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Issue Research Consultation News Letter (March 2, 2016) Observing Users and Working on Human-Focused Manufacturing

2017.03.02
課題研究の相談窓口通信(2016年3月2日号)ユーザーを観察し、人間重視のものづくりに取り組む

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The PDF file is in poster format for easy posting! Please download it!
Issue Research Consultation Service News Letter vol.6 Dr. Matsui (1940 downloads)

Dr. Matsui has been involved in research and development at a major consumer electronics manufacturer for 30 years, but in his corporate life, he has seen numerous failures since he was a young man. When you get right down to it, the reason for many of them was that "they did not have an essential understanding of user issues, and as a result, they were making things that users did not want.

For whom and what kind of issues?

During his tenure at a manufacturer, he was involved in the management of many overseas R&D sites and spent three years in Silicon Valley. He spent three years in Silicon Valley, where he collaborated with local universities on innovation education for future remote controls, future displays, etc., and worked to bring these innovation methods to bear in the corporate world. The approach, based on "design thinking," begins with observation, idea generation, prototyping, and verification, and continues through repetition to create innovative solutions. Rather than just aiming to utilize cutting-edge technology, he says, "I want to nurture engineers who can conduct research and development with the user in mind at all times. This is precisely the concept behind the research for the speech-assist device that he himself has been working on.

Which voices do we really listen to?

In recent years, research and development of devices to assist people with various disabilities have been actively conducted. Dr. Kato continues his research on "speech support devices" for people who unfortunately have difficulty in speaking. At vocal practice sessions where these people gather, he has users actually use the devices and conducts a series of interviews about their problems. These hearings are the very observations and verifications of design thinking. Using the actual voices obtained in this way as hints, the teacher predicts current users' thoughts and issues, as well as future changes in people's lifestyles and technology. Furthermore, he simultaneously investigates in what situations users will face difficulties in the future, in order to grasp the true challenges of speech-assistive technology and to get closer to a solution.

The Importance of Failure

Not all problems can be solved with the technologies that are available in the world today. That is why it is important to determine the essence of the issue, and even if it fails, continue to create technology that responds to the issue, even if only a little, while repeatedly providing feedback to lead to the development of innovative technology. What is needed for future human resources is "a thorough understanding of the user and not being afraid of failure," according to the professor.

 

 
Department of Robotics, Faculty of Engineering, Osaka Institute of Technology
Professor Kenji Matsui received his Master's degree in Communications Engineering from the Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University in 1981. Joined Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. D. in 2002 (Osaka City University). 2012 Professor, Department of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Osaka Institute of Technology. 2015 Professor, Department of Robotics Engineering, Osaka Institute of Technology. In April 2017, he will assume the position of Dean of the Department of System Design Engineering, Faculty of Robotics and Design Engineering, Osaka Institute of Technology.

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The PDF file is in poster format for easy posting! Please download it!
Issue Research Consultation Service News Letter vol.6 Dr. Matsui (1940 downloads)