Hello everyone,

We made promotion video of Zeptopad Planner Note.

General manipulation, mind mapping, changing fonts, etc.. The video quickly shows how to use the app. (But the narration is in Japanese)

Now UEI staff all use Zeptopad to take minutes in every meeting. One of our staff made his report of WWDC 2010 with the app!

If you use this app, it will help you to take idea notes, make reports, or giving any presentation.

Please check it!

The next upgrade will come soon!

Now, I’m leaving for Cannes because Ryo will give a speech at Cannes Lions International Advertisement Festival!

I’ll add a post about it.

See you soon:)

Advertisements

As their annual visiting, cyberspace Cowboys went to Shenzen and Hong Kong looking for something interesting. 

Mr Yamane, a specialist of mobile phones, guided them. He showed and is showing really interesting things there. 

The first thing cowboys saw was a felt case for iPhone looks like iPhone. Other members got it the day before their arrival. How well made it is! We were really impressed that details of iPhone design was well realized on the felt, such as Bluetooth. 

It is a fake and smaller iPhone.

After such a surprize, they arrived Shenzen. Contrary to their concern that travellers may be victims to robbers, the place was so calm and not danger for traveller so much. The prices are not high, there are less beggars. Situation of Shenzen are surely changing.

OPhone is one of things cowboys wanted to get during this travel. Mr Yamane took them to the shop and they could get it easily, though he said OPhone is really popular in China and he concerned that it might be sol out. 

Customers are buyers from  all over the world. So many professionals gather there. The place is so flank and there are no dress code, people casually came there as if they come to groceries for vegetable or fruits. The place is such electric device market.  

We thought that inside of shops are similar to a radio department store in Akihabara, Japah. Shops gather closely. Many small shops are in one big building. They eat on the counter of the electronic shops.  They don’t waste their time, they do other things in their free time.

 Many shops are  being specialized, for instance, this shop specializes in stylus pens.

Here is a mock-up specialized shop, iPhone cases shops,etc.

iPhone cases are so popular there and really fashionable. They found many cases which we may not find in Japan, also its quality is good and the price is cheap. About 250 yen (2.8 USD) per one! They found a building where all shops of a floor sell the cases.  

Next, look. What do you think are they?

 They are all mobile phones!

These are fake “iPhone”s!! But they work as mobile phones properly… :-O 

Cowboys were trully satisfied with visiting there. When they returned to Hong Kong, cowboys asked unlimited mobile connection. Mr Yamane told them to buy the device of Android and SIM cards and took them to a high-tech devices market.

They got HTC TATOO, the latest HTC device. HTC TATTOO was a device for Android which equipped with unique ODP, HTC SENSE. 

This is a SIMs shop.  The number lined on the table is phone numbers of the SIMs.  The price goes high if the number is a pun or a lucky number. They got a pay&go SIM for 3 days unlimited internet access, supporting HSDPA. costed 65 HK$. It would be much cheaper than LAN connection in hotels.

Mr Yamane said that, a Tiwanee chip maker, called MTK, has the biggest share in China. So more OS for devices in China become the OS which MTK distributes for free. The shipment of MTK based device is 100 millions per year! Incredible! Because chip-set Android is yet expensive so there are less kinds of it than other ones. However, more Android devices, like OPhone, will be developed in the future tanks to its free OS.

Though some expected, we actually realized the merit of Android in China and Hong Kong. Because, only in Japan there is no pay&go unlimited access SIM. In America or Europe, pay&go unlimited SIM is already available.  Everytime we go abroad on business, we should concern how much will international access cost by using our Japanese mobiles. But with such unlimited SIMs, using Androids would be much more convenient and cheaper. So global executive would prefer Android.

Also, we realized another thing. In this trip, Keith spend time watching Twitter and Hatena blogs with Japanese DoCoMo’s device. If compared with it, the Android device, HTC TATTOO, is really useful and has good UI though still less than iPhone. 

When we uploaded photos took with TATTOO, we were surprized with its high speed though its resolution is low. 

However, some features of Japanese mobile are still better. One is “decoration mail.” Android lacks the feature  to decorate its text or e-mail and that makes Android a bit unattractive. We hope an app to write decoration mail will be released soon.

