What Else Can They Put on a Cellphone

A quick update from the eastern front as Japan gets back to work here after our annual Golden Week (spring vaction) break. As usual this time of year is a slow news cycle – combined with great weather outdoors – so we got a bit of fresh air and had some unusual free surf time. Hence this super clip from utube of the new Sumsing Turbo 3000 Xi model which seems to have a few ‘interesting’ options not yet available. We also tinkered with the website so that it now “auto-renders” (hopefully) an improved custom mobile friendly version, give it a try from both your PC & handset. Little doubt that same style update is long overdue here on the Wireless Watch Japan site too. As usual, your valuable feedback is always most welcome.. Ganbarimasho!

DoCoMo Marks a Strategic Shift

DoCoMo Marks a Strategic ShiftMasao Nakamura, President and CEO of NTT DoCoMo, made a presentation here recently to announce the companies new corporate identity, and more importantly strategy, will be ‘reborn’ after careful consideration of the ever evolving domestic mobile industry. He characterized the years past as a period defined by innovation driven tactics to gain new net subscribers and increase market share. However, with recent developments — including the impact of Mobile Number Portability, intense competition from new operators and the end of subsidized handset offerings — the environment has changed. Feeling that the DoCoMo “brand had diminished” and the company was “facing a crisis” Nakamura-san established (and led) the new branding division announced in August 2007.

On behalf of DoCoMo he pledged four commitments as the platform base:

1 – Polish-up the brand and strengthen ties with the customers
2 – Listen to the voices of customers and become a company that can beat their expectations
3 – Continue making innovations and aim to become a company highly appraised by the world
4 – Become a group of people with lively spirits who will keep-on challenging toward a common dream

Following those “Pillars” Nakamura-san stated that going forward the expectations of their existing subscribers will be given the highest priority. Together with special advisor Masahikko Uatoni, Chairman of Coca-Cola Japan, they began by reviewing market data and customer opinions to map a future roadmap, which clearly goes far beyond a new logo, for the company.

Google Android GPS Application

Rafael Spring, and his partner, Max Braun, were thoughtful enough to ping us here at WWJ with an interesting tip. They have created a 3d-navigation and location targeting system, code named Enkin, as a submission for the first round of the Google Android Developer Challenge. The pair are students of Computational Visualistics in Koblenz, Germany and started this project when they were in Japan for robotics research. See their video and very detailed .pdf after the jump.

YAPPA 3D User Interface – Video Interview

YAPPA 3D User Interface - Video InterviewWe sat down with Masahiro Ito, founder and CEO of YAPPA Corp., last week and were entirely impressed with both the product presentation and his charming ease when discussing the mobile industry. We managed to get a sneak preview of their so-called Spin UI Effect Engine and with the press release now public we’re thrilled to go live with this report. The company has an admirable list of top-tier clients, including the 3D Box UI on Sharps device for eMobile, and is growing beyond Japan with several offices overseas.

MasterCard Sponsors 3GTV Japan

MasterCard’s sponsorship of Japan Fashion Week’s “3GTV Japan” has been the first to use the latest branded interactive mobile video service – MobiActions. Visitors of Japan’s MasterCard Fashion week, were prompted to videocall into the MasterCard branded MobiActions service and leave a videoblog (Vlog) of their experience of the MasterCard Fashion experience. This was then posted directly to the live JFW website, where other mobile videobloggers could view their comments.

i-channel Subscribers Exceed 15 Million

DoCoMo announced today that subscribers to their i-channel news service surpassed 15 million on January 3, 2008. The achievement came nine months after surpassing 10 million subscribers and two years and three months after the service’s launch (WWJ video). The monthly cost of the service is 150 yen and there is no extra charge for headlines sent to the subscriber phone’s standby screen, but packet charges apply when detailed content is viewed.

Sony to Demo TransferJet at CES

Sony has announced “TransferJet”, a new Close Proximity Wireless Transfer Technology enabling the high speed transfer of large data files (photos, HD images, etc.) between electronic devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, digital video cameras, computers and TVs. Using this technology, data can be sent at speeds of 560Mbps. Sony will present reference exhibits of this newly developed technology at CES International, to be held in Las Vegas from January 7th.

LifeWatcher Gets Red Herring Global Award

Mobile Healthcare has been selected as a winner of the Red Herring 100 Global Award. This list of the best 100 privately held companies in the world recognizes those that play a leading role in technology innovation around the globe. The company has been getting a lot of attention for it’s LifeWatcher application and we are pleased to note that WWJ spotted the significance of this story – video interview here – way back in 2003. Congrats!

DoCoMo Introduces New 3G Kids Phone

DoCoMo has just announced the F801i, a new child-friendly 3G mobile phone loaded with special features designed for children, will go on sale December 20. Building on the popular FOMA SA800i model that DoCoMo released in March 2006, the F801i offers many new or improved child-friendly features for security, theft/loss prevention, ease of use and more. The phone’s soft-rectangle shape and round speaker grille enclosed by a ring-shape LED were conceived by renowned designer Kashiwa Sato to symbolize safety, peace of mind, creativity and the future. The package also comes with a wristwatch style ‘amulet’ remote which can be used to make a lost phone beep if within a range of about 10 meters. If the handset remains out of the amulet’s range for more than five minutes, a message can be sent automatically to a registered DoCoMo phone.

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-Series

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-SeriesDomestic market incumbant NTT DoCoMo came out with all guns blazing during their press conference at the Grand Park Hyatt in Tokyo on November 1st. For the first time ever they combined the launch for both of their upcoming 700 and 900 series models – a record 23 handsets unveiled at once – and the announcement included several new service offerings as well. Marking another notable difference from previous line-up introductions was the absence of Natsuno-san, famed ‘father of i-mode’ and always energetic MC, from the stage.

The companies flag-ship 905i-series included 10 models which will all come fully loaded with high-speed HSDPA, 1Seg digitial-tv, DCMX m-commerce, GPS, 2in1 dual-sim identity and enabled with GSM chipsets to allow global roaming complete with voice-to-text translation capabilities for English, Chinese and Japanese. Further enhancements in handset design include increased multi-media applications in motion sensor gaming, flat-rate music subscriptions and i-motion videos along with updated i-area mapping and cell broadcast emergency announcement services and Flash Lite 3 pre-installed all coming as standard features across the board.