4.13.2017

Is this Super-Sentai show? No, it's company information session

Now jobs outnumber job seekers in Japan. Low birth rate and slowly recovering economy are keeping Japan’s job-to-applicant ratio at a 25-year high. Therefore the many Japanese companies perform various measures to get excellent talented people. Particularly, they focus on students graduating in 2018.

Tech company GMO Pepabo which provide various Web Service held interesting company information session for university students on April 12. It was surely company information session. However, the thing which students watched was Super-Sentai show.


*Super-Sentai(スーパー戦隊)
Japanese superhero team franchise of TV drama series. Sentai(戦隊) means Squadron in Japanese. Each member are given colors, and they are very colorful. They are known by the name of "Power Ranger" in the North America.

These are Tweets of recruiter of GMO Pepabo.





At first, Kentaro-Magma, the boss of the cabal of evil "Death-Boys" appeared. They conquered Shibuya. Recruit-Sentai Peparanger appeared there! By the way, Kentaro-Magma is GMO Pepabo CEO Kentaro Sato.







You may think that they are joking around. However, they are earnest and finished all the necessary speeches and panel discussions as Japanese company information session...with costume on.

Their corporate philosophy is "We can make more fun" and they held unique company information session to have student job seekers experience it. Their executives played Peparanger, Kentaro-Magma's costume was handcrafted by an staff, sound track of this show was composed by the staff of former musician and it's shown in SOUNDCLOUD. They accomplished all in themself. Surely their passion must have reached students. Archive video is here. They speak only Japanese, but You can feel fun atmosphere.


3.24.2017

The robot of popular anime was reproduced

Now, SF film Ghost in the Shell was shown in Japan. Ahead of this film, gadget maker Cerevo reproduced the robot of the original anime of this film.


It is mini-size of the 1/8 scale(352mm × 391mm × 249mm), but is a real robot, not a model. This is "TACHIKOMA", the AI deployment tank appearing in anime "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex". Cerevo made this with 1/8 scale as part of a project to reproduce the items which appeared in animes, games, and the movies using the technology of the household appliance. This has joints, pod, a manipulator, wheels, and of course they move.



Furthermore, this has a sound recognition function, a voice synthesis engine, a camera and is connected to the cloud Internet. And owners can talk with this. When you show an apple towards the camera of this and ask "What is this?", the object recognition engine in the cloud recognizes it and answers "I know, this is a apple". When someone tell this that "the apple is sweet", this understands it, sends the information to the cloud and share information with other TACHIKOMA. In other words, this learns a lot of information by many owners talking to this. They accept the pre-order of this, but surprisingly the price is 169,992 yen!(in Tax). Furthermore, SPECIAL EDITION using aluminum parts is 191,592 yen!(in tax). The shipment start is June.

3.17.2017

Japanese flea market app "Mercari" went into the U.K.


Japanese flea market app "Mercari" step forward abroad steadily. They released application in U.K. This is their overseas development following the U.S. and they aim at the European market. U.K. version site is here.

Mercari was released in Japan in July, 2013. Various flea market apps existed before this, but as for them, web service for PCs was the main constituent, and the mobile apps were late departure. However, Mercari was the "mobile-first" thoroughly and simple(they have web service for PCs now). If you want to sell something, you have only to take its photos with the camera of the smartphone and write its captions. If you have luck, it may sell in several seconds. I used Jp version of Mercari, and earned about 170,000yen(about 1,510USD) so far. In Japan, we must pay recycling fees when we discard large garbage and household appliance garbage. However, we can earn pocket money if we sell these in Mercari.

They released U.S. version in September, 2014, and apps broke through 20 million downloading now(40 million downloading in Japan). They established branch office "Mercari Europe" in the U.K. in 2016 and prepared for the advance to the European market.

Mercari was established in February, 2013 by Japanese serial entrepreneur Shintaro Yamada.

3.15.2017

The lantern speaker that changes colors with the drinks

If LED lantern, Bluetooth speaker, flashlight, drink bottle, all of them combine into one thing, the outdoor will become fun more easily. "PLAYFUL BASE LANTERN SPEAKER BOTTLE." is right such outdoor gear.


Its size is 70mm x 70mm x 215mm, and the function of an LED lantern, Bluetooth speaker, an LED flashlight, and drink bottle are packed with in that. It is water-proofing / dust-proofing specification, so users can use it in not only the outdoors such as the camping but also the bathroom. The LED lantern's brightness is 120lm, and colors of the light change by colors of the drinks which users poured into the drink bottle part. Coffee, tea, juice...etc, users can create atmospheres by drinks.


