New Value Creation

Basic Concepts

With the issues facing society in recent years becoming more diversified and complex, we are striving to create KOKUYO-style values so that our customers’ work, learning, and living can become more creative and fruitful.

Solutions for employee safety, workplace flexibility, and the digital workplace

Airtrieve: A conference table that cleans the air of droplets

Airtrieve is a table for conference rooms that absorbs airborne droplets generated by sneezing, coughing, or speaking, and thus stops potentially viral particles dispersing around the conference room. We accepted the first orders in December 2020. Many people in the business world desire face-to-face communication but are worried about the risk of infection. Airtrieve addresses this concern. It consists an air purifier unit with an electronic air filter embedded beneath the table surface. At the center of the table surface is an inlet grid, which creates 2.5 meters of airflow a second to stop exhaled droplets dispersing around the room. The air purifier then filters 15 cubic meters of airflow every minute (per single air purifier unit). In this way, Airtrieve gives users the assurance that the room has clean and safe air

*Website content Japanese language only

Airtrieve (W4800)

Work Pod: An assemblable workspace for one
Launched in July 2020, Work Pod provides a well-ventilated enclosed workspace that provides privacy to workers in open-plan offices or similar environments, allowing them to videoconference or engage in intense, focused work. Amid concerns about infection risks, businesses increasingly expect employees to work remotely and communicate online, but many workers find that background noises distract them from their work. There are two Work Pod models, both designed for one person. The first version has a heat detector and a ventilation unit that replaces the air every 30 seconds. The second version has an open top. There are also two possible desk arrangements: sofa and desk or work counter. In each case, Work Pod comes equipped with LED lighting, power supply, and USB charger—all with the PSE mark (certifying product safety). Work Pod also excels in design. Its glass panels have a liberating feel, its frame harmonizes with the spatial design, and it has 132 possible combinations of colors and furnishings.

*Website content Japanese language only

Simplified face shields made from PET
In July 2020, we sold simplified face shields using Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), a clear, strong plastic used in our Rail Clear Folder series. We sold two varieties: a headband face shield and a face shield fitted to a facemask. To support frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic, we supplied the workers with some 43 thousand of these face shields. We also supplied some 36 thousand folders from the Rail Clear Folder series for use as substitute face shields. The materials were all supplied free of charge up until the end of May 2020. People other than healthcare workers expressed an interest in the product, so we released a commercial version.

*Website content Japanese language only

Headband face shield
Solana: An innovative office workstation
In December 2020, we released SOLANA, an innovative office workstation designed to meet the needs of the post-pandemic workplace and to provide safety and peace of mind. Running lengthways along the desk are five grooves into which users can slot panels or greenery. By just adding or removing these partitions, users can partition the desk for private work or open it up for group work. The grooves can also be used to hold smartphones or tablets upright, allowing employees to perform digital tasks more efficiently. For some desks, the surface is coated with anti-bacterial and anti-viral materials for added peace of mind.

*Website content Japanese language only

An office with SOLANA desks

Energy Series: A power system that supports the modern digital workplace

In early March 2021, we released the Energy Series—two kinds of portable charging stations that enable office workers to perform digital tasks in areas with no grid connection nearby.
Amid the pandemic, office workers increasingly perform their tasks digitally. They use videoconferencing to communicate and interactive displays to collaborate in team tasks.

However, power can be issue when performing digital tasks in areas of the office that have no grid connection nearby, such as an office lounge or cafeteria. The Energy Series solves this problem. The series includes two kinds of portable charging station (capacity: 540 Wh / 150,000 mAhV): Energy Display Mobile and Energy Card. Both charging stations enable workers to perform digital tasks for long periods without low-battery anxiety (running times vary depending on the number and types of the connected devices).

Wireless and portable, these Energy Series units give users freedom over where to perform their tasks. Up to four devices can be plugged into the unit, so multiple digital tasks can be performed simultaneously. The unit itself can be charged when not in use (such as at night). By removing dependence on grid connections, the Energy Series supports the digital workplace.

*Website content Japanese language only

Energy Display Model and Portable Charger in use
Working from Home: An exhibition space for home offices at KOKUYO Tokyo
In August 2020, we exhibited a range of home office furniture (desks, tables, chairs)* at our Tokyo showroom. Our exhibition showcases workspace ideas for living rooms, studies, and other home environments, to office administrators, HR professionals, and remote workers.

