iPhone App Developers Bring Their Presentations in Ginza

There was a meet-up of the presentations by the iPhone app developers at Apple Store Ginza.

It was crowded because Ryuichi Sakamoto also had a session following this meet-up.   I didn’t have enough room to take a note, but recorded it with qik.

(In its final part, my camera were looking towards the ceiling as opposed to the presenters.)


Nobi Hayashi

Contents Idea of Asia (C.I.A.)

Sun Denshi

Ubiquitous Entertainment

B3 United



J’s Avenue

s21g LLC (PokeDia)

Royal Gadget

Tumbourine Producers



Bottle Cube

G Clue

Former Tokyo Disneyland Producer Unveils His Secret

Mr. Teiichiro Hori, who persuaded Wall Disney Company to found the Disneyland in Tokyo, authored an audiobook titled “How to Attract and Gather the People”.

I actually attended his lecture a long time ago, and then he look so frank as not to have made such a great achievement, where I was so excited to listen to his story.

Hori Teiichirou

(Clicking the image shown above will launch your iTunes and take you to the page.)

Some friends of mine and Mr. Hori’s grandson were involved in making this audiobook, and now we can listen to his great story even with the iPhone/iPod.

Leaving the story in text is good, and so is it in audio form as well.

This is like the audio edition of “My Resume Column” which is always placed on the cover of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun or Japan Economic Journal.

TV-Tokyo has been broadcast its visual edition, but we cannot watch it in crowded commuter trains.   Alternately, shall we invest in what we want to be  by listening to audiobooks where we cannot read newspaper not book?

Audiobook title: How to Attract and Gather the People
Authored by: Teiichiro Hori and Sadayuki Yamaoka
Arranged by: Leisure News Service
Narrated by: Ryoko Taki

Mitsui VC Holds Business Plan Competition for Cellphone Apps

There was the award presentation ceremony of the business plan competition held last Tuesday in Akihabara by Mitsui & Co’s venture capital firm.

IT journalist Nobuyuki Hayashi, Satoshi Endo from Ascii Research Institute, and Takashi Betsui from CNET Japan were invited as judges for the competition’s awards, I attended the event because interesting persons came together to give their presentation on the stage.

Snapshot at the venue of i*deal competition

I wrote a story about the event, and contributed it to Asiajin.
Akiba mobile app biz plan competition held by Mitsui VC

(Proofread by Mr. Sean O’Hagan, and he corrected the story I’ve written in English.)

Live: Introduction to iPhone Apps Made in Japan

This year’s MacWorld would get relatively calmer because Steve Jobs was not on the stage, but there’s an event at SixApart HQ near the venue of MacWorld in San Francisco, introducing iPhone Apps made in Japan by the developers themselves coming from Tokyo. Led by famous IT journalist, Nobi Hayashi.

As of the time when I’m posting this message, there’re doing the presentation and broadcasting live on uStream as follows.


More Difficult than Expected to sell Ringtone at iTMS Japan

It’s really in late fall on Japanese calendar, but a little bit earlier to see the season’s most beautiful mountains covered with fall foliage.   Here in Lake Yamanaka, there is an annual fall foliage festival for two-weeks-long starting last weekend.

My mentor invited me here, and I talked a lot about Apple and its surroundings with him and Matsuki-san.

Matsuki-san, who has been releasing and selling Audiobook series at iTune Music Store (iTMS) Japan, started selling some albums of ringtones for iPhone as well.

iTMS U.S. allowed users to pick a specific 30-second-part of tunes listed, for setting it to ringtone of their own iPhones.

Japanese edition does not have such a feature, which maybe depends on the difference of copyright control system in each nation.   In Japan, “Chaku-Melo” (ringtone without performer’s voice singing lyric) requires paying copyright fee only to its composer via JASRAC or Japan’s copyright control authority, but “Chaku-Uta” (ringtone with performer’s voice singing lyric) does paying fees both to its record label company as well as to its composer.   But if someone picked a short-time part of an entire tune and made it a ringtone of his or her iPhone device, iTMS Japan would have no business scheme to handle it.

Matsuki-san overcame these issues and started selling brand-new Chaku-Uta tunes at iTMS Japan.   iTMS Japan does not allow to pick a specific part of tunes listed, but you may bring your favourite ringtone to your iPhone by the procedure almost same as that of U.S. edition described above.

At MOSA’s seminar scheduled on November 8th, he intends to explain how to overcome the issues on registration to iTMS and AppStore.


So stay tuned on that.

Live Stream by iPhone Alone

When I was participating Tech Crunch 50 in San Francisco last month, I found a cute Chinese-American girl at an exhibitor’s booth.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a shot with her then, but she explained qik, an innovative cellphone stream-casting service.

She said “So far you may not use qik application unless your iPhone jail broken. But may I have your business card for future notice?”

That’s why I dropped her my card.

This week I got a custom-made qik iPhone app from them (I think it would be only for TechCrunch 50 attendees), which can be installed onto jail-unbroken iPhone, actually I did. And I ran it on my way to home.

It realizes about 250kbps uplink throughput at average, in the bus travelling as fast as 50 kilometers an hour.

Its motion comes up smoothly. You may bring a live streaming with an iPhone device alone. Both visual and audio quality are not so bad.

Because qik may cause overload to cellphone network and cellphone carriers claimed it to Apple, qik application is not available at iPhone AppStore. Then I found an interview of Mr. Miyakawa, Softbank Mobile’s CTO.


