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February 4, 2020

Asics invests in Japanese startup, develops first smart running shoe

Japanese sportswear giant Asics Corp is investing in a Japanese startup for the development of a new smart running shoe.

By Hannah Abdulla

Japanese sportswear giant Asics Corp is investing in a Japanese startup for the development of a new smart running shoe.

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No New Folk Studio Inc is the developer of Orphe Track, which measures and analyses foot movement. The company launched in 2014 and develops Internet of Things (IoT) products, services and platforms. 

The project will see the two work on smart running shoes that give runners real-time feedback on the changes in their foot movements.

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 analysed to provide runners with feedback on gait analysis, including step length and foot strike pattern.

The first smart shoes will launch this year.

Asics says one of the core strategies of its medium-term management plan, the Asics Growth Plan 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 utilise 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 the use of sensing technology and big data analysis in collaboration with other companies and to offer even more personalised services to its customers.”

A prototype of the smart running shoes was presented at CES 2020 in Las Vegas last month.

Click here to read just-style’s roundup of the event: Ten breakthrough apparel innovations at CES 2020

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How attractive are current investment opportunities in Europe?

Europe has been identified as one of the most favorable regions for investors, seeing high investment activity in the past year. Most of these investments have been through Debt Offering, valued at close to $700 billion. The region has provided attractive investments in a diverse set of companies. Companies who tend to major themes such Digital Media, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, E-commerce, and Big Data are recording the highest number of deals, with Digital Media recording close to 2,000 deals. However, GlobalData’s whitepaper offers a full view of the market, analyzing less successful or attractive points of investment as well, examining statistics on Equity Offering investments and PE/VC deals. Understand how government agencies for economies around the world use GlobalData Explorer to:  
  • Track the M&A and Capital Raising volumes into their target market
  • Identify the top sectors in the target market attracting the investments
  • For any investment segment, identify the top Investors inside and outside the target economy that are already investing in the Segment
  • Assess and showcase the growth potential for various Industries in the target economy
Don’t miss out on key market insights that can help optimize your next investment – read the report now.
by GlobalData
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