The Android Market in HTC TATTOO was automatically upgraded and surprisingly it is far better than Google’s Android Market. But, there are no apps like Simeji or Twitdroid, so we suppose the Market might be developed only in China.  Such development would be popular in the world, rather, we hope that because of its convenience. 

Some apps like Simeji can be downloaded and be installed directly from maker’s page.  (We tried to install Simeji in OPhone, but failed… OPhone is not Android itself but Android based OS, that would be the reason of the fail.)

HTC TATTOO was so popular in Hong Kong. It is about 2900HK$, cheaper than HTC HERO for 900HK$. Also, the features are almost the same. These points might catch the attention of people. 

We are really looking forward the futures of Hong Kong, China, and Android. After several years, if MTK device sold in Shenzen changed into Android devices, we would use them anywhere by developing Japanese mode. Furthermore, when we suddenly become need mobile phones in foreign country, we will definitely buy Android mobile and install Simeji in it so that we can use it in Japanese. 

Android is certainly a potential device!

For further information of mobiles in Hong Kong, let’s visit Mr Yamane’s page!

For more pictures in Shenzen, please visit Shin Ishimaru’s blog😀

I suppose that Akihabara is well known as digital city in Tokyo. But do you know that on 12th October, some “adults” gathered there to play tag!!

Of course, it is unusual tag, it’s a “digital” tag using iPhone app for the play (currently available only in Japanese).

iPhone app for tag by Kunihiro Takedomi

iPhone app for tag by Kunihiro Takedomi

自分の今いてる場所が表示されます。レーダーを使うと鬼か逃亡者かはわからないですが参加者が緑で表示されます。その際他の参加者にはレーダーを使った人の方角が矢印で表示されます。

The map monitored by tag radar

Your current location is shown at the centre of the map. Players caught by app’s radar are shown as green points, though it is unsure they are It or not. The player can know the direction to the green points on the upper left of the screen.

When a player is trapped by virtual bomb of It

When a player is trapped by virtual bomb of It

It can leave a virtual bomb at its current place. If other players pass there, the location of the player is informed to It for 5 minutes. So the 5 minutes becomes hellish time for the player!

After got the app, shi3z became to try it really and 12 hours before the play, shi3z called for people to play with in Akihabara. On the day of tag, 2 pm, 18 free curious people gathered in front of Yodobashi-Akiba.

AR tag players

AR tag players

The players wore blue tape on their right arms so that players can distinguish the players from other people.

The followings are the rule of the tag.

  • Don’t trouble other people. (It was national holiday and many people were there!)
  • Don’t run.
  • When It catches a player, both It and the caught player will be It.
  • Don’t enter buildings. But passing under piloti is OK.
  • Follow the traffic rules as usual.
  • Time limit: 30 minutes.
  • It starts to play 5 minutes after others.

Thought the server of the app seemed to be not good and we couldn’t access to the map or use chat system at the beginning, we played tag 3 times.  From the second, It could remove their blue tapes to disguise them as usual passengers.

It looks for pray...

It looks for prey...

found preys!

found preys!

Oh, no, caught!

Oh, no, caught!

Radar in the tag

Radar in the tag

We could use the radar sometimes during the plays.  We found that the radar is a kind of sonar to roughly know the places of targets. The app doesn’t  distinguish It and other players. Though the system make the game more thrilling in a sense, we need another one to distinguish them.

We have done exciting 3 tag plays peacefully.  The official event will be taken place on 24th October. We hope the server will be fixed and system will work properly. But anyway, it was really nice time to play such a technological tag. Thank you players for coming!! When shall we meet up for the next?

“All work and no play makes a computer cowboys a dull boy.”

Like the last 2 Cowboy Championships, after the 3rd Cowboy Championship, “alty party THE FINAL” took place!

Alty party is famous for not only its contents, but also its luxuriousness and quality of food, lottery, and maybe, probably or certainly, its souvenir. All computer cowboys who attended the WCCC can join it for free!

The prizes of lottery were OLYMPUS PEN, MacBook Pro, and Pioneer KURO!! I wanted…but mine was blank… X(

Alty gave talk session with Shinichi Nakamoto

talksession

Also, Cyberspace Cowboys gave mini-live concert!

