Innovation and close cooperation with our partners culminates in value that transcends expectations

 Industrial manufacturing, automobiles, energy, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, medicine...there is no longer any industry that does not involve electronics. During the 68 years since the company's founding, Alps Electric has developed and refined an impressive arsenal of proprietary technology while at the same time working together with partners in various fields in the pursuit of new value that contributes to advancement in a wide range of industries.

 But true innovation will not come about simply by focusing on currently evident needs. Alps Electric believes in looking ahead, anticipating latent needs and issues likely to affect our customers and society. Proposing solutions that take shape as new value and exceed the user's imagination—that is the raison d'être of Alps Electric.

Proposing new value that inspires innovation in the industry

The history of Alps Electric is one of perpetual innovation

 Throughout its history, Alps Electric has been developing and presenting new value that has triggered innovation in the industry around the globe. Customers highly regard our array of proprietary technologies to which we add new technologies that address the needs of the day, creating solutions one step ahead that pave the way to the future.

 Alps Electric has an excellent track record of delivering new value to meet the needs of the moment in sectors such as consumer electronics, IT equipment and automobiles. In dealing with some 2,000 companies worldwide, we have accumulated many unique technologies and extensive know-how and experience. All of these form the basis for creating new value leading to the next generation.

Foreseeing electronics application to automobiles early on led to an HMI concept for the modern age

 The automobile sector is currently undergoing a once-in-a-century upheaval, with two major trends advancing simultaneously: implementation of electronic control, and utilization of electric power as a drive force. Alps Electric foresaw the application of electronics to automobiles early on. We have been putting forward advanced human-machine interface (HMI) technologies since the 1980s with the aim to enhance both convenience and safety.

 As car navigation and other infotainment systems became commonplace, drivers suddenly had many more functions to operate. Selecting switches just because they looked nice was getting in the way of ensuring vehicle safety and convenience.

 Alps Electric was quick to respond to needs arising from such developments by proposing HMI solutions that have since been adopted in cars all over the world, providing new value. We reorganized and integrated required functions, fine-tuned operability according to intended purpose and scenario, ensured easy recognition so the method of use would be understood at a single glance, and even orchestrated the experience, making the user feel good while operating the controls. This new value presented by Alps Electric initiated a new direction in the design of vehicle operating environments.

Alps quality—evident from the first touch

 What enabled Alps Electric to create the new value that eventually brought about automotive HMI innovation? The secret lies in our extensive experience with state-of-the-art HMI technology in the field of consumer electronics where an attractive and easy-to-use operating environment had already been recognized as crucial.

 In 1978, Alps Electric introduced new value in the form of the TACT Switch™ for use in controls of a range of applications including many consumer products. The sure operating feel provided by these tactile switches is only the beginning. By enabling the realization of a highly pleasant and luxurious operating feel, the product range went far beyond simple on/off functionality, opening up a new chapter in the evolution of switches.

 One's initial reaction might be to think "but it's just a switch." In reality, however, switches in electronic devices are virtually the only means for the user to convey his or her intentions to the device, and where the user actually senses unity with the device. When operations can be performed reliably, the user gains reassurance, comfort, trust in the quality of the equipment, and by extension acknowledgment of the manufacturer's careful considerations. This kind of operational performance and feel is hard to express in a catalog. Only through usage is it recognized and fully appreciated, and this is really where the true value lies. A TACT Switch™ is precisely that—a crucial component for conveying to the user the care taken by those who have created it.

 The new value embodied in TACT Switch™ products has been embraced by equipment manufacturers around the world, resulting in a current market share of around 40 percent. Even without an Alps logo on the equipment, simply operating the switches makes the commitment of Alps Electric immediately apparent.

Creating our own ideal cockpit envisaging driving scenarios of the future

 Changing the display content simply by moving one's line of sight; adjusting the air conditioning flow by stroking the grip of the steering wheel; having the system monitor the driver's health condition and issue a warning in case of drowsiness. These are just some of the functions incorporated in the Next-Generation Premium Cockpit from Alps Electric, a visualization of the ideal vehicle operation environment. All of the HMI technologies accumulated by Alps Electric up to this point are reflected in its design.

 A number of strict criteria simultaneously apply when it comes to devising a car cockpit, presenting engineers and designers with truly difficult challenges. Regardless of the driving environment, which varies according to place, time and external conditions, the system must assist the driver in making swift, correct decisions and enable the driver to safely and reliably convey his or her intentions. Furthermore, drivers are usually not professionals with specialized driving skills but ordinary individuals. They desire a system that is comfortable and reassuring, even giving rise to a feeling of affection. The Next-Generation Premium Cockpit has been conceived as the ideal maneuvering environment, allowing Alps Electric to identify electronic components it will need to develop and supply in the future.

 The coming age of autonomous driving is expected to bring scenarios such as the driver reading a book as the vehicle moves towards its destination. New functions will be required to alert a driver of a dangerous situation when they are absorbed in a book while in autonomous driving mode. Redesigning the relationship between humans and machines—as a world leader in automotive electronic components, this is Alps Electric's challenge; it is our mission.