*Website content Japanese language only

“Working from Home”—home office furniture displayed at KOKUYO Tokyo Showroom

Work Transformation: A conceptual handbook for tomorrow’s workplace

On June 15, 2020, we published Work Transformation, a conceptual handbook about workplace transformation and office designs in the post-pandemic age (such as an accelerated rise to remote working and a shift to digital work), and one of our representatives led a webinar to discuss the book’s contents.
Work Transformation outlines our vision for the workplaces of tomorrow. It presents ideas for supporting workplace transformation and discusses the challenges and benefits associated with anti-infection measures and workplace building.
As part of our corporate citizenship, we will continue to support the creation of safe and productive office spaces, in addition to protecting employee wellbeing.

*Website content Japanese language only


Partnering with spacemotion to enhance disaster-preparedness in office buildings and mixed-use buildings
In September, we teamed up with spacemotion to offer disaster-preparedness solutions that emphasize safety and peace of mind in elevators. These solutions combine KOKUYO’s elecabi, an elevator cabinet that contains emergency goods such as water and an emergency toilet kit, with spacemotion’s Ele-Cinema, a projection mapping system for elevators. By teaming up in this way, we aim to provide compelling solutions that generate new value for office buildings and mixed-use buildings.
elecabi and Ele-Cinema

Creative stationery and other solutions for modern learning environments

Piiip: A pencil case for showcasing your stationery

On July 8, 2020, we released Piiip, a double pencil case consisting of a transparent outer case and a non-transparent inner pouch. The front pocket can be used to show off stylish stationery, while the inner pouch can be used for more specialized stationery you want to keep hidden from view. The inner pouch has four side pockets for storing smaller stationery items that can easily get lost among larger items.
These days, students want their stationery to be more than just functional; they want it to look good. Students like to show off their stationery to their friends on social media or share pictures of themselves studying. This practice can help motivate the students to study harder.

*Website content Japanese language only

Mark+: Marker pens that have gone viral

In February 2020, we released a Mark+ (pronounced “maaku tasu”), a set of twin-color marker pens. In September that year, we released a second version.
The first version, called the “two tone color marker,” has a double nib at one end of the pen that lets you add color-differentiated marking to the page. This version was released at the Bungo Joshi Haku, a big stationery festival in Japan, and it went viral.
The second version, called “two way color marker,” is a double-ended pen. At one end is a fine (0.3 mm) nib for writing. At the other is a wide nib for highlighting. You can write with the fine nib and then use the wide nib to highlight sections of the text.

*Website content Japanese language only

Two tone color markers

Two way color markers

A tablet and PC charging station for schools
In September 2020, we released a tablet and PC charging station for schools to support the GIGA School Program.* The charging station was designed to support the rollout of digital technology (use of digital devices on the school’s local area network) in the classrooms of elementary, junior high, and special-needs schools across Japan. We offer three versions, each with a different capacity, so schools can choose the option that best suits class size and other school-specific factors. All three versions are compact and user friendly. By charging up devices that are not in use, the charging station supports the digitized classroom of today.
* GIGA stands for Global and Innovation Gateway for All. Launched by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in December 2019, the GIGA School Program aims to provide one device for every student in compulsory education and to roll out high-speed internet in classrooms.

*Website content Japanese language only

Charging station: Wheeled unit with capacity for 44 devices
New release from Campus series: A folder for class handouts (extra-wide pocket)
On December 9, 2020, we released an extra-wide twin-pocket folder. This folder provides the elementary students with an easy way to store class handouts, ensuring that they do not lose or forget any. Elementary schools are shifting from the blackboard/lecture format toward active learning. Students now spend less time copying down notes from the blackboard, but on the other hand, they get inundated with handouts to take home. The folder helps students manage these materials. Its rigid cover prevents the contents from bending, and the edges have stoppers to prevent the contents from slipping out. Additionally, the folder comes with a set of stickers that can be used to label the pockets, helping students remember which materials they should hand over to their parents after returning home.

*Website content Japanese language only

Campus twin-pocket folder
Kaunet: Organizer cases for remote workers and digital nomads
On June 9, 2020, Kaunet launched, as part of its premium series, Kaukore—a line of organizer cases for remote workers and employees working in a free-address environment. The organizer cases are designed to solve one of the big challenges faced by such individuals: securing a sufficiently large and tidy space to work. The case folds open like a book and sits on the desk upright. This gives users a sense of their own private space, where they can take out their equipment and focus on their work. There is also a smartphone stand. There are two versions of the case: a compact version big enough to store books, and, for employees working in a free-address environment, a larger version that can hold a laptop.

