The story of making "Kiss"

[The background] For his father.

Yoshiaki Iida, president of our company, thought out "Kiss" through caring his father. His father had become the hemi-paresis from cerebral infarction. Through his rehabilitation, he had recovered to be able to live without a medical assistant.
However his paralysis had not healed completely, so he could not put a cup on the table smoothly, and often spilled drink on the floor. Though he had been advised to suck drink through a straw, he was reluctant to do that because it was like a child.
But his wife had to reap the harvest of his mistake, so gradually he became to avoid drinking water in order to lighten her burden to care of him. By reason of that, he had often become sick. His family doctor mentioned that he had become weak with a lack of water. And he also mentioned that other elderly people frequently caused this problem.
Yoshiaki realized the importance of drinking water through this case. He also found that especially elderly people had to drink a little water as often as possible, because of the decline of the ability to awake his thirst.
He wondered how he could help these elderly people as a designer. He wanted them to have no pain in their hearts. And he decided to help elders to live healthy and actively.
In 2004, he started to design the cap which elderly people who had weakened functions could drink water on their own.

〔Trial and Error〕 

We had to meet various requirements in order to elderly person drink water on their own. Through the hearing from many elderly people, the key points gradually became clear.
1. The tremble of hands and the decline of the grip cause falling down cups and spilling.
2. They are sometimes choked while drinking.
3. They have some resistance to products that look like for just old people.
4. It is hard for elderly people to assemble complex parts and wash them.
5. They wish to sterilize the cups and keep them clean.
Referring the above demands, he considered what kind of structure was suitable for this case.
However, a good method was not readily found. He produced models experimentally many times and failed. He spent two and a half years on investigations into marketing research or structures and the studies and devices.
Because a good method did not occur, he came to think that he must cancel the development.

〔An encounter with a certain structure〕

One day he vaguely discovered the structure of " the vocal cords" in a dictionary.
Just at that time, "the silicon rubber" which he treated on his business came into a head. And a certain idea flashed into his mind.
When he tried it, this structure acted better than his expectation. He was convinced that it seemed to succeed with this structure. This is the moment a prospect of the development was in sight.
In autumn of 2006, he got the structure he satisfied with.

〔The acquisition of the patent〕 

After the encounter with the structure, he made easy samples and repeated simulation using three-dimensional CAD software. At last he created the final model near to current form.
He acquired a patent in November 2008, a half year after he had applied for a patent. Novelty of the original structure not to leak out was authorized legally.

〔Support for the development〕 

The project was authorized as the second "Startup Support Project" in 2007.
In October 2007, after having finished patent applications, he has begun to develop the project in earnest.
However, there was a problem that he had few development costs. Even if he had the idea, the cost of the project was too expensive for his small About us. As this project advanced to the final stage to be completed, he was unwilling to give it up.
When he talked with confidant, he learned the existence of the subsidy
by Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN" (SMRJ). He worked hard to make the documents which he is weak in for the first grant application.
Through making these documents, he came up to make it clear what he wanted to do.

Unfortunately, his documents were acceptable at first. However, he looked down on contents once again and excellently succeeded in the second challenge.
As the fund was in sight, he began development again.

Exhibition at HCR 2009(the Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition)

The questionnaire survey at exhibition at HCR 2009(the Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition).
Based on the result of the survey, the commodification and the specifications of the product were settled.
He released the products at HCR in Tokyo Big Sight for three days from September 24-27, 2008.
About 1,500 people, much more than the numbers he expected, watched and touched the products. In addition, he had some people of the guest, about 200 people, sampling the products. He got various useful reactions from this sampling.
Referring the result, he finally completed and released the products in 2009!



silicone block

Silicone cup