Архив метки: Tokyo

Scratch Shield: Nissan Introduces World’s First Self-Healing iPhone Case

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An iPhone case from Nissan? As you can imagine, it would make no sense for the automaker to develop an ordinary case, and the so-called Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone Case is actually special. According to the company, it’s the world’s first “self-healing” iPhone cover: in other words, it quickly fixes (fine) scratches by itself.

Nissan says they used their self-healing paint finish originally developed for vehicles for the case, which is made from light weight ABS plastic. Scratch Shield as a paint technology has been used in various Nissan cars since 2005, before Nissan teamed up with the University of Tokyo and Japan-based Advanced Softmaterials [JP] to create the case.

Nissan explains:

The outer ‘paint’ is made from polyrotaxane, which means that when damage occurs to the coating in the form of a fine scratch, the chemical structure is able to react to change back to its original shape and fill the gap – ‘healing’ the blemish.

The company distributed a number of prototype iPhone cases to journalists and “customers” and might commercialize the product later this year. Mobile carrier Docomo is already offering the NEC N-03B, a feature phone using Scratch Shield, on the Japanese market.

Via Penn Olson

Scratch Shield: Nissan Introduces World’s First Self-Healing iPhone Case

From The Infinity Ventures Summit In Kyoto/Japan: 13 Demos From Japanese Startups

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I took part in the Infinity Ventures Summit Fall 2011 (IVS) in Kyoto/Japan last week, a two-day web industry event organized twice a year by Japanese VC firm Infinity Venture Partners. Like at every IVS, a few hours of the schedule were reserved for a total of 13 local startups to demo their services onstage to a panel of judges and an international crowd of 550 people.

Here is a rundown of all the services that were introduced at the event’s launch pad.

Infinity Ventures Summit Fall 2011: The winner and four runners-up

Sugoi Jikan Wari [JP] (winner of the Grand Prix)
Best of show was awarded to Sugoi Jikan Wari, a social timetable app available for iOS, Android, and Facebook (Japanese only). What sets Sugoi Jukan Wari apart from similar timetable apps is that it’s specifically designed for university students. Users can manage and share classes (and class rooms), share memos, indicate where they are (“on my way to school”, for example), create friend lists, schedule meet-ups (for lunch, etc.), or ask others to join them on the train home. Sugoi Jikan Wari started by supporting schedules at just a handful of Japanese universities in October and currently counts around 16,000 users.

Decopic (first runner-up)
After launching in early October on iOS and Android, cute photo sharing app Decopic racked up a total of 500,00 downloads – in just two weeks. Developed by Tokyo-based startup Community Factory, the free app allows users to choose between 300 cute pictograms, frames and illustrations to add to pictures. All photos can be shared with other Decopic users or posted to various social networks, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Japan’s Mixi, or Sina Weibo and Ren Ren in China. More information on Decopic can be found here.

iogous*mark [JP] (second runner-up)
iogous*mark is the first third-party ad server from Japan approved by Google for the Google Display Network. Developed by Tokyo-based Fringe81, iogous*mark wants to boost the effectiveness of ads on various Google properties and sites, includingYouTube. Some clients have seen their conversion rate double after switching to the solution.

Sumally [ENG] (third runner-up)
describes itself as an “encyclopedia of treasured objects”. Users can bookmark pictures of cool products they stumble upon on the web, anything from fashion items, art, collectibles, furniture, to gadgets or books. It is possible to create wish lists (by pushing the “want it” button on the picture) or indicating/sharing objects that are already in one’s possession (by clicking “have it”). Needless to say, all findings can be posted to Facebook or Twitter. Sumally is available on the web or in the form of a slick (and free) iPhone app, which is pictured below (read more about Sumally here).

PIRIKA [ENG] (third runner-up, tied with Sumally)
PIRIKA is a free iPhone app that wants to empower its users to clean the world by picking up trash they find, making a pic of the object, throwing it away and then share the “experience” with other PIRIKA users. All actions are geo-tagged and can be posted to Facebook and Twitter. The goal here is to motivate other people to help clean up trash or not to throw away things in the first place.

Infinity Ventures Summit Fall 2011: The best of the rest

  • Wantedly [JP], a Facebook-based social recruiting tool that makes it possible to look for freelancers to work on projects by reaching out to them via friends
  • Feel On Battle [ENG], a tool/mini game that compares the popularity of two items on Twitter through natural language processing
  • AITalk [JP], a text-to-speech tool that actually looked pretty powerful and supports various languages
  • Frenzee [ENG], a photo sharing tool that lets users comment on images they find online and post the information to Facebook and Twitter (Chrome extension)
  • beauteCam [ENG], an iPhone camera app that allows you to check the condition of your skin and recommends cosmetics based on the analysis

  • Wishscope [ENG], a social wish list that’s similar to Zaarly in the US (read more about Wishscope here)
  • Facematch [ENG], a Facebook-based dating (“social matching”) app for iOS (to be released)
  • Baboo [ENG], an overly cute chat app for iOS

From The Infinity Ventures Summit In Kyoto/Japan: 13 Demos From Japanese Startups

Unity Embraces The Heart Of The Gaming World, Launches A Tokyo Division


While gaming has spread its tentacles throughout the world and major game development houses can be found everywhere from Calgary to Cambridge, there’s one place that will pretty much always be considered the center of the gaming world: Tokyo. What better place, then, to focus your efforts on winning over the hearts and minds of local developers?

This morning, Unity Tech (the folks behind the rapid game development engine Unity) are announcing that they’re making the jump into Japan with a new subsidiary in Tokyo.

For those who may not have tinkered with it: Unity is a visual game development tool for quickly building complex games that can be compiled for Windows, Mac, and, with a bit of tweaking iOS, Android, and most of the current-gen consoles. It’s not drag-and-drop by any means, but it’s markedly more accessible than the vast majority of alternatives.

The new division’s primary goals with be product localization, sales, and support — in other words, it’s their job to convince the Japanese developer population that their cross-platform development engine is the way of the future.

The team leading the new effort is none too shabby, with execs like John Goodale (previously of Activision, Sega, and Crytek) and Shinobu Toyoda (previously the Executive Vice President for Sega of America) hopping on board. Not bad for a little company that launched out of Denmark just five or six years ago, right?

If nothing else, this ought to lead to a sudden spike in the number of Unity-powered Dating Sims, right? Ba dum tsss!

Launch Date:

Unity provides 3D content development solutions, with the Unity platform, its proprietary solution. Unity provides a fully integrated development environment which makes it easier and more cost-effective for content…

Learn more

Unity Embraces The Heart Of The Gaming World, Launches A Tokyo Division

CamiApp Lets You Digitize Notes On Paper Notepads With Your Smartphone (Video)

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Japanese stationery maker Kokuyo has come up with an easy way to digitize and permanently store what you jot down on paper notepads: all you need is a an iPhone (or soon Android handset), a special app called CamiApp (available for free and in English on the App Store), and notepads made by Kokuyo.

The company says that taking pictures of the notes is enough: CamiApp adjusts the quality through using AR markers or a black frame before it lets you tag, edit, email or store your notes on Evernote or Dropbox (as JPEGs).

Kokuyo is currently preparing an Android version and thinks about exporting their CamiApp-optimized notepads.

This video (in English, shot by Diginfonews in Tokyo) provides more insight:

CamiApp Lets You Digitize Notes On Paper Notepads With Your Smartphone (Video)