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Acquired | Acquired

About Genba

On June 9th, 2022, Genba was acquired by RealWear. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Genba empowers the frontline industrial workforce with software built specifically for them and their workflows. It allows maintenance technicians to complete and close work orders by voice from the floor, and delivers insights to them when and where they need it. The company was founded in 2021 and is based in Seattle, Washington.

Headquarters Location

240 2nd Ave S #300

Seattle, Washington, 98104,

United States


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Genba Patents

Genba has filed 1 patent.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Artificial intelligence applications
  • Assistive technology
  • Computational linguistics
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date


Related Topics



Speech recognition, Computational linguistics, Natural language processing, Artificial intelligence applications, Assistive technology


Application Date


Grant Date


Related Topics

Speech recognition, Computational linguistics, Natural language processing, Artificial intelligence applications, Assistive technology



Latest Genba News

Solving Social Issues With Haircare Products Created With A Thorough Genba Approach

Sep 21, 2022

| Paid Program Kao Sustainability Report 2022 This article is the second in the series "Ambitious For A Sustainable Future Co-Creation For Innovation". The Kao Corporation of Japan has been dedicated to improving society for more than 130 years based on a thorough “genba approach” to product quality. Kao listens to the needs of consumers. It uses the term genba-shugi, or firsthand approach, to describe its commitment to learning firsthand what life issues customers face and how they use products. This includes visiting customers’ homes, seeing their daily lives and observing their subconscious actions. In this second installment of our series on Kao's research capabilities and the inspiring ideas behind them, the focus is haircare products and package development born from this genba approach, and Kao's vision for a sustainable society. People's lifestyles are constantly changing with the times and the social environment. Listening to the needs of consumers is an obvious but difficult aspect of the genba approach that has been passed down through generations in Kao's research and product development. Kao's corporate culture is based on its dedication to thoroughly understanding the needs of consumers, and gathering research results to identify issues over time. The genba approach involves going beyond theories and surveys and seeing how products are used in real life and evaluating customer needs. For example, Kao has discovered important issues by observing how consenting customers wash their hair and how they refill products at home. You can get a glimpse of part of the genba approach from the transition process of haircare products with a history of 100 years and the history of packaging technology development such as refill pouches. Kao began research related to haircare in the 1920s, and in 1932 it launched a solid shampoo. Since then, it has developed powder shampoos, liquid shampoos, and hair conditioners. In 1970, it released an anti-dandruff shampoo in response to consumer concerns about dandruff. In addition, Kao has been conducting hair research since the 1960s, and has surveyed a total of 220,000 people in 18 countries around the world. This research not only helped develop in-house products, but also raised the bar for research in the haircare field overall. Indeed, it became the foundation for a major advance in haircare culture, according to Shinobu Nagase, senior principal research scientist at Kao Haircare Products Research Laboratory. “In researching actual hair conditions, we examined not only hair and scalp data, but also every corner of customer lifestyle habits and concerns,” says Nagase. “By looking into hair and lifestyles, we developed not only anti-dandruff shampoos, but shampoos for damaged hair, anti-aging products and products for colored hair.” Kao has served consumers in Japan, as well as Europe, the United States, and Asia. For example, with GOLDWELL, a German company with which Kao entered a capital tie-up in 1989 (Kao acquired 100% of the company's stock in 1994), Kao repeatedly conducted tests in local laboratories and beauty salons. As a result of this genba approach, Kao accumulated various findings. For example, even the simple act of washing one's hair varies greatly from person to person. The result of this research is the development of washing technologies that help maintain beautiful hair as well as ingredients that provide optimal scalp care. “Age-related issues such as gray hair make us feel old, but we have found that elderly people who have a habit of dyeing gray hair and washing their hair every day tend to enjoy better mental health,” says Nagase. “One of my goals in the future is to contribute to solving the social issue of healthy life expectancy in an aging society through haircare research.” kao A genba approach that is structured according to real-world situations While researching and developing haircare products, Kao has always listened to consumers and has improved its refill pouches. For instance, many consumers reported that conditioner has a high viscosity, causing residue in refill pouches. In addition to reducing plastic, Kao has also focused on improving the quality of packaging, such as processing and shaping technology for ease of opening and pouring. Refill pouches in Japan now sell four times more than bottled detergents and haircare products. “If the practice of using refills spreads worldwide, it will have a huge impact on environmental issues,” says Shuhei Matsumoto, Group Leader of Kao Packaging Technology Research Laboratory. "Japan is one of the few countries in the world where the 'mottainai spirit' of eliminating waste is deeply rooted