SHISEIDO, Tokyo / SHISEIDO CO. / 2017
Our targeted consumers are women in their 20’s to 50’s, who are active both at home and in the workplace. A survey reveals that they have been spending more time at home in recent years as they choose to work from home and shop online, meaning that various scenes, including time to focus on work or time to thoroughly relax, can be seen at home.
Affecting the autonomic nervous system, scent can help induce a deep sleep or enhance the concentration on work. Utilizing Shiseido’s knowledge of fragrance, we believed it was possible to satisfy the needs of busy women wishing to enrich their time spent at home. We also noticed the huge popularity of aromatherapy and essential oil among women and its rapidly growing market. We are confident that our device, which is genuinely new on that market, has a potentially strong impact.
Two technologies make BliScent exceptional: One senses the autonomic nervous system and assesses stress levels with an app measuring the users’ heart rate and its fluctuations in heartbeat intervals. The other involves blending and configuring a custom scent instantly. Six program-controlled cartridges diffuse the necessary amount of aromatics. Shiseido’s century-plus research assets culminated in the unique algorithm for the program. The combined two technologies gave birth to the “smart aroma diffuser, which configures a custom scent based on users’ stress levels.” The prototype is already in use with guaranteed effects, and the actual product was exhibited at the recent SXSW.
We have filed two international patent applications: One is on the process experienced while using the device. Specifically, after the users select an option to tell how they are feeling, have their stress levels measured, and choose an activity they want, BliScent configures the scent that best suits the users’ condition. The other is on the ultrasonic mechanism that sprays scented mist. BliScent contains a water tank and six fragrance cartridges, each of which is controlled by a specific program to diffuse an appropriate amount. Those patents show that BliScent is one-of-a-kind and the world’s first smart aroma diffuser.
The 2015 aromatherapy and essential oil business was worth about $7.5 billion, of which the US is the world’s largest market, accounting for approx. $4 billion, and is expected to expand rapidly to become a $10 billion market in 2022. We exhibited BliScent at SXSW held in March 2017 and obtained enthusiastic feedback from US consumers inquiring the release date or requesting updated information about the product. Based on the high evaluation at the SXSW, Shiseido has decided to continuously invest in the research and development of the device aiming at the future launch. We will conduct a pilot production of about 100 pieces for the test marketing in October 2017 and plan the full-scale launch in the spring of 2018.