Video Programs
Video Programs

Motorola Debuts 3G Smartphone in Japan

Motorola Debuts 3G Smartphone in JapanDoCoMo’s hybrid 3G-PDA M1000 handset is off the showroom floor and finally on the street. WWJ was at the launch event and we’ve put together a quick video program showing just what sort of hoops this smartphone jumps through. Previewed at an April 15 press conference, the tri-band business-use handset from Motorola juggles W-CDMA, GSM and GPRS for global roaming, opens Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs as well as PDF files, and allows multiple email functions including POP and IMAP email. Internet access channels through the Opera 7.5 browser. DoCoMo took the (daring) step of dropping i-mode capability for the M1000 in favor of global compatibility. More PDA than phone, all navigation is through the bright, 2.9-inch touch screen.

Digital TV Cell Phone Test Drive

Digital TV Cell Phone Test DriveDigital terrestrial broadcasting for mobile phones is scheduled to begin in Japan by spring 2006 and both Vodafone and KDDI had demonstration models up and running on the first day of the NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories open house yesterday. An annual event open to the public, this year’s show focused once again on digital TV broadcasting with three floors of cameras, servers, receivers and handheld devices. Mobile receivers drew packed crowds herded into Disneyland-style long lines waiting their turn to handle an 801SH Vodafone/Sharp CDMA Qualcomm handset. No bigger than a conventional cell phone, the 801SH has a hybrid split-screen displaying images on the upper half with the bottom reserved for scrolling data feeds and Web links to programming, etc. Exclusive from Wireless Watch Japan!

KDDI Launches Mobile EZ-Book Portal

KDDI Launches au Mobile Ez-Book PortalOnline bookstores are nothing new but KDDI has wrapped up a mobile reading solution that transforms cell phones into personal book-mobiles. Starting 21 April, EZ Book Land for au WIN EV-DO cell phones brings bestsellers, business titles, movie novelizations, manga (comics) and anime right onto handsets — 7,000 titles from ten sites. Like the EZ Channel video program service, books auto-download to subscribers late at night (when network demand is low) to be read at leisure with no connection fees to worry about. Viewer software is provided by the XMDF e-book viewer developed by Sharp for regular titles and Celsys Comic Surfing software for manga/anime. EZ Book Land partner Maruzen’s bookstore chain anchors the portal in the real world for book orders of the three-dimensional kind via au Books.

Omron's Face Recognition for Mobile

OKAO Vision Face Recognition Sensor technology for camera-enabled cell phones and other devices is an alternative to passwords or fingerprint scanners for security and access control. “The technology detects 80 points on the face” explained Mr. Masato Kawade, Senior Manager of Sensing & Control Technology Lab. The sensor tests successfully more than 99 times in 100, and is fully Symbian, BREW, embedded Linux, and ITRON OS compatible. “We feel there is a large potential in overseas markets.” said Kawade.

Sports Geek Heaven — Live Baseball for the Mobile Screen

Sports Geek Heaven -- Live Baseball for the Mobile ScreenThe weather is warming up and that means a lot more than Cherry Blossoms in this country — bring out the beer and bentos! Baseball season is back! The new season also brings some cool new technology that will knock pro baseball off the TV screen, out of the ballpark, through the sports bar doors’ and right onto your keitai screen. Like many traditional staples of entertainment here, pro baseball is going mobile — but with a decidedly animated twist.

Tokyo-based Craftmax’s Digital Stadium broadcasts select American and Japanese pro-ball games over DoCoMo 3G cell phones transforming live action into an animated play-by-play, pitch-by-pitch rendition of the game right down to ball speed and trajectory, complete with an electronic scoreboard, the roar of the crowd and sound effects for hits, runs and score changes. This is not fantasy baseball, and not an online game, but rather The Real Thing — rendered into animated avatars standing in for flesh-and-blood players. Check-out this quick video preview below of our upcoming program including a product demo and chat (which was for the most part in Japanese) with the company founder Mitsumasa Etoh.

KDDI Designing Studio: Video Tour

KDDI Harajuku Design Studio TourJapan’s wireless industry provides some of the coolest mobile experiences on planet Earth. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that mobile players here are also masters at the street-level marketing of cell phones and wireless services — and KDDI’s Designing Studio is not only the latest over-the-top effort at creating a consumer-targeted mobile funland, it’s also the best. In today’s program, WWJ’s Gail Nakada speaks with the Studio’s general manager, tours five floors’ worth of interactive games, live handsets and mobile demos, and plugs into Harajuku’s ultimate mobile zeitgeist.

Japan Rail, DoCoMo State Mobile Suica Plans

Mobile Suica Launch VideoRecently, East Japan Rail (JR East) and NTT DoCoMo held a press event in Tokyo to announce the January 2006 start of “Mobile Suica” which will allow i-mode phones to serve as train tickets. WWJ’s Gail Nakada filed her report here and today’s video program gives you a ring-side seat to learn how Big D and JR plan to win over the hearts, minds and wallets of millions of mobile-phone using commuters (and most of them are). As you’re watching today’s press conference, there are several key points to keep in mind. First, until now, it has in fact not been possible to use your phoneas a train ticket in Japan. Despite all the live demonstrations, trade show hypeand media speculation around FeliCa, the FeliCa-based Suica cards used by JR andthe FeliCa-based i-mode handsets sold by DoCoMo have been incompatible. Yes, you could use your FeliCa handsets to buy a ticket, but the phone itself was not the ticket.

Mobile Intelligence from CEATEC Japan

Panasonic CEATEC TourIn today’s program, we speak with Yutaka Nakamae from Panasonic’s Corporate External Relations Group who met with us during last fall’s CEATEC consumer electronics show in Tokyo. While there’s plenty of eye candy, including Panny’s 900iV (released in mid-2004), some skin-able models to please those who can’t decide on their favorite color and the very cool GSM X700 (now on sale in Europe), the real intelligence relates to finding our who’s boss in the carrier/manufacturer relationship (Hint: Who owns the customer?). Today’s proggy is not only a fun one — showing some great cellys from the October CEATEC show — but it also reconfirms the reality of the relationship between cell-phone makers and cellular operators in Japan — in this case, Panasonic and DoCoMo.

3G FOMA 901i Launch

3G FOMA 901i Series LaunchThe 901i-series of 3G FOMA cell phones is DoCoMo’s latest tactical weapon in Japan’s escalating “lighter and smarter” mobile arms race. The four 901i handsets come packed with sophisticated go-go fun: twin stereo speakers and spatially enhanced sound; fat video and music files (500KB); pre-loaded games from Square Enix, Capcom and others; FeliCa smart-card e-wallet functions (in three models); 2-megapixel cameras; a TV guide for accessing TV program listings as far as eight days in advance (in one model) with genre and keyword searches including customized settings and registration for favorite TV shows plus it doubles as a remote control for TVs, DVD-Ds and VTR machines. Wow!

MobaHo!: Satellite Broadcast to Mobile

MobaHo: Satellite Broadcast to MobileIn the mobile space, Asia is a huge, innovate-or-die marketplace, and MobaHo! — a joint venture of 88 Japanese and Korean companies — is gambling Big Money that Asians will want satellite TV and radio broadcasts beamed from the sky direct to their handheld receivers, cell phones and car-mounted tuners — and maybe even iPods in the future. Today, we go eye-to-eye with Mobile Broadcasting Corp. for a first-on-the-Web videocast featuring facts, analysis and great eye-candy of MobaHo’s latest digi satellite terminals.