The guests received sovenirs at the end of the party. Last year, I remember, it was … amazing, incredible, or appetite lose disgusting looking blue curry…!! (But the taste was good. I guarantee.) So, I expected this year, the souvenir would be other color curry, but I was wrong. The souvenir was …

bluebeer

Blue Beer!!! X(X(X(X( oh… I haven’t opened the cap actually. In addition, an original comic featuring Shi3z was distributed as its souvenir!! I cannot help being surprised by such unexpected items!

Luxury items we also found in the hall of WCCC.

180 Rodeo trophies

These are not jellies. They are the trophies for 180 Rodeos. In the crystal, an image of the microprocessor, Z80, is inscribed!

keyboard

It is a laxury lacqured HG JAPAN model keyboard. Costs over 500,000 yen!!

Incredible, strange, and surprising. The party and items provide us with entertainment. It is so sad that alty party was the final. But we’ll do best to provide more entertainment instead of alty!!

Enjoy your blue beer 😀

This is a continuation of the post about the World Computer Cowboy Championship day 1. The excitement of the previous day still remained among cowboys, and another excitement, day 2, came.

Day 2

The keynote for day 2 was given by Shinji Higuchi. 
He is a famous animation and SFX director in Japan and let us hear about the “Tokusatsu,” the special effects used for animation and films. Based on his experience as the director of Japan Sinks, Evangelion, Gamera series, and so forth.

keynote 2

He said that  the way to create attractive  and amazing visual effects is to add spice of something new to current technology. So he expects that better technology and better programming will make his film more attractive.

What he said important is that both artificial and natural elements are necessary to keep his SFX real. Excess of the digital defeats the real and excess of the real also defeats the digital. The balance of two is a key.

 

180 Rodeos: General

As Day 1, after the keynote, 180 Rodeos were given. That time was for general people. Thanks many challengers for joining the Rodeo! I would like to introduce all, but sorry, it is too many to do it. So,  I will introduce the three who won the prizes.

Kaisei Hamamoto
His BlogPolis is the search engine which visualize the popularity of blogs. This engine will possibly be applied to other systems, not only blog. He won the 1st prize in the whole 180 rodeos! congratulations!

Sunao Hashimoto
Picopon, the abbreviation of “Pico projector and Wii remote controller,” which project an image by the same way as normal Wii controller. This was the first prize in General section.

Takashi Ogura
He won the second prize in General section. His humanoid robot has iPhone 3G on his face.
The speaker, microphone, and camera became a mouth, ears, and eyes respectively. The robot wakes you up by tapping you physically!

 

Cowboy Rodeos

Takuma Iwasa(the president of Cerevo and known as “Waren-osyo”)
Cerevo is a maker of home electronics. His topic was about the projects to change the consumer electronics. The topic’s interesting point was the camera connect to network and share the photos on the internet. such as Cerevo Cam or DevCam project.

Kinya Tagawa (design engineer and the founder of takram)
takram is the company whose developing approaches is based on both design and engineering. The company developed many interesting products such as Phasma, i-Widget and Afterglow. In addition to that, he emphasized the importance of demonstration as well as  specification. To confirm the relevance of abstract planning, he always does concrete proof.

Naoko Tosa (a professor of Kyoto University and a media artist)
Her rodeo topic is about cultural computing and a software which connect culture, unconsciousness, and imagination.  Noticing the importance of own culture, she tries to add it to computers which tried to globalize to excluded the local uniqueness. In Zenetic Computer, which featured Japanese Culture and Sansui-zen, her unique project are fully expressed.

Tosa

Shiroh Kawai (the developer of Gauche and an actor)
An expert of LISP talked about, of course, LISP. LISP can cheat and change the limitation of program. He also questions the rules of physics that we naturally take for granted and suggested the possibility to change it.

Kawai

Isamu Kaneko
He talked about a new humanoid model. Based on real neuroanatomy, he analyzed the study model and pattern of reword gaining learning process. His goal is to equip the artificial human brain with computer!

Toshiyuki Masui (the developer of POBox and a professor of Keio University)
He suggested the smooth information communication in the future without “redundant” processes, such as registration, password, naming the files, and so forth. The samples systems are such as gyazz and Gyazo. His wide range of user interface research is aimed at realization of ubiquitous computing and smooth information communication.

