“Three”

June 19, 2009

WWDC 2009 is over and now OS 3.0 for both iPhone and iPod touch is available. Many users have installed or going to do it. With the new release of OS, our ZeptoPad has been finally upgraded to version 3.0! Thanks very much 2.99 β testers again for your cooperation.

As for new features of ZeptoPad 3.0, they are almost the same as what I mentioned in 2.99; New rendering engines for faster and easier drawing. More diagram drawing tools and more color are available. Also, background color is chosen between white, black, and blue! So, in addition to white and black knight, blue magician joined our party! By P2P feature, you can share your worksheet with other ZeptoPad. Your works are saved in folders for easier categorization and management.

Our most recommending point of ZeptoPad 3.0 is Slide Show mode. This is a remote control function to display up to three worksheet on different screens of Mac/PCs. With it, you can manipulate the worksheets as you like it.

Regarding remote control, where is the place to control a space shuttle far from on the earth? Most of people might know, yes, it is NASA. Ryo went there the other day.

nasa

ryo-nasa

It was amazing and impressive place. Full of science, technology and possibility.  Astronauts are really tough guys. They have literary and military arts, and well trained. A great astronaut, Mr Sonny Carter was a physician and a professional soccor player, and in the Navy, he attended TOPGUN. In NASA, he played an  active role as a specialist of EVA,

sonny

However, even such tough and smart guys, decision in the ultimate environment, in the space, is incredibly difficult. The mutual and specific communication is necessary between in the space and on the earth. A trivial mistake can change a bunch of high technology suddenly into disastrous bomb. But people in NASA never give up. From the failure, they learn the next step, improvement, and a new challenge.

apollo13

“Failure is not an option,” this is the words by Mr Gene Kranz, a Fright Director of Apollo ⅩⅢ. His word is now theme of NASA and encourage people to go on to the next stage.

His computer was IBM System 360, a big and old computer, which 8-bit byte addressing and binary, has 256KB of main storage, and works with 2MHz speed.

ibm360

Computers now may be able to solve more difficult calculation, have more storage and work by higher speed than it. But it have certainly operated the space shuttle and let people reach the moon.  Now, the space shuttle control computers become like this.

3screens

You may notice that each people has at least three screens on the desk. Also, in Mission Control Center, they have triple displays.

mcc

Like people in NASA, using three things, screens, or sometimes more at the same time is necessary. Therefore, Slide Show mode of ZeptoPad 3.0, which enables you to use three screens at the same time, was necessary and important improvement…wasn’t it?

Using three screen with ZeptoPad 3.0 on iPhone/iPod touch OS 3.0 would be similar experience as using three screen in NASA. Expecting the possibility of iPhone, such as a day would come when we will be able to operate a space shuttle by iPhone (and ZeptoPad?), we continue to improve, develop and challenge things.”Failure is not an option,” but also, failure would be the step to the next, I believe so. Of course, we will do best to prevent mistakes and inconvenience!

shattle

We expect the future of iPhone and ZeptoTools.

On iBeer

March 24, 2009

beer

Do you like beer? Yes, I DO! I like Budwiser, Guiness, Hoegaarden, Asahi, Tiger, etc…. Especially during summer time, a lot of people drink beer at home, at a pub, at a beer garden, or at a park. I love to read books drinking a glass of beer under the comfortable sunshine on a holiday. Only such imagination makes me happy…

Anyway the reason why I wrote such a thing on this blog is, to talk about, maybe you’ve already know, iBeer by Hottrix.

This application is really long running.  Though, it was first released at the end of June 2008, still ranks as one of the top 100 paid applications on AppStore of so many countries. To find the reason why this application is loved for a long time, I humbly but would like to examine the features of it!

Main features of the app ver. 3.01 are “Drink,” “Brew,” “Shake” and “Burp”

If you pour the beer into your screen of iPhone/iPod Touch, you can pretend to drink it from both top corners of iPhone. If you shake your device, the form will be increased. When the glass of iPhone is emptied, a sound of burp will come up if the function was ON. You can select  a glass of beer from 5 drinks: 4 beer and 1 mouthwash!

Regarding the reality of graphics and sounds, the beer is ok. The graphics itself is clear and beautiful. The forms of the beer, bubbles, or dirty empty glasses is well realized. However, if I could say more, for me, it looks like rather soda. It has too much gas. The form is not so creamy. The sound of brewing is rather like a well of beer. Not like a puring from a bottle nor a beer server.