Speaker is non-directional, output is 3W, and available consecutively for about ten hours(It is six hours if users use the speaker function and the LED lantern function at the same time). The color variations are silver and navy blue, and the price is 10,800 yen(in tax).


3.14.2017

Mini-Drone which can take selfie

Drone is downsized steadily and becomes simple. CCP of Bandai Namco Group released only 6cm mini-drone "REAL LIVE TETRAL".


Its weight is about 20g, it has four propellers and 410,000 pixels of camera, and it can transmit the video which it shot to the smartphone of users in real time. Users can control it with their smartphone or tablet through application, but can use the controller also. Because it is small and can turn in a small radius, it can move through tight places, and users can even take selfie using it. Furthermore, they can enjoy First Person View that flies in the sky when they use mobile VR goggles.


This has an atmospheric pressure sensor and automatically performs high adjustment, even beginner users can carry out 12 kinds of actions such as taking off/landing and the hovering easily. Recharge time is about 45 minutes and flight time is about three minutes, the video is saved in AVI and the image is saved in JPEG. The price is 12,960 yen(in tax).



3.12.2017

Your fat relieves the earth

When spring comes, the people who work hard at diet to reduce the fat which they stored up in winter increase. It may become the charity by this application. Metavolunteer is NPO aiming at solving obesity and starvation at the same time, and they develop mobile application CHARITY DIET for charity that the calories that users burnt by exercise are converted into donations.


When users choose the charity groups which they want to support, and send data of calories to application, the sponsor companies perform contribution equivalent to those calories for charity groups. The application is free, and users only link CHARITY DIET to the partner application that can acquire data of calories-out and can participate in charity activity.


Médecins sans frontières, hunger free world, Save the Children, World Vision, WWF has already expressed participation and Metavoluntee gathers other charity groups and sponsor companies. Unfortunately this has not been yet released. Now, they invite the 500 precedent testers and start test service from this spring.

3.10.2017

Necessities of cherry-blossom picnic party

Sakura, the cherry-blossoms bloom at the end of this month in Japan. It signals the end of winter and coming of spring, and the Japanese celebrate this by holding picnic parties under trees of sakura. Parks having them are crowded with many people with picnic sheets, foods and a lot of liquors. Toy company Takara Tomy Arts released the gadget which is good to it this month.




Beerhour-Gokuawa-Portable closes the canned beers after opened and makes its forms creamy more. When users are attached this to the upper part of the canned beer which opened and pour beer into a glass while pushing the button, the supersonic wave occurs and make creamy foams. In addition, it keeps gas and taste of the beers. It supports any kinds of beers if the diameter of cans are 56~57mm. It works by two AAA alkaline batteries and size is 72mm x 65mm x 105mm. It's compact so as to enter pockets of clothes, and good to the outdoor. Color variations are black and white, and the price is 3,218yen(in tax).

2.12.2017

Your smartphone becomes the massage gadget

Beauty electric appliances are popular, but they are troublesome if size is big. Massage gadget NOFL Smart that link with smartphones solves this problem.


This is the small massage gadget which tightens a facial striated muscle by hitting the face with the electric current of the low frequency. We can attach it to smartphones like a clip lens. Users can control this by smartphone application, and can set parts of the face to massage, the timer, the level of the electric current, and frequency timing in detail. If it's annoying, users can choose an automatic mode.


Because it works in one coin cell battery(CR2032), it is available in foreign countries varying of the voltage. The size is 88mm x 30mm x 55mm and weight is about 46g. The price is 19,440yen(in tax), but this accepts advance reservations in Makuake of crowdfunding platform, and you can buy it more cheaply here.

2.02.2017

Programming study toy for kids

Programming class becomes the compulsory subject in elementary schools in Japan from 2020. This may help the programming study of children.


Sony Global Education and Artec released building toy "KOOV" for the programming learning for children. It is comprised of colorful blocks, electronic parts and application, and children put them together and can make various moving toys. The recipe that showed how to make 22 kinds of toys is included in this set. Vehicles such as s locomotive and a fire engine, creatures such as a crab and a crocodile, musical instruments such as a violin and a guitar, children can learn even the structure of motors, LED, and sensors while playing. In the application, children can learn basics of the programming by visual programming tool. Of course it supports Japanese, even if children do not understand English words, they can study using it. Operating environments of the application are Windows 7(64bit), MacOS 10.9, and iOS 9(iPad).