*Website content Japanese language only

Larger organizer case

Compact organizer case

Other products and innovations

Black-and-white writing notebook, winner of the KOKUYO Design Awards 2018

On June 25, 2020, we released a notebook, called Notebook for Black and White Writing, based on a design that was highly commended at the 2018 KOKUYO Design Awards. The notebook has gray paper and you write on it in black or white. This design achieves an innovative and pleasant notebook by exploiting a visual quirk—it is hard to read dark and light text simultaneously. The notebook is sold at Think of Things, a lifestyle shop and café, and on our online store, KOKUYO Showcase. It has made an impact on social media and traditional media.

*Website content Japanese language only

Notebook for Black and White Writing
Gender-neutral resume form
In February 2020, we released a Mark+ (pronounced “maaku tasu”), a set of twin-color marker pens. In September that year, we released a second version. The first version, called the “two tone color marker,” has a double nib at one end of the pen that lets you add color-differentiated marking to the page. This version was released at the Bungo Joshi Haku, a big stationery festival in Japan, and it went viral. The second version, called “two way color marker,” is a double-ended pen. At one end is a fine (0.3 mm) nib for writing. At the other is a wide nib for highlighting. You can write with the fine nib and then use the wide nib to highlight sections of the text.

*Website content Japanese language only

Gender-neutral resume form

LivingAnywhere Work: A business and local government platform for promoting workplace diversity

In September 2020, we joined LivingAnywhere Work.1 To support a transformation in workstyles, we communicate with the other members and work with them to test out new workplace sharing and other flexible workplace models.

1 LivingAnywhere Work is a workspace sharing platform based on LivingAnywhere Commons.

2 A number of businesses, local governments, and other organizations across Japan have signed up the platform and provided their premises as shared workspaces.

2 Operated by Lifull, LivingAnywhere Commons is a community of people who want to remove the constraints of location in work, rest, and play, allowing people to live and work anywhere.

*Website content Japanese language only

Living Anywhere Work
Kau-Box: Kaunet’s new showroom

On October 1, 2020, we opened Kau-Box, a Kaunet showroom, on the ground floor of our Shinagawa office. Kau-Box showcases Kaunet’s premium range, Kaukore, as well as the retailer’s office goods and office furniture. Staff are also on hand to advise on layout. People are welcome to visit by prior appointment. The Kau-Box logo conveys Kaunet’s desire to be like a box full of ideas and inspiration.

*Website content Japanese language only

Better online marketing, better online communication

Online shop – KOKUYO Workstyle Shop: Our official online shop

On November 30, 2020, we launched online shop – KOKUYO Workstyle Shop, a B2C e-commerce site. The merchandise on the online store consists of around 4,000 items, including big sellers like “ing,” a rocking office chair. This lineup is intended to add value to customers’ home life by helping them find a healthy balance between work and play.
Although the products can be used to build a home office for remote work, they also enhance home life outside of work. Our aim is to enhance quality of life through the products and services.

*Website content Japanese language only

The KOKUYO Workstyle Shop

Think of Things: Online shop
On September 29, 2020, we opened an online shop for Think of Things, a lifestyle shop and café we operate in Harajuku, Tokyo. The online shop has a lineup of around 160 items, including original products and KOKUYO’s flagship products. The website displays product information (size, price, features, background, and so on) in the style of a picture book. We will continue to integrate the online shop with the offline shop and offer ideas for new ways of living and working.

*Website content Japanese language only

The THINK OF THINGS online shop

A free online business resource added to online community, Soumu no Mori
On August 26, 2020, we launched “business knowhow fount,” a free online resource offering business advice and resources for SME owners who have limited sources of support. Linked with Soumu no Mori,* the new site contains articles, interviews, explanations of nomenclature, data, and other useful business information. SME owners are looking for ways to navigate the prolonged economic contraction caused by the pandemic. As well as offering such businesses guidance on transforming working styles, the website provides a free discussion forum in which members can share business advice or seek advice from one of the resident business experts. Users can also make use of Kaunet’s new cloud-computing service (“Kaunet cloud service”) for boosting production and business acumen.
* Soumu no Mori is an online community where office administrators can find solutions for back office admin, including HR, finance, and legal. It is the largest community of its kind in Japan. Managed by us since 2007, the forum has published around 60 thousand threads about admin. In addition to its 800 thousand monthly active users, the forum has nearly 500 expert members (including labor and social security attorneys and certified tax accountants). The site also has an option to search for an expert.

*Website content Japanese language only