ORPHE TRACK

Release Date: 29 Jan 2020

ASICS Corporation (ASICS) announces 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 are, 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, USA, 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 power. 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.

< no new folk studio Inc.>
Name: no new folk studio
Headquarters: 3, Kandaneribei-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
CEO / Founder: Yuya Kikukawa
Business scope: With the mission “Sensing feet, Changing everything,” no new folk studio (nnf) develops IoT products, services, and platforms. As a Japanese startup, nnf released its world’s first smart footwear for entertainers and performers, “Orphe One” in 2015. Orphe One is equipped with full-color LED soles and high-precision motion sensor technology, which allows the shoes to emit light and sound, and takes performer’s expression to the next level. In 2018, nnf released “ORPHE TRACK” which is a sensing solution that allows any and all kind of shoes to become a smart footwear. Nnf has been working towards applying ORPHE TRACK for sports analysis, health care, nursing care and medical purposes. Nnf’s main business is developing new types of IoT and wearable devices and analyzing data which they obtain from their sensors.

Name: ASICS Ventures Corporation
Headquarters: 7-1-1, Minatojima Nakamachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, JAPAN
Representative: Hiroaki Kageyama
Business: Investing in startups, promoting business development

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