With it’s HESTA range that looks to make smart home technologies healthier and more affordable, Okura also plans to do the same in the hospitality industry with its new Egg Villa.
“Our main focus is on the smart home business and the promotion of the healthcare features of smart homes that allow people to manage their health at home.”
Shizuo Kiyotaki, CEO & COO, Okura Co., Ltd.
Real estate company turned home technology solutions developer, Okura is the company behind the HESTA range of smart home and hotel solutions. With recent investment to develop household AI technologies – including the HESTA robot that can control household appliances, and a new product HESTA AirClean that is capable of removing 99% of viruses and harmful bacteria from the air – Okura is aiming to make a big splash in the growing smart home market.
“We are expanding the HESTA range of smart solutions and will be distributing them to major developers across the country.” says Shizuo Kiyotaki, CEO & COO of Okura Co. The company’s HESTA AirClean is equipped with a special filter that absorbs coronavirus spike proteins and renders them harmless. It has already been widely adopted by medical and educational institutions in Japan and the company also plans to market the device to the hospitality industry, in which Okura is a major player in Japan.
“We purchased several small luxury hotels during the widespread outbreak of COVID-19,” explains Mr. Kiyotaki. “The owners of these hotels believe that the accommodation industry will remain difficult even after the cessation of COVID-19, but in fact the opposite is true. I think that international travelers are demanding new styles of holidaying that incorporate preventative measures against the spread of COVID-19, and the HESTA AirClean will help achieve that.”
Okura’s smart home range aimed at the domestic market specifically is equally as ambitious, with futuristic concepts already in development at the organization’s R&D facility. “We want to introduce a robot which could do the chores for you and could make your life much easier,” says Mr. Kiyotaki. “Once this technology has penetrated the market, the next step is to use it to monitor people’s health. We also plan to install face recognition cameras on the house doors as a form of home security system. We are ready to provide this kind of technology at a more affordable price, the broader accessibility to which can really lead to the creation of smart cities. Our direction is to provide convenience in the home first with IoT and then to expand to the entire city.”
Away from its home solutions, the company’s latest innovation is the soon-to-be-released Egg Villa, a portable self-contained accommodation facility. An easily erectable and portable egg-shaped structure furnished as a self-contained room with beds, water, and other necessities, the Egg Villa is set to be installed in scenic spots all over Japan, the Okura President explains.
“We are expecting a lot of inbound demand for the experience of being at one with Japan's rich natural environment. Our target for the next couple of years is to build 1,000 units across Japan. Our final target is to build about 10,000 units. We will not sell them but distribute them free of charge to small towns and cities that want to capture this inbound demand.”