To sell high tech to men or women, you have to somehow bring its qualities to life. Japanese companies have proven themselves to be quite adept at this art. Their ability to blend the traditional with the modern has been producing strange creations for years now. For instance, Nissan’s autonomous technology was seen recently in a hotel where it ensures order is maintained.
There may be no other place like Japan, where the past, present and future so harmoniously blend into one. Age-old traditions walk hand in hand with high tech in an almost casual way. It is something that can really surprise us “Westerners.”
The Japanese automaker Nissan has demonstrated once again just how apt the country is at something you could call cross-era commingling. The company has set off on a mission to transfer its “autonomous technologies” from the road and to make them part of people’s daily lives.
The company has already made something of a name for itself in this regard. It came up with a smart office chair that automatically pushes itself back under a table once a conference has ended. Then, there is the company’s ProPILOT chair. These chairs work in groups. They are placed in a line, and each chair will follow the chair ahead of it at the same distance as they operate. The purpose? To make waiting in line more pleasant.
Parking assistant for everyday objects
The “ProPILOT Park Ryokan” in the small Japanese city of Hakone is another place where Nissan has put its handiwork into practice. Guests who travel here will find a traditional Japanese inn with low tables, floor pillows and tatami rooms when they first begin to survey the place. The neatly lined up slippers for guests in the foyer will also seem right at home. But the normality stops here. Nissan has packed its autonomous parking assistant technology into the slippers, tables and floor pillows. Acting much like the new Nissan LEAF, these objects will automatically “park” themselves in their assigned place at the press of a button via ProPILOT.
Two small wheels, an electric motor and sensors in the soles of the slippers or legs of the table provide the necessary mobility. A contest is being conducted to promote these technical gimmicks. The prize will be a night in Ryokan. The PR campaign shows that tradition and progress do indeed make good bedfellows and that advertising can afford to crack a joke every now and then.