and the refill culture has taken hold. We believe that easy-to-use refill pouches refined in Japan will be widely accepted in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere.” Recycling is another challenge. “We have set up a pilot plant for the recycling of refill pouches and other products at our Wakayama Research Laboratory and are conducting research,” says Keiji Seto, head of the RecyCreation Project. “We are already looking into commercialization.” To recycle packaging, which is usually outsourced to a specialized company, Kao set up an experimental in-house plant and conducted thorough research. This attitude highlights Kao’s strong determination to aid social progress. Kao believes that this genba approach is directly linked to sustainability. For example, hot water used to rinse hair is the biggest source of CO2 emissions from the process of manufacturing to the use of shampoo and conditioner, according to Nagase. For many years, Kao has improved the ingredients of its products and raised awareness about how to wash hair so it can be rinsed with less water. “Maintaining the quality of the contents is the most important issue for refill pouches, but I would like to encourage efforts for recycling to become commonplace and achieve more effective reductions in environmental impact,” says Seto. “If we can package our know-how and export it together with our products, it may be the key to popularizing refill pouches and related culture overseas.” “The SDGs include a variety of items, such as ensuring that no one is left behind and maintaining living standards,” says Matsumoto. “I want us to keep producing refill containers that are easy for everyone to use.” "For us, seeing the daily lives of our customers is the starting point for innovation,” says Nagase. “There are seeds of ideas. People's lifestyles are always changing, and even with the same data, new discoveries and lessons can be gleaned. I want to cherish these discoveries made through the genba approach." Kao is dedicated to the creation of a sustainable society by thoroughly understanding the daily lives of consumers. Co-Creation At Kao Changing the common practice of throwing things away after use Kao promotes the concept of “RecyCreation,” which is a combination of recycling and creation. Aiming to build a participatory and co-creative recycling system, the company has studied refill packs, developed recycling technology and promoted pilot projects to raise public awareness. In a project undertaken with residents of Kitami City, Onagawa Town, Ishinomaki City, Kamakura City and Kamikatsu Town, post-use refill packs are cut, washed, and made into pellets, which are synthetic resin in the form of granules. The material is recycled into blocks that are easy to assemble and reuse. Kao aims to communicate its policies in a way that conveys this recycling. Kao has also strengthened its partnerships with external companies that share its vision, such as Lion Corporation, a company in the same industry, and Ito-Yokado, Welcia Yakkyoku, and Hamakyorex. More than 200 kg of refill packs were collected from Ito-Yokado’s Hikifune Store in 2021. In addition, some 30 Welcia Yakkyoku outlets in Tokyo and Saitama are also collecting refill packs. Collection methods differ depending on the scale of the store, but staff from Kao and Welcia Yakkyoku exchange information about how to promote the campaign. “RecyCreation cannot be achieved by a single company,” says Seto. “To establish the entire system including legislation and a recycling distribution network as a social infrastructure, we must work with not only local residents but local governments and other companies. We want to change the common practice of throwing things away after use. We will do our part so that recycling will be fun, not bothersome.” Kao Recycling refill packs is tricky due to differences in materials and residue. That’s why Kao collects the containers it manufactures after they are used and experiments for the best recycling results. Kao collects not only its own products, but also various containers including those of other companies. Message from Kao R&D Kao was established in 1887 and began the manufacture and sales of consumer soap Kao Soap in 1890. Based on the philosophy of supporting clean lifestyles, Kao first addressed the social issue of improving cleanliness and hygiene in Japan. As Japan developed, Kao built up its R&D prowess and applied technological innovation to solve social issues through a variety of products intended for daily use. This philosophy undergirds the very DNA that Kao has handed down and maintained since the beginning. Kao's mission has been to support the evolution of daily necessities while tackling social issues. In addition, Kao now conducts a broad range of R&D on environmental issues, the global food problem and virus control. At the same time, the desire to work with people to solve society’s issues through Kao’s products and services manifests in its efforts to use the latest technology to enrich the lives of the planet’s approximately eight billion people. In this series of articles, Kao introduces some of its original technologies that are enriching daily life around the globe. Kao also hopes to connect with like-minded people to make the world a better place. This article is the second in the series "Ambitious For A Sustainable Future Co-Creation For Innovation" about how Kao is working to solve environmental, food and other problems using precise interfacial control technology. With this approach, Kao is bringing about innovations that can change the world.

Genba Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Genba founded?

    Genba was founded in 2021.

  • Where is Genba's headquarters?

    Genba's headquarters is located at 240 2nd Ave S, Seattle.

  • What is Genba's latest funding round?

    Genba's latest funding round is Acquired.

  • Who are the investors of Genba?

    Investors of Genba include RealWear.

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