Aisin's fine water particles "AIR" projectHealthy and comfortable future for everyone created by the “world's first, world's smallest water particles"
To live a healthy and comfortable life, sleep is extremely important. Aisin, which has long been engaged in the bed business, has been conducting research and development into sleep. Starting with efforts to resolve problems that interfere with quality sleep, such as a dry throat, nasal congestion and drying skin, Shinsuke Inoue began research and development into a technology to create fine water particles.
- 1. Hidden great potential of fine water particles
- 2. Difficulty in proving “invisible"
- 3. Strong commitment to commercialization in order to bring happiness to customers quickly
- 4. Pursuing immense possibilities of water to create a future where all people will be able to enjoy its benefit
Development of AIR Shinsuke Inoue
/Hidden great potential of fine water particles
"We want to improve the quality of sleep to help people maintain their health." "We want to help to create a better society in which everyone can live safely and comfortably with peace of mind." This project for conducting research on water started with such aspirations.
Originally, Aisin had been engaged in the bed business for 54 years since 1966, and had a background of conducting research on sleep. Inoue, who had been involved in the development of beds and had presented study results at academic conferences, originally worked on the development with the aim of improving the quality of sleep by relieving dryness.
The team led by Inoue used a technology combining a moisture conditioning technology cultivated through living space research with a cartridge technology used for treating impurities contained in exhaust gas from automobiles and motorcycles. By integrating the technology cultivated in the automobile parts business and the expertise cultivated in the life and energy-related business, Inoue and his colleagues completed the technology for converting water molecules in the air into water particles and releasing them, and named the released water particles "AIR."
AIR is an ultra-small water particle with a diameter of several nanometers, approximately one-thousandth the size of a water vapor droplet. In the course of the study, it was discovered that since AIR is smaller than the water channels in the skin, it has the properties of reliably reaching a target and remaining there to maintain moisture for a long time. AIR turned out to be effective in improving the function of the skin barrier and solving other skin problems, and has useful effects in the fields of medicine and agriculture and various other everyday situations.
"We found out more new things than expected in the early days of the development. Believing that AIR has the potential to improve society, we were determined to pursue our studies." said Inoue.
What is the fine water particle known as "AIR"?
*1 In a comparison of humidification technology for producing water particles As of April 12, 2021. Surveyed by Aisin
* Measuring instruments: Scanning mobility particle sizer (Tokyo Dylec Corp.),Nano DMA measurement system (National Institute of Technology, Kochi College owned)
* Measured by Aisin
Technology expected to be utilized in various everyday situations, including the beauty, medicine, sanitation and food fields
To realize a healthy and comfortable life for everyone, the project for developing AIR began, aimed at solving dry throat and skin problems and relieving nasal congestion due to drying; however, in the course of the study, it was found that AIR had great potential that we had not previously known, and its effects might be used in various fields. To use water, which is a resource shared by all people, to aid in creating a better future, we will explore its potential from many angles.
/Difficulty in proving “invisible"
Although AIR is being recognized for its unique features and effects by many experts nowadays, the development team faced a series of difficulties at the beginning, including the inability to secure an external partner, for there was not even the means to measure water particles of a few nanometers in diameter at that time. AIR's potential was unpredictable to everyone. Inoue and his colleagues to look tenaciously to look for a research institution, and when they finally performed the first experiment with the partner, one year had already passed since the project started.
"Since this is the first technology of its kind in the world and is also invisible, it is not surprising that anyone would doubt the effects of AIR. However, since we do know the effects of AIR through our own experience, we have tried to gain credence from researchers."
Joint research starts with having a partner understand the potential by presenting proven scientific evidence. Then, researchers from each organization perform demonstration experiments. Only after they confirm the effects can cooperative relations be established.
"By working together to advance research, we were able to make discoveries leading to better research. In this way, our trusting relationship has deepened. I believe that one of the assets from this research was that we were able to build such a relationship."
/Strong commitment to commercialization in order to bring happiness to customers quickly
Since AIR enters people's bodies, ensuring safety and security was also an important target. To this end, demonstration experiments were conducted. As a result, cooperating clinics and dermatologists confirmed that AIR was safe.
In the course of repeating demonstration experiments inside and outside the company, various possibilities were discovered. The first field that emerged was use for beauty.
"Dermatologists who cooperated with the demonstration experiments were all surprised and became interested. Also, all patients who came to the hospital after the completion of the clinical trial said that they would love to try again. Since experts in the field and patients who experienced the effects of AIR understood that this was an epoch-making technology, we became more confident about our technology."
While the specific direction was established and the morale of the team steadily improved, Inoue showed his commitment to achieving commercialization as soon as possible.
"However wonderful a technology or idea may be, if it is not used, it is meaningless. It is not until it passes into the hands of customers as a product and they feel its effect that it creates value. To that end, I wanted to commercialize this technology quickly, and have customers experience the effects of the product in order to hear their opinions directly from them."
/Pursuing immense possibilities of water to create a future where all people will be able to enjoy its benefit
In the research stage, Inoue and his colleagues confirmed the effects of AIR through their own skin.
Currently, the Planning Development Team has 11 members. Some of the members involved in the development are strongly interested in beauty.
"I'm delighted that since I started applying AIR to my face, my dry, rough lips and skin have been rehydrated." Another member who felt the effects of AIR through her own experience said enthusiastically, "When I applied AIR to only half of my face, the skin on that side of my face improved in condition and became more transparent, and was lifted up. I believe that such effects will improve the user's self-confidence and enhance their motivation to take on the challenge to do what they want to do."
If the skin returns to its original condition, it makes everyday life more enjoyable. Enriching people's minds is the first step toward a better life.
Furthermore, it is expected that AIR technology will help to solve problems in the medical, agricultural and other fields. Inoue and his colleagues expect that it will be used for sanitary medical treatment/prevention without using injection needles, including vaccine administration in developing countries, and will be utilized as an emergency water supply system in the event of a disaster and on other occasions.
The team led by Inoue has the common target of "Helping to create a bright society where everyone can live a healthy and comfortable life." With such an aspiration in mind, Inoue is eager to further develop this technology.
"I believe that AIR technology can help people live a safe life anywhere in the world by freeing them from the need for vaccinations, and making food edible indefinitely without regard for the food's lifespan. In this way, it can be utilized for various things. We would like to further pursue water, with its infinite possibilities, to open up new possibilities in various fields, such as the beauty, medicine, sanitation and food fields."
Inoue said about the future plan: "Anyone can enjoy the benefits of AIR technology, regardless of their location. Through technology that uses water, which is close to people, we want to help create a better future. I believe that such a society that we expect to realize in the near future is the ultimate form of achieving the SDGs by means of fine water particles."
Aiming to achieve commercialization within fiscal 2021, Inoue and his colleagues will focus more energy on the development of this technology.
- Fine water particles "AIR"
- Penetrating and moisturizing technology using the world's smallest water particles with a diameter of several nanometers (one-thousandth the size of standard vapor particles)