Furthermore, I do not like the sound of burp so much… sorry,  though some people commented the sound was so funny and cool.

However, I agree the interesting trick, “Magic Button.” Pressed the button for a while, and the ON mark becomes orange. Then, when you try to back to the drink select menu, the screen becomes a fake iPhone’s menu. If you tap somewhere on the screen, suddenly, in your screen, beer will be filled with.

ibeer-001ibeer-003

Hum… Yes, it is fun for spare time, to kill time. But, the price was not so reasonable for me. It costs higher than iShodo or BullCam!

Seeing the comments, I found most  people enjoy the features. However, some say that the app is not worth paying, rather, some feel it was waste of money. Some rated the least mark because sometimes it crushes. So, beside the problems of system and the price, people are generally pleased with the features themselves. It’s certain that it would get far better evaluation if it was free app.

Mmmmm… the more I study, the deeper the mystery of it becomes!

My conclusion is, “Just have fun.” Maybe the hilarious but funny ideas catches many people’s attention. Actually, my first impression was “seems so funny!” The features stimulates the interest of beer lovers. However, seeing the price, I hesitated to purchase it a little. “Entertainment” and “Beer” those may be a part of the reasons why the application is long running though not all people satisfied with it. By the version-ups, more tricks or variety of drinks are added. That has made people fun continually.

Though I said many things, we would like to make an application which is loved by many people for a long time. For that point, I really respect this application (of course, the application itself is funny!). Referring to the good points of such apps, we want to create more attractive apps.

However, the most disappointing point for me is, I can’t quench my thirsty with iBeer!!

BullCam & Color Canvas

March 14, 2009

How things going?

Are you enjoying  BullCam life? Today’s weather was so nice, so I went for a walk along the beach near my house, and took pictures with BullCam. About 2 months has passed since its release, and I continue to take at least … ha ha (see previous entry), but still enjoy taking pictures with it.

BullCam is simple continuous shooting camera. The pictures by BullCam themselves are enjoyable. But, there should be a lot of ways to make it different, like Jet☆Daisuke’s animation.  Exploring  the sea of application to find new possibility, today, I got a treasure of application, ColorCanvas by Big Canvas Inc. (They are webmasters too!!).

normal

normal

black-white & colors

black-white & colors

black-white & colors

black-white & colors

normal

normal

Did you find the differences between them? ColorCanvas is a software to make the picture firstly in black and white, and add color again to the picture by brushing over it. With the application, you can arrange BullCam picture’s color frame by frame!

You can change the opacity of color. So, it’s easy to make gradation color photos like below.

gradation

gradation

The sea of applications expands day by day, it’s difficult to try them all, but we should explore more applications. Combination of applications will make us strong and make our iPhone life more interesting! and exciting!

See you at the next island;-)

Captain Hidemy

iShodo & Photo Brush

March 13, 2009

Hi all,

Are you enjoying iShodo? About 2 months has passed since its release. I continue to make at least a sheet of work per day. Though I agree that black monotone color is one of Japanese calligraphy’s elements and that is a cool point of iShodo, sometimes, sooometimes I feel an impulse to use color  in iShodo work.

So, with other applications, I decorated my iShodo works. This time, I used Photo Brush by Bobby & Sam’s Software. The followings are parts of my works! So cute, aren’t they?

logo with stars

"ZeptoTools" with stars

with dots and clovers

A girl with dots and clovers

Japanese style with musical notes

Japanese style with musical notes

Flowers with clovers

Flowers with pink clovers

Photo Brush is an application to “customize photos by using your finger as a paint brush and a large assortments of designs in a rainbow of colours as paint.” Lite version is also available!

If you’ve already enjoyed iShodo with other applications or in another amazing way, why don’t you show it to us on facebook?

Of course, we are developing new applications, at the same time, we are improving and finding a new way of use in the current apps!

Hope your continual love for ZeptoTools,

Bye☆

By the way, 10 years later, what will happen to computers in the office?

Ryo says there will be no computer in the offices.

At first I couldn’t believe his words, because he loves computers so much! But I understand the meaning of his words as he continued the story.

In the future, People won’t use computers except some who have computer-specialized jobs.

It is only during these 10 years that each people in the office became able to use at least one computer. So, situation will change greatly as well.