Packages of KOOV are three kinds, "KOOV starter kit" which has 172 blocks and 16 electronic parts is 39,830yen(in tax), "KOOV expansion parts set" which has 130 blocks and 8 electronic parts is 23,630yen(in tax), and "KOOV advance kit" which has 302 blocks and 4 electronic parts is 53,870yen(in tax).

1.26.2017

Stuffed robot which watches families

The appearance of robots is important. In particular, when they are used by children and elderly people, the cute appearance rouses their attachment. NTT DoCoMo, IWAYA, Vitec and MOOREdoll released the communication robot with the appearance such as the stuffed toy "Cocokuma".


The target users are people who live apart from their family. Cocokuma holds buttons in both hands one by one and when users push the button of the left hand of the stuffed toy and talk to this, they can send a voice message to the smartphone of the family living apart. In addition, users can hear the voice message that families sent from smartphone application by pushing the button in the right hand of this.



Furthermore, this has a sensor and speaks the topic of weather and season when users get closer to this. Families of users can confirm the safety of users by checking the use situation of this through smartphone application. The size is 210mm x 200mm x 280mm and weight is about 760g. The price is 37,584yen(in tax) and The service fee is 1,980yen/month.

1.13.2017

This lantern emits light with water and salt

It is difficult to get lights in emergency. Particularly, it is life-threatening at the time of a disaster. For such an unexpected situation, HITACHI MAXELL released LED lantern "MIZUSION" which emits light only with water and salt.


This has the magnesium alloy called the power-bar, this becomes negative electrode, oxygen becomes positive electrode, salt water becomes electrolye ,they generate electricity and an LED light emit light. The usage is easy and only pours salt and water into the lantern. The illumination of the LED light is 2,000 luxes and it's available for continuously lighting about 80 hours. Because we can use this repeatedly by changing power-bar, we can utilize this in not only the emergency but also the outdoor leisure. The size is 95mm x 215mm x 95mm and weight is about 350g. The price is 3,218yen(in tax).

1.12.2017

Japanese local city enlivens lonely dinner in VR

Minamiawaji-shi (南あわじ市), a city in the southern part of Awaji Island in Hyōgo Prefecture released interesting VR contents. It enlivens lonely mealtimes by VR.



Modern people are busy and people living alone increase. They eat alone, but it is not good for mental health. Therefore Minamiawaji-shi reproduces the scenery of the country mealtimes in VR.




The title of this contents is "Verchan Reality", well, it's "Verchan", not Virtual. "Bāchan" means grandmother or old woman in Japanese slang, ”Verchan” is the coined word that parodied it.
When they look in mobile VR goggles, the 360-degree video of the mealtime of the country opens there, and lonely mealtimes become the mealtime of the lively country.



This is one of the projects of Japan's Hometown tax(ふるさと納税). Minamiawaji-shi presents mobile VR goggles "Hacosco" to the people who paid tax to them. Of course this is half something like joke, but it's cool that a Japanese local city uses VR for a joke. Besides, for a tax payment system!

1.05.2017

MR-like brainstorming application "Brastory"

Mixed Reality(MR) attracts attention in the Japanese tech industry as same as virtual reality. User interface design company Up arrows released the brainstorming application "Brastory" that users can experience MR easily.



When users run the application, dry-erase board where some stickies were put on appears on the real scenery. Furthermore, users can change screen size and positions of stickies, choose stickies of own favorite colors, write comment in them and put them on dry-erase board. In other words, this is an MR version of bulletin-board-system, but creative user interface may draw creative ideas from users. We can use this application from Android mobiles and Web browser. The downloading from Google Play is free.


1.04.2017

The sandals which can walk the virtual worlds

A lot of VR Head Mount Display were released in CES 2017, but hardware developer Cerevo released different VR gadgets. They are world's first VR shoes and VR gloves equipped with feel sensors "Taclim".




These have eight tactile devices(gloves 1 X 2, shoes 3 X 2) developed by co-operation of Cerevo and Nidec Seimitsu Corporation, and they feed back the feel to users to video and sound of the VR space. For example, they can reproduce difference in feel when users walked desert, grassy plains, and the waterside. They can reproduce even difference in kinds of the shoes which VR characters wear. In addition, these function as input devices because these have 9-axis sensor that reflects the motion of users in VR space.


Cerevo is going to release two kinds of Bluetooth Edition and Sub-giga Edition which supports the Japan's 920MHz(USA 815MHz/Euro 868MHz). The charge method is Micro USB and it is available for two hours by 3-hour charge. They sell these for 100,000 ~ 50,000yen in this autumn and provide the development environment of this to developers as Unity plug-in.