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Cognitive technology – leading-edge IT used on a full scale by Toyota and IBM

Nikkei Biz Academy

It is said that a sales talk using the WorldVision increases the customer’s concentration and memory ability by as much as seven times, compared with one conducted with a paper catalog alone. The effect of this tool has been verified through the research by a team of Professor Michiyasu Suzuki of the Department of Neurosurgery, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine. The research team observed changes in the brains of users by examining the blood flow and conducting tests by means of optical topography. The results have confirmed that, when compared to a paper catalog, the WorldVision shows a significant difference in terms of the activation of the frontal lobe that controls concentration and decision making. Mr. Kenichiro Senoh, a former specially appointed professor of the University of Tokyo and the president of the Industry-Academia Collaboration Initiative, praises the WorldVision, saying: “For users, using this system is a challenge because it prompts them to find out how much they can recognize and learn.”
The WorldVision works not just for customers. It is also an effective tool for sales staff to learn. Mr. Haruhisa Urabe, the Chairman of Yamaguchi Toyopet and the President of Toyota Corolla Yamaguchi, says that the greatest benefit brought about by the WorldVision is the activation of the brains of the sales staff.
The WorldVision features four videos, each being two minutes long and to the point, and it takes only eight minutes to watch them all. The presentations are simple, informative and easy to understand not only for customers but for sales staff as well. This allows customers to make choices and decisions faster while at the same time helping sales staff organize and optimize their sales talk techniques, enabling members of the sales force to upgrade their skills more quickly.
While this system is a presentation application, access to it can be analyzed via the network. This makes the WorldVision a database tool as well that allows you to grasp who did product presentations, when and where those presentations were done and what interested customers and to accumulate the collected data. Needless to say, it is also a marketing tool that enables you to accurately understand customer needs and wants by analyzing the data and to perform sales activities more effectively. Moreover, the activities of each member of sales staff, which have been difficult to grasp in the past, can be visualized in real time and saved. This helps identify the progress and achievement of sales activities, making the WorldVision a useful management tool as well. Currently, the use of this system is spreading to a vast range of organizations from private corporations of diverse business types and industries, including the Toyota Group, to the public sector.
The WorldVision was developed in 2013 in Japan by Mr. Akifumi Onaka, a cognitive scientist who serves as a visiting professor at Columbia University. and other foreign universities and colleges. Mr. Onaka says: “Making a decision is the most important activity for human beings. When we make a decision, information is exchanged between the right and left hemispheres of the brain 100 times a second. My dream is to see all organizations in all sectors use this cognitive science-based tool to create optimal presentations that are least stressful to both presenters and attendees.”
As its name suggests, the WorldVision is definitely going to be a “secret weapon” used for Japanese businesses to show their visions both domestically and internationally and have the world recognize the economic resurgence of Japan.
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