Now, liquid-crystal display is widely used. But it was so expensive only a few years ago and instead of it, CRT was taking space on the desk. Thanks to the low price of note PC, address-free offices became possible.

The next stage of “note PC” will be “no PC.”

In fact, now, more people can do their work only with iPhone.

Firstly, “no PC” life will be started by the persons whose work is done mainly by meeting and exchanging e-mail. Such persons lack of time and have higher status, so people around them can adjust their schedule to the persons. Gradually, “no PC” life style will prevail into the people who does not always use PC. And after 10 years, there is no computer in the office.

Furthermore, business e-mail has much redundant. Greetings nor Salutations are not necessary.

Actually, between colleagues in the same company, less and less greetings are used. The day would come before so long when people use only content words in their e-mail, “next week, meeting, afternoon, member XX, CC all,” like this. You may not believe but only for about 10 years since all colleagues have their e-mail address of their company.

So, 10 years is enough time to make work style change so different.

The number of computers is increasing rapidly. So, one day, it may turn on its head.

Because computers are big, space taker, and not convenient. Cannot bring in my pocket.

Note PC is after all, “note” PC.

The size won’t be smaller than the PC like type P. However, this size is still a bit too large to bring in one’s pocket. Even in one’s pocket, PC will protrude whilst walking like the clip above.

In Microsoft’s clip, there seems to be no computer. It may be common and unspoken agreement that a computer as a device is disappearing from the office. Considering this, Microsoft predicts the relevant future. Present PC is denied in a sense by the company whose heart of products is PC.

PC will dissolve into a form which is accessed by new paper or new card.

In the world as such, Microsoft will develop their computer. Won’t they?

This is the future story Ryo told me the other day.After I heard the story, I felt a concern for salesmen of Microsoft. My one concern is that they may be confused by the clip, thinking “which Windows should I sell?”

future

Are you tired with this series? But I will continue the future story imagined by a computer cowboy.

Do you remember “alternative paper” is one of the concepts of ZeptoTools. This post is related to the concept.

Regarding the Microsoft’s clip again, people seem to use electric paper in the video.


We can find some animation on the newspaper, but I humbly say that it is just redundant. Users want to spend their time in another way rather than watching not so informative animation.

Furthermore, in the clip, detail information will come up by tapping the article. That means only one and small screen is enough to read the newspaper. Such a big screen in the clip is not demanded.

In the future, people will not read newspaper, even if by means of electronic paper.

Then, into what shape will newspaper transform? Ryo predicts that it will into general-purpose reading device, like Kindle.

Kindle is not the exact one Ryo thinks. Though, it indicates the direction to the future form of stationary, it cannot be said as future book. Present books are more legible.

Ryo thinks Kindle will be thicker and a little smaller.

All pages will be liquid-crystal displays. The first model has 64 pages, and the second 128 pages. Little by little, the number of pages will increase.

Because, book is a bundle of paper.

The significant usability of book is turning pages.

But, this prediction may fall short. If people are satisfied with present Kindle, color display and thinner body would be enough renovation of Kindle. 8 pages is enough to display whole information. Because 200 pages is enough at present.

But Ryo wants to remain spreads of the book. So he wants Kindle to be folding shape which has at least 2 screens.

This ASUS’s concept model of dual-screen will be sophisticated in next 10 years. I heard that electronic paper with touch screen has been already innovated though it is still in experimental stage.

These accessories and mobile phones, and HMD (glasses-screen) will share the system each other under some common features.

Pervasive computing is the exact one.

This concept is implied and seems to be main theme in Microsoft’s clip. I make completely no objection to it. Microsoft, by for now, has not shown any concrete ideas of pervasive computing. Ryo personally thinks pervasive computing will be developed not by Microsoft, but by some others.

W3C’s concept is much similar to pervasive computing, but seems not to have so positive attitude to it.

Apple has the potential most. Google may make the similar one and open it.

So, one of them, some of them or any other company will construct the infrastructure of pervasive computing in near future. Microsoft may be one of them.

If the function of screen is transplant into glasses, future mobile will be in pen-like shape.

Also if you want, camera can be built in either pen or glasses like the picture above.

A pen itself is not futuristic, but the shape of pen has potential.

Because, it is long enough to build an antenna and normal batteries in.

10 or 20 years later, no one will use pens with ink, but one’s suit jacket still has inside pocket. Next Jobs (or possibly Lisa Jobs?) will take the pen-mobile out of the pocket without knowing the original use of the pocket. In such scenario, pen-shaped mobile may be introduced in the future, as Jobs took iPod nano from his pocket on the event of its introduction. Apple-addicted boy, Ryo thinks such things.

