Resource_Wikipedia_”Kansei Engineering”

Kansei Engineering (Japanese: 感性工学 kansei kougaku, sense engineering) is a method for translating feelings and impressions into product parameters, invented in the 1970s by Professor Mitsuo Nagamachi (Dean of Hiroshima International University). Kansei Engineering can “measure” the feelings and shows the relationship to certain product properties. In consequence, products can be designed to bring forward the intended feeling.

It has now been adopted as one of the topics for professional development by the Royal Statistical Society.

Kansei engineering was used for the first time in America by the Mazda Motor Company. The Kansei engineering began with sensory or sensitivity engineering at the starting point. However, current Kansei engineering is the trans-disciplinary engineering that extends over the humanities, social science and natural science. Kansei engineering has a purpose, a structure and a function. Namely, the purpose is realization of rich society, the structure is a network of social elements and the function is the mutual recognition between elements and the formation of interrelationship.

Kansei is the integrated functions of the mind, and various functions exist in during receiving and sending. Filtering, acquiring information, estimating, recognizing, modeling, making relationship, producing, giving information, presenting and etc. are the contents of Kansei.

  • An example
Sports cars can be described with adjectives like sporty, powerful, elegant. But, which parameters influence these impressions? Kansei Engineering can show to what extent product attributes (e.g. the suspension, the gear ratio and the engine power) have an effect on these impressions. Moreover, target values for the mentioned product properties can be derived.

Several success stories contribute to the sound record Kansei Engineering has nowadays in Japanese companies.Mazda used Kansei Engineering in the development of its model Miata (in Europe: Mazda MX5). Now the Miata is the best sold sports coupe in the world. When Sharp introduced a newly developed video camcorder having an LCD instead of a conventional ocular, they increased the market share in this segment from 3% to 24%. Even in this case Kansei Engineering identified the customer’s demands on the new product leading to the new concept. A third example showing the wide product range Kansei Engineering is dealing with is Wacoal. This underwear producing company collected Kansei data about the usage of a common brassiere and designed based on this information a new model, which is called “Good-Up Bra”. Their market share topped at 42% on Japanese markets.

Kansei P3 (Public Perception Profiler) was created by K Tara Smith during his work looking at the relationship between Kansei and the likelihood of technology adoption. The resultant method/model (Kansei P3) allows the risk of non-adoption and overall impression to be represented by two indices.

Although the underlying model remains a closely guarded commercial secret, the method has been successfully used in financial and military industries.

Using these two indices, various aspects can be compared;

  • Alternative designs or competitive products
  • Adoption by different Target Audiences
  • Focused Market Penetration – General Population versus specific Target Audience

The results can then be plotted to indicate relative investment risk. KTS2P3.jpg

This top level view is still supported by the richness of data that makes Kansei unique, but also means that the Kansei approach has found a home in business development.

Source: Wikipedia


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