Top Interview (5/7)
- Please give us some background on the role to be played by Knowledge Square, the new R&D base currently under construction in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture
The Takarazuka R&D center is TOA’s main base of operations for research and development, and in proceeding with its renovation during the term of our current mid-term plan, we recently renamed the site Knowledge Square as the collective name of a new business base for TOA’s future. The intent of this new facility is to create new value in collaboration with users, customers and our many stakeholders.
The site’s main facility, COCOLABO, which features engineering development rooms equipped with an extensive array of experimental equipment, has already begun operations, and Knowledge Square is scheduled to see its grand opening in December of 2020. Co-created together with a broad range of highly specialized enterprises who have contributed to both the construction of the facility and the introduction of its advanced equipment, this new center combines the specialized features of both TOA’s proven sound and video technologies and the cutting-edge technologies provided by each contributing enterprise, thus enabling all customers to experience new levels of expertise and value not seen before its creation.
Taking the entrance to the building as an example, we have embodied a form of smart hospitality for visitors by combining the production of sound, video and light together with the support of AI. Moreover, we are also proposing an “advanced evacuation guidance system,” which will enable safer and more effective evacuation guidance in cases of fire and other emergencies. It will thus be possible to experience new values of Reassurance, Reliability and Emotion, as realized by some of the future solutions we have in mind.
In the COCOLABO area, where our employees are engaged in the important work of product development, we have created the open office environment while making it more compatible with both comfort and peace-of-mind by utilizing the technologies of facial authentication and human sensing. Additionally, we have strived to provide a space that is continuously connected to our bases around the world, allowing information to be shared in real time. Through such business optimization and efforts to invigorate communications in the workplace, we are now working on developing and providing advanced office solutions with the goal of realizing a complete reformation of work styles, which has recently become an important social theme.