Masui

 

His rodeo was the end of Day 2. All programs of Cowboy Championship has done. It was so exciting and impressive experience for us. Tokuriki said on his blog that the Cowboy Championship was an event like TED. He also pointed out that people with the same interests tend to gather in the same topic on the internet, but the Cowboy Championship added the elements of entertainment and design to it so that something new would be created as a chemical reaction. (translation mine)  

Ito said on his article in Ascii, that if I say in commonplace words, it gave me an energy. In other words, it showed me the bright future certainly waiting for us by smart brain and surprisingly wide knowledge. (translation mine) 

We believe that people who came to the event certainly got something in theirselves. Also we are really happy if people enjoy the event and the event showed you something helpful or hopeful.

To win the championship, developers should polish their skills, and their polished skills will develop more useful, helpful or creative things.  We hope such merit cycle would be happened by this Championship where from students to specialists involve.

Also, for ubiquitous computing, technology or idea should not always be exclusive. It would be better to be shared with a variety of people and to be understandable for non-experts too. 

Hoping that these events could provide some merit cycle, we think about the next WCCC.

operation

WCCC operation team

Our Crazy? Experiments

September 25, 2009

I really appreciate CrunchGear‘s and other articles introducing our ARider project! They are both famous media in US so I’m really excited by that!!

One of Zeptotools member, shi3z (follow him “shi3z” on twitter!), uses the ARider devices everyday to move anywhere in the centre of Tokyo. Downtown of Tokyo is  not so big geographically, but it has over 10 millions  population in just about 10 miles diameter. Its population rate is less than half of NewYork’s, but the number of population in the cnter of Tokyo is 5 times of NY.

So, to move around the downtown by bicycle is easier than expected. Bicycles take us to all the places of business partners. 

Some people worry about using the device when it rains, that is also our fear. To avoid getting iPhone wet, we usually bring it in our pockets.

Furthermore, using an originally “renovated” connector for iPhone, iPhone and a HMD can be directly connected.

This solves the problem of getting cables entangled 😉

At first, we tried to see the map on the HMD, but seeing it during the ride is dangerous. So, we made just arrows to a goal and time displayed on the HMD. Currently blue arrow points the direction to Roppongi, green one does the direction to Akihabara, and red ponts the north. In addition to that, each length from current location is shown too. Such a simple display is much easier and safer to see during the ride.

However, using GPS long time needs much energy and the battery of iPhone becomes empty faster. We cannot solve tha problem up to now…

Furthermore, white screen of iPhone is difficult to see when it’s dark. But the problem is easy to solve. Just change the setting of the screen into black one at “setting” > “general” > “accessibility” on your iPhone! 

Our another play… no, “experiment” with HMD is as follows. The image captured by the superior digital SLR camera, EOS 5D MarkⅡ, is output on HMD like this.

If someone takes images from your back with the camera and you see it on the HMD, you may feel as if you were a FPS player! The imae on the HMD is truly “real”, isn’t it?

You can do it without your friends too if you have the camera attached to a tripod and bringing it on your back.

 

 Do you think we are crazy?

Maybe, you are right.

However, we believe such craziness is necessary for innovation!

Believeing such thing, we continue to play… explore the possibility of iPhone and HMD!

The World Computer Cowboy Championship (WCCC) the 3rd was successfully finished. It was held on August 29th and 30th 2009. Last 2 Championship were both held only for a day, but the 3rd was for 2 days! So that the contents of it were really variety, informative and exciting for all people!!

The theme of the 3rd Championship was “Code is Love.” Falling love with code, cowboys always thinks only one thing, code, code, and code! 

code is love

The Championship includes keynotes, Cowboy Rodeos and 180 Rodeos. In Cowboy Rodeos, computer cowboys gave presentations on their specialties. 180 Rodeos is the time for general persons and students to show their research or development to the public in 180 seconds.

After the Competition, Alty Party, the party “famous” to cowboys, was held.

For next a few posts, I will write about it. People both couldn’t and did go must check it! 

 

Day 1

The day 1 started with the opening ceremony by Shi3z and S-Ishimaru. 

