Are you motivated by making a difference?

We are motivated

Are you motivated by making a difference?

What drives Epson? The question gives pause for thought.

It could be said that Epson is a company with deep roots and deep values, dedicated to the Japanese ‘art and science of manufacturing’.

It could be said that Epson is a highly innovative technology company. It holds approximately 50,000 live patents at any one time and has developed unique printing, projecting and sensing technologies.

It could also be said that Epson is a responsible corporate citizen, trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050.

But what has driven our company to make these achievements? Do they drive Epson, or are they the result of something deeper? Think again.

Better products for a better future

The answer is hidden in plain sight. One of our taglines reads “better products for a better future”.

Epson is driven to help create a better future using technology. We want to be at the forefront of new technologies that make the world a better place and that help make the lives of our customers and our community happier, healthier and more productive.

The question makes us realise that we focus too often on our products and not on the remarkable influence they have had on people’s lives. In this blog, we share a few snapshots of human moments that demonstrate the kind of hidden impact our technology can have on the world, and that we know have inspired and motivated the Epson team.

Usain Bolt’s victory lap

It all happened in real time. The moment was fully lived, fully experienced, full of emotion.

Usain Bolt burst across the finish line at the 2009 IAAF World Championship 100 metres final to claim the first of two World Records he would win in Berlin. Glancing at the time clock as he crossed the line he continued running around the bend, pumping his chest with his fists and lifting his knees as the crowd erupted.

It’s a moment that thrilled and captured the imagination of the world.

We seldom pause to remember that Seiko Epson made that moment possible by creating the technology to time and instantaneously displaying that result.

Usain Bolt knew he had broken the world record in the split-second that he crossed the line. He knew because of high precision visual and timing technology – first developed by Seiko Epson for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, but radically updated since – that displayed his time the millisecond he crossed the line.

While only a small number of you may be interested in the technological feat required to achieve this moment – we all benefited from drama and excitement it helped to create

Halloween in space

When sent on a nine-day, round-the-world business trip in November 1998, Curtis Brown Jr. and his six colleagues took along their laptop computers and one new Epson colour printer. Unlike other business travellers, however, Colonel Brown and his co-workers - the astronauts in weightless orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery - attached their laptops to the ceiling and walls of their office with Velcro.

It was the first time a colour printer had been sent into space, and the astronauts wasted no time in putting it to use. On Halloween, the crew printed colour portraits of Senator John Glenn from a floppy disk they carried into space and fashioned the printouts into Halloween masks.

Today, as a result, there’s an Epson printer aboard the international space station, helping homesick astronauts keep up to date with their families and events on Earth.

Helping the visually impaired see the world in a new way

Epson’s Moverio smart eye-wear is one of the company’s leading new wearable technologies – offering potential applications for industry, entertainment and healthcare (to name just a few sectors).

Dr Stephen Hicks, a research fellow in neuroscience at Oxford University and co-founder of startup company VA-ST has been using Epson's Moverio smart eye-wear as the basis of a concept called SmartSpecs, which aims to revolutionise the lives of thousands of people with sight loss. 

Designed to enhance remaining vision rather than cure permanent blindness, SmartSpecs use depth cameras to sense objects in front of the wearer and map them in 3D, then illuminate a bank of LEDs in the display of the Moverio to show an outline of those objects. That way, the wearer can recognise objects and avoid them, making it possible for blind people to do simple things like walk down the street avoiding streetlights, curbs and other people, or navigate their homes without bumping into furniture.

Speaking about the human impact of his extensive field trials Dr Hicks reported, "One wearer was able to see her friend's face and hairstyle for the first time in a decade, another his daughter's face, while a tester who had gardened all of her life told us she could use the colour mode to see that her garden had flowers – and weeds – for the first time for years. Another user even told us that he used it to count his chickens!"  

Making your weekly shop easier

Waiting in long queues is nobody’s idea of fun. According to Epson’s State of European Retailing survey, approximately 29% of shoppers across Europe will leave stores without making a purchase if faced with the prospect of a long queue. Queues create inconvenience for customers and lost business for shops.

In response, Epson has developed TM-intelligent range of point of sale receipt printers. In addition to printing receipts, the devices can be connected to the cloud and able to host sophisticated payment and accounting applications.

This innovation opens the door for a retail revolution on the high-street by enabling customers to make mobile payments using their smart phones, or self-service check outs. We believe that this will create great benefits for the in-store customer experience, as well as the high-street retailer.

These brief snapshots illustrate the impact of Epson’s commitments to innovation and manufacturing excellence more succinctly than any of the performance statistics we could offer.

Epson’s team is driven by making a positive difference to the world in which we all live and work through the technology, resources and expertise that form the core of our company.

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