To be continued… but tomorrow the story will reach the climax!!

If people can manipulate a mobile and use the functions of it without its screen nor key pad, hands of human being becomes free again while they are walking.

To use an advanced mobile, people always use at least one hand. If the mobile is not advanced, they have to use two hands.

However, future mobile which adopt the technology of mobile computing, does not need to use hands.

When you want to get information, you read the info on the screen of glasses or on the mobile-screen shaped like book.

Remember when you use a mobile. Human beings, or recent mobile human beings use a mobile switching two modes.

One is an active mode which is sending and receiving information, such as sending e-mail, writing one’s blog or searching for something on the web.

The other is passive mode which is only receiving information, like seeing other’s blog, reading spam mails, or surfing social network sites and so on. It’s the mode just killing time.

Generally, most of people’s mobile experience is the latter, passive mode.

Ryo likes writing his blog, but he says that he would be tired if he spent the most of the day writing the blog with his mobile.90% purpose to use mobile is to kill time. It may not the case only for Ryo.

If this fact thought, it can be said that human beings check or use mobiles when they want to receive information passively.

Then, there is no need for mobiles to keep the shape of “mobile phone.”

The shape doesn’t have to be fixed. Shape of book, glasses, or anything else.

But, in the present shape of “mobile phone,”  a communication tool, a battery, and a liquid-crystal display are contained in minimized size which science technology can offer now. Actually, in the past, the shape was smaller, but became rather bigger because characters or screen was too small and the usability was not good.

However, few intellectual activities are done with mobile. So few, that there is no problem for mobile to remove the function for intellectual activity.

You can get the information for pleasure or kill time on the glasses-screen.

With a mini-camera in the glasses-screen, reading the movement of eye, computer roughly understand which part of the information you are reading, or which you ignore. By doing it, the screen will automatically proceede pages. And proceeding pages is enough function for the receiving information.

During passive mode, people don’t expect useful or new information.

For example, on Twitter, Ryo follows more than 300 users, and is followed by more than 1300 users, but 90% of the information is just “twitter.”

As TV, the extreme way which continually provides exciting information need to be watched.

Both when one sees good pages randomly chosen, like on Stumbleuupon, and when on Trumblr, see one’s favourite time lines, to sum up, are just seeing something.

Like Cover Flow of Safari4, the screen is always displayed within your visibility, and if you find something new, you just make some action (shaking mobile, using device for input and output etc.) to know more about the information.

http://gyazo.com/bdf6402ce16c337457bf9b4d13465765.png

If the Cover Flow of Safari 4 is futuristic browser, our a year ago project was really relevant to it.

http://www.uei.co.jp/img/img_sitesneaker2007.jpg

However, the present system of mobiles is not completely suitable for “just seeing” something aimlessly.

There are not much enough contents for mobiles nor agencies to make and maintain the contents. The task from now on is how stimulate the motivation to do it.

It can be said that present Trumber or social bookmarks are not for general, but for some fans. The fans intensely use them. To be for general, one should not be specialized something. If such bookmarks become for general people, they may become boring at the same time because they lack speciality.

I should not ignore that mobile are communication tools, and screens are necessary for the function after all.

But how many contacts are created in your phonebook? 10? 50? Or 100? Only well-experienced sales men or secret brokers need to access to all of 100 contacts immediately. For them, I definitely recommend using mobiles with screens.

If one usually make phone calls within less than 10 people, one’s mobile does not need such a great screen.

How about pen-shape mobile? Turning and pushing the button, isn’t it enough handling to make a phone call? To input contact list, one’s mobile just touch the others, or send the information by e-mail or something.

That sounds a little unrealistic, but not impossible. With the glasses-screen, one can use the pen-shape mobile as a pointing device.

To be continued…

This is the story of the future imagined by a Japanese cyberspace cowboy, Ryo.

As a leading company, Microsoft shows the bright future vision and image of IT in this clip.

Like Microsoft, I’d like big companies to make people happy with their bright vision. This clip is really cool. It’s clear and easy to understand the convenience of future technology and how will the technology become. It also shows the clear direction of the business world.