Keynote 1

After that, a keynote was given by Furukawa Susumu (a professor of Keio University). The title was ‘Messages by an old cowboy, for those who continue the soul.’ (translation is mine.) It was truly informative keynote.

keynote 1

He spoke about his career and, based on it, talked about the movement and the prospective of technology recently used popularly or start to be used. On broadcasting devices, smartphones,  electronic paper market, problem of IP-TV, leadership, and so forth, his speech topics were various.

After working for Ascii publisher, he became the first president of Microsoft Japan.
Also, he emphasized the importance of clear vision statement to accomplish something. Some aspects of current computer were already mentioned by him thirty years ago in the postscript on Ascii magazine! 

 

180 Rodeos: Students

After such a big water fall information, it was exciting time for young and fresh cowboys,or “those who continue the soul” which Mr Furukawa just told. Takashi Aoki won the 1st prize and 2nd was won by Yasuhiro Takeda. The following is the brief introduction of their names and rodeo topics. You have to check these diamonds before they were caught!?    

180 rodeos

Kiyohiro Yamaguchi (The University of Tokyo)
An application of hit ranking on Tumblr.

Kimihiro Mizutani  (NAIST)
An program for all PCs which construct exclusive network such as only for management staffs.

Yuki Ikuta (Kyushu University)
Question and suggestion for Thunderbird; lack of showing the threads and narrowness of edit space.

Yasuhiro Takeda (Chuo University)
A solution for muscle training. “Muscaras” sends the training date to Twitter and cheering message will automatically twitted on Twitter.

Takashi Aoki (The University of Tokyo)
Virtual Time Machine that transform 2D photos into 3D one.

180 rodeos 2

Makoto Kondo (Keio University)
“iPhone Hack” uses the iPhone’s Voice Over feature and composes voices. The composed voice can “read”and “sing.”

180 rodeos 3

 

Cowboy Rodeos

After break time, the Rodeos were given. Those were, of course, all interesting and  we were all impressed!  

Toru Nishikawa (the president of Preferred Infrastructure)
He talked about searching systems. Because he spoke not with jargon but with plain words, his speech was easy to understand for non-expert. Also, what surprised the audience was the SSD type Sebue with 100,000 yen (1,100 US $) server. It searches the whole information in Wikipedia all over the world in 0.03 second!!

Nishikawa

Eiji Kamiya (the president of Ibis)                                                                                          His rodeo was about self-moving robotics. He researches and develops an original self-moving robot, Aibi, as his “hobby!” But well studied and based on the popular ways of robot development, his robotics skill is worth to be called an “expert.”

Kamiya

Tatsushi Yamada (known as Hacker Dude-san, “Kami-sama”)
He is the one who made the Palm popular in Japan. In addition to the reason why the Palm became not so popular, he talked about the project of “free office.”  He emphasized that it is important to construct comfortable working environment as well as the abolition of own desks.

Yamada

Katashi Nagao (a professor of Nagoya University)
His presentation was about the system to raise the productivity and effectively of meetings. The system transforms real meetings into contents. Also certain gestures by audience make it easy to judge the topic is new or succeeded one. The one of interesting points of his speech is that he used the interface which is hacked Wii controller!

Nagao

Kazuki Ota (the CTO of Preferred Infrastructure)                                                                        He just finished the internship of development IBM’s super computer, Blue Gene, so his topic about the future of computers was hot not only for us, but also for him! He introduced the trend of super computer and importance of developing anti-brakedown for the future super computer possibly with million cores.  He predicts that super computer in 2025 can emulate with human brain.

Ohta

 

Eichi Furukawa (the technical director of Ubiquitous Entertainment Inc.)
He was the final rodeo presenter of day 1, and talked with Shi3z and Shin Ishimaru. He has already focused on the Java application before it was supported by Japanese mobile phone systems. In addition to about Java application for mobile phone, he has already written 19 (!!) books about programming for Microsoft Robotics Studio, Adobe Air, Arduino, XNA, Android, and so forth since 2000.
“To prevail the technology.” For such a simple reason, he writes about complicated programming and makes it understandable for us.

Furukawa

 

The day 1 was closed with talking session by Satoshi Endo (Ascii Media Works) and Shi3z. 

talk session

As you have seen, the above all are the contents of only day 1! How variety and rich program! But I will write about day 2 (also about Alty Party!!) too not to be overcome by such a big programs.