Voice Chocolate

In the last 15 years, voice communication traffic has fallen by about half, mainly due to the impact of messaging apps. Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile phone company, sought a way to remind people of the wonder of communicating by voice. So with their agency Hakuhodo, Docomo came up with a new way to reacquaint people with voice communication.

On Valentine’s Day they enabled women in Japan to use their smartphones to record their voices and transform their message into chocolate patterns. Then with the help of Mont St. Clair, the most famous patisserie in Japan, they delivered the custom chocolates to the men they love. Recipients in turn could then use a special app that recognized the AR markers in the chocolate to play back the voice message from their smartphone.

Gatebox: The Virtual Home Robot

Move over Alexa, Siri and Cortana. Gatebox is set to be the worlds first virtual home robot. Gatebox’s first character, “Azuma Hikari” is a fully interactive holographic girl, who at her most basic can control your smart home equipment. Additionally, she can recognize your face and your voice, and is designed to be a companion who can wake you up in the morning, fill you in on your day’s activities, remind you of things to remember, and even welcome you back when you return home from work.

Gatebox is currently availble for pre-order to customers who speak Japanese in Japan and USA for around $2,600 per unit. For more details visit gatebox.ai.

The Giga Selfie

People all over the world are obsessed with taking selfies. So the Australian government launched the “Giga Selfie campaign” to help tourists take bigger and better selfies that included the environments around them.

The campaign targeted Japanese tourists, who reportedly made up Australia’s sixth largest market for tourists (over 320,000 visitors). To take a Giga Selfie, tourists needed to look out for the designated selfie spots and capture a shot to send back home.

Yahoo! Hands On Search

Yahoo! Japan recently introduced the world’s first hands on search, where they allowed visually impaired children in Tokyo to search with their hands.

A voice activated vending machine was set up which recognised the children’s verbal search. The machine was also connected to a 3D printer which recreated the objects the children searched for. This was the first time visually impaired children were able to touch what they could not see i.e. from giraffes to horses to skyscrapers.

Tokyo Shimbun AR Reader App

Connected devices such as smartphones and tablets have contributed to an explosion in digital media consumption. As these devices gain adoption, print newspapers around the world are seen suffering from declining readership and revenue. To combat this the Tokyo Shimbun along with Dentsu Tokyo came up with a new way to connect with readers. An Augmented Reality Reader app was created that brought to life the newspaper by overlaying educational versions of the articles for kids.

World’s first 3D printing photo booth

Ever wanted a life-like miniature action figure of yourself? Omote 3D has made that possible by setting up the world’s first 3D printing photo booth for a limited time at the Eye of Gyre exhibition space in Harajuku, Japan.

From November 24th to January 13th, 2013 people with reservations will be able to have their bodies scanned into a computer. Then instead of a photograph they will receive miniature replicas of themselves. 😎

The miniature replicas are available in 3 sizes i.e. S (10cm), M (15cm) and L (20cm) for US$264, US$403 and US$528, respectively.

Additionally click here to see how Polskie Radio in Poland has used 3D printing technology to market their website.

Adidas × Giants “Digital Tryout”

Baseball fans in Japan are aging fast. Especially for the Yomiuri Giants whose percentage of young fans has dropped drastically. So to turn young Japanese people into Giants fans, Adidas along with ad agency Tbwa\Hakuhodo came up with an iPhone app called “Giants Tryout” where baseball fans could test 4 basic skills i.e. Pitch, Bat, Run, and Catch.

Throughout the baseball season fans competed with each other digitally. To raise the appeal of the app, the top 9 record holders were given the privilege to join the Giants training camp, share the field with the professional players and be part of a professional baseball team.

Uniqlo Dry Mesh Project

To wake Pinterest users from a scrolling slumber, Uniqlo created 100 separate shell Pinterest accounts that pinned images simultaneously. Users who scrolled down the men’s apparel, women’s apparel, geek, fitness and sports categories came across giant mosaics that “animated” when scrolled through.

Uniqlo however is not the only brand out there that has successfully leveraged basic features of a social website to its advantage. Here are some of the others…
Smart Car Tweet Commercial
Volkswagen Facebook Flipbook
Quechua Facebook Cover Motion

BMX Turntable Riders

Cogoo, a bicycle sharing service in Japan has created a system called Turntable Rider that transforms a BMX bicycle into an elaborate wireless MIDI controller.

The system was developed in a collaboration between professional BMX rider Kotaro Tanaka, turntablist DJ Baku and interactive artist Toshiyuki Sugai.

Check out the video below to see how tricks on the BMX can create super-fun soundscapes…

The making of video below shows how this technology was created to turn a BMX into a musical instrument…