But, if I could say, when will the transparent touch screen be made?  By 2019, will it ready for sale? Actually 10 years ago, Japanese mobile company made a video under the similar concept to it. In addition, the cool technologies in the clip are unrelated to the products of Microsoft. No Windows, no Office.  They predicts completely new products of their brand?

Contrary to it, Apple’s Knowledge Navigator visualized the “future products of Apple.”

Anyway, Microsoft shows the vision as a leading company. Then, what do we, UEI, as a follower company, show our vision?

Ryo thinks, in the future, there is few screens on everything.

Microsoft seems to be going to expand the possibility of “Windows,” he thinks the function of screen will be less important thought still some needed. Rather, computers will be less and less.

In our future life, computer will disappear. At least, it will completely transform.

For example, thought, Microsoft shows “Digital Wallet,” he thinks the future wallet differently.

Because we’ve already used “Felica,” a  wallet in mobile which can function as a wallet, credit cards, transportation cards, point cards, without switching the functions on the screen. Adopting the technology of Felica, many cards are easily integrated into one device.  You can use even when the device’s power is off because it is magnetic device.

So, “Felica” is the good example of no-screen computing, sometimes, no-power.  Technology of this kind will be expanded wholly  in the future.

However, screens won’t disappear suddenly. Many people, including Ryo, will be troubled by such sudden disappearing of screens. Little by little, not sure in 10 or 20 years, but it will disappear before so long.

Instead, as alternative to the screens, for instance, glasses will be used.

http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/NEWS/20080226/147981/080226_Olympus_HMD_03.jpg

On the glasses, information of what you see in real time is displayed. This is the next stage. I cannot say so confidently that it become popular. It also can be said such glasses won’t be popular.

In any case, finally people need not read words. “Inspiration” comes to you when you are walking.

“That restaurant seems to be good.”

Inspiration like this is sent by the mobile directly to you. You may think it is unrealistic, considering the development of neuroscience. But Ryo dares to think for the future of 10 years after. Impossibility will make things progress.

In addition, “notification” only is not so difficult. Vibration of a mobile is the function to notify something.

The vibration “tells” something when you are walking on the road. From the patterns of vibration, you can know what it “tells,” such as receiving e-mail, incoming call or  notification that your something favourite is near.

This time, one of the patterns of them tells you that your favourite restaurant is near.

http://pds2.exblog.jp/pds/1/200807/06/83/f0026783_12375070.jpg

You happen to be hungry, so you go to the restaurant. The restaurant’s owner pays the affiliate fee  to the agency for your entering.

As this example shows, screens are not needed.

Inspiration, rather, like a situation someone who knows you well notifies on your shoulder. Like friends, lovers, the person who understand your favourite, it can tell you which restaurant is your favourite without words. If this “conversation” is done appropriately, it can be said smooth communication method.

Input your detail profile or preferences, the mobile analyses your preference and suggest suitable things. Having such a mobile phone, you can get the information without seeing screens.

To be continued…

Today, talking about our history.

Because, Zeptotools is not famous team. and may be anybody don’t know about us.

So, this is self introducing entry.

We live in Tokyo Japan, our headoffice nearby Akihabara. Yes, the most famous OTAKU city Akihabara.

You know, we aren’t fluent in English. But We want to make you know about us.

If you have a time, please teach us about mistake or strange expression of this blog.

 

 

Anyway, this is our adventure story.

This story is beginning from a small demo code.

We are part of small company UEI. UEI originates in Ubiquitous Entertainment Incorporlated. But this is too longer name of company. So we called UEI.
As you know, Japan is the most successful mobile content country in the world.
Ryo Shimizu, the founder of UEI, he made a first successful original game content for mobile in Japan.
Naturally, UEI became mobile content developer in Japan.
And our lab is part of research section of UEI.
One day. Makoto Kondo,the researcher of UEI was researching about jail broken iPhone.
In past, he made some demos of multi touch screen.

100% Pure flash based multi touch user interface testbed

This is inspired by Jeff Han’s demo. 
This made from 1 video camera with IR filter and 1 projector.
All program code are written by ActionScript3.0.
And the other hand. Ryo Shimizu was researching about new generation web browser.
Why he made such a demo?
He thought that web experience should be more explorable.
So he called this demo  “True Internet Explorer”.
And also he tried to work with Wii remote.
Mainly interest of us is a more exciting experience by computers.
And then, we provided first public demo “SiteSneaker2007″. That programmed by Makoto Kondo.

100% Flash based 3-Dimensional Web Browser

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.