We want to be the company that is right there when something new and exciting is born

 Alps Electric places great importance on our ties to manufacturers who use our products and to business partners supporting our operations. As expressed in the Alps Precepts societal contribution, respect for creativity and confidence building, we wish to remain a company that strives alongside our partners to create value.

 From smartphones and other ICT devices to automobiles and the energy sector. The areas to which Alps Electric contributes components have become wide and varied. Now, with the full-scale arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) imminent, we must expand the scope of our business collaboration to encompass a much broader domain. Reaching out to new partners and organizations, we will look to build the services and systems of the future from the component level up.

Enriching people's lifestyles and the workings of society

Contributing to the evolution of next-generation information systems through acquisition of high-quality data

 Contributing to the evolution of next-generation information systems through acquisition of high-quality data

 How can big data, IoT technology and artificial intelligence (AI) be utilized to solve the serious issues our society is facing? Many businesses and research organizations around the world are currently engaged in intensive efforts to address this difficult question. As innovation progresses, we believe Alps Electric has a major role to play here.

 Collecting vast amounts of data from sensors positioned in all kind of locations, integrating it on cloud networks as big data, allowing artificial intelligence to learn from it, and finally delivering sophisticated, smart information services—information systems are currently under development all over the world in pursuit of such effectiveness and usefulness and the addition of extra value begins with the acquisition of large amounts of high-quality data. This data serves not only as raw input for processing, but also as teaching material for enhancing the capability of AI systems.

 And this is where Alps Electric comes in. We see it as our mission to deliver a diverse range of sensors for capturing data, along with communication modules to reliably transmit the information. The outcome of AI system development—excellent or inferior performance—hinges on the quality of the data as a teaching resource, and the ability to provide an intelligent information service depends upon having high-quality data, which Alps Electric's products are there to collect.

Joining forces with system integrators to excavate new value

 In order to develop products that bring out the true value in the information systems of the future, and to put in place an environment allowing the full potential of those products to be realized, Alps Electric as an electronic components manufacturer is exploring closer ties to advanced system integrators.

 As a case in point, our product lineup includes a highly versatile "IoT Smart Module" for collection and transmission of digital data in IoT systems. Despite its compact size, this module is capable of collecting and reliably transmitting a wide range of environmental data, including acceleration, geomagnetism, atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and illuminance. Integrating high-quality sensor technology with advanced connectivity, the product is a typical example of what Alps Electric can achieve.

 However, no matter how good the module, it cannot deliver true value by itself. It only comes into its own when combined with an information processing system that effectively orders, analyzes and uses the data. Building such a system necessitates a solid service development platform reflecting the accumulated technology and know-how of a system integrator. By forming ties with advanced system integrators in an arrangement that merges the strengths of both sides, we contribute to the creation of ever better systems.

Jointly creating new value by cooperating across sectors

 To integrate collected data into a highly valuable service, cooperation with service providers is indispensable.

 For example, an ambient light sensor that detects whether the toilet light is on or off can be integrated into an elderly person monitoring system. But unless a service provider is involved in correlating collected data, sensor location and other information, all you will obtain is a set of brightness data.

 New uses for information are being developed in diverse areas such as nursing and home care, factory automation, agriculture, medical treatment and health management. In order to rapidly respond to a wide variety of requirements, Alps Electric works with service providers from the initial development phase to co-create high-value services through repeated verification and validation.

Turning the wisdom of Japan's skilled masters into technology that can be passed down

 Alps Electric is participating in an initiative aimed at turning agriculture into an industry with even higher value. Our atmospheric pressure sensors are currently being used as part of a water level and temperature measurement system undergoing verification testing for application to paddy field management. The initiative has already produced significant results.

 In rice cultivation, managing the amount of water in paddy fields is key to both the quantity and the quality of the crop yield. However, when expanding the scale of agricultural production in the interest of higher efficiency, it is difficult to carefully assess the conditions of a much larger number of fields. By installing a water level and temperature measurement system in each field, such an assessment can be done remotely, allowing effective management according to the climate and condition of the rice. Furthermore, the correlation between water level and temperature and the quality of the harvested rice, which so far has not been fully understood, can be evaluated through scientific data collected with the help of Alps Electric technology.

 Skilled rice cultivators possess tremendous wisdom enabling them to grow high-quality rice. For instance, they can sense precisely when is the best time to change the water and know to deliberately drain fields to strengthen the roots. Internationally, Japanese agricultural expertise is highly competitive and delivers high-quality crops. Not only rice, but fruit, vegetables and other produce grown in Japan are traded at a high price.

 This does not mean there are a whole lot of people possessing such a high level of agricultural expertise. In fact, there is concern that valuable wisdom will be lost forever due to a lack of successors. Alps Electric wants to play a role in turning the wisdom of those masters into technology that can be passed down to others, thereby enhancing the value of Japanese agriculture.