Technologies Advancing by the Day and Dramatically Changing Societies.Thirty years from now, in 2050, how will Rion contribute to society?Here are some bold predictions concerning Rionʻs future products.Air Traf c Control to Become a NecessityI guess that 30 years from now we’ll all be living in a world that’s completely different. Maybe the role of Rion will change dramatically. For myself, I hope that technology will make hearing aids less physically stressful to wear. Maybe in 30 years, even the idea of wearing hearing aids on your ears will be outdated. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all you had to do was place a thin sticker on any part of your body to hear clearly? It’s not too farfetched to think technological advances will make hearing aids so compact they become part of the human body. Beyond this, from the viewpoint of detecting sound, Rion would be able to contribute to our skies too. In a future society, flying cars may become a popular mode of transport, which would require some form of air traffic control. In this context, Rion’s expertise in sound may allow the development of a system that can detect the sound of cars flying around to monitor air traffic. It’s fun to imagine how our company might contribute to a society like that. And I have other ideas, too. What if we could convert sound into art with an instrument that picks up sound from the surrounding environment and outputs the results of its analysis as visual art? No matter how our society evolves, sound will be forever with us. The potential for sound analysis technologies is diverse, and I believe there’s still much more Rion can and must achieve.Identifying Someone’s Mood!I meet various customers through my sales activities and they are often quite specific about the types of products they want. For example, they may tell me liquid-borne particle counters are too large and they’d love something handheld. Our current model has grown larger to enhance performance, but it would be interesting if we could redirect our strategy and start downsizing the models. As for particle counting, I think our counters could find much wider applications if they had functions not just for detecting the presence and measuring the size of particles, but for identifying their components—an instrument capable of analyzing optical information and identifying the particle. Not by 2050, but someday maybe we’ll be able to develop an instrument capable of identifying virus types. Even better, the technologies for particle counters may greatly advance to the point where we could apply them to instantly calculate appropriate social distancing. For measurement of sound and vibrations, an instrument that could identify someone’s mood would be interesting—which would be based on assessments of perspiration or body temperature, or their facial expression. As I believe we all on occasion wonder what or how others are feeling, an instrument like this would surely come to your rescue, yet I have to admit I have no idea what technologies would be needed to create it [laughs]Yasuhiro KomakiParticle Counter Division. Working primarily as a sales representative for particle counters, he is in charge of sales and customer interac-tions for liquid-borne and air-borne particle counters.Akira HayashiCorporate Planning Division. He is in charge of the execu-tion of each division’s over-seas strategies and of efforts to support joint cross-division and cross-de-partment activities, including those of subsidiaries.Illustration by Tomoyuki Okamoto11

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