Softbank Mobile will start discount sales of Planex WiFi routers in order to reduce the traffic of the company’s cellphone 3G network, but I think they had better distribute FON routers for free instead. And if they distribute it together with Yahoo BB’s ISP contract, they earn the money in an entire company group, although cellphone carrier and ISP are different Softbank’s subsidiaries.

Let me say it again, qik is a completely good work. When we watch TV live programs covering F1 car race championships, we see live pictures by “on-board camera” which is embedded in running cars. Similarly, how about marathon runner’s neck-hanging iPhone with qik application? It enables livecasting at the level of athlete’s sights as TV watchers would be running together with, and it gains a sense of really being there.

If a number of runners use qik with iPhone at huge events like Tokyo Marathon and Oume Marathon, for instance, it would be very interesting as social movements, but Softbank Mobile will give up to keep the service availability.

I wonder if IBM’s WiFi handover technologies would be spread over more in the near future to solve the problem.

Visiting “DEMOsa” in Roppongi

I’ve been drinking until dawn last night, and I was still sleeping even noon. Then I got a call from a friend of mine.

Friend:  Shall we go to “DEMOsa”?
I :         I don’t know what it is. Too sleepy to be there, I’m staying in bed.

I became sleepy again and refused going to Roppongi, but I thought it again and decided to be there after getting a hot shower, for responding to his kind invitation.

There were a lot of people whom I know.

Matsuki-san was standing at the reception for arranging whole things of the event, whom I saw usually at “Digicon Salon”. (Because he is the executive director of MOSA, a non-profit organization hosting this event.)

Every developer gave there the presentation about his or her newly introduced iPhone App for ten minutes. Its rapidness and smoothness of the presentations going made me so cheerful.

Web2.0 and Cellphone Gadgets

Last April when I was at Web2.0 Expo, there were many round tables featuring various themes being held at some hotels near the exhibition’s main venue.   I was hopping some round tables, one of the most impressed was a meeting of government people, actually it was titled as “Government 2.0”.   Almost 10 people including the employees of GSA (U.S. General Service Administration) and a consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton were talking on the issue.

They said, at U.S. governmental offices, web browsing to the Internet are usually filtered by firewall or proxy installed, basically people working there cannot use Web 2.0 services.   They concluded “Goverment people cannot benefit the services brought by Web 2.0 trends, it may cause avoiding the modernization of working procedures, unlike private sectors.”

In Japan, filtering divices or features are widely deployed not only in govermental offices but also in private sectors.   For example, at a site of my company’s client I often work for, when I try to browse some tech news websites, it’ ok for Tech Crunch, Ars Technica and The Next Web, but not for Mashable.    Because the site description includes words like Web2.0 or Social?   Perhaps, it depends on the targeted site is on the list or not, which are maintained by filtering solution vendors such as WebSense, I know.

The environment that strict filtering features deployed can be called as a certain type of “Isolated Place from Information”.   It can be compared to prison where any information outside is shutted off.

At the previous session of WBS 2.0 conference hosted by Mr. Ogawa, who is the president of Modiphi Inc., he mentioned “With iPhone 3G, it’s good for us to gain the free accessibility to websites even in the company’s office where strict filtering features deployed.”   It’s just a roundabout filtering features, which means the employees may violate the company’s security policies, but I’m sure Ogawa’s view is right.

Last night I dropped in a session of the group for studying the IT and Mobile Industry (official English name uknown), Mr. Kanda of CA Mobile Ltd. had a lecture, most part of what he said there is off-record, he explained mobile gadgets and widgets for cellphones are getting spread more from now on.

Compared to cellphone applications, gadgets/widgets require less approvals by cellphone operators, and less man-days cost to develop as well.   Plus, gadgets/widgets can receive information in push-based (in a strict expression, virtually push-based, because actually and technically it’s pull-based on background), which can be appeared on cellphone’s stand-by screen.

For ordinary types of cellphones (cellphone models other than iPhone), gadgets/widgets would be easily-accessible-windows to Web2.0 services originally designed for PC browsing.   “Isolated Place from Information”  mentioned above makes more needs of cellphone gadgets/widgets.

Anyway, in terms of usablity of browsing websites, I think there’s nothing better than iPhone so far.   But some people says it’s Android will have much better usability than iPhone, I’m looking forward to seeing Google Phone, whose earlist one is rumored to be released from HTC by the end of this year.


The following is a website capture of Japan’s patent agancy, which shows you NTT DoCoMo already registered a trademark of “iWidget”.   When they start it?

Where Netshare has gone?

I don’t have my physical strength enough to queue for iPhone 3G in front of a Softbank shop, I gave up to get it on the day when the sale started.   However, between appointments on weekdays, when I was walking in the shopping mall in Tokyo’s suburb, I found the shop having some inventories of the product, and I bought one there finally.

iPhone 3G – its appearance and user interface reminds me of Apple’s Newton and General Magic’s Magic cap.   (BTW, these relics of PDAs must be sleeping in my barn.)

There’s a iPhone app called Netshare developed, which enables your PC to connect to Internet via cellphone network with iPhone 3G, it’s getting available and unavailable repeatedly at the iPhone App Store.

Because cellphone operators are concerned that it might break their infrastructure or their business model if a high volume of data traffic flows at flat rate prepared for iPhone usage.

However, eMobile Ltd., an HSDPA operator in Japan, provides flat rate data service for PC users, and so far they face no problem on business model and infrastructure.

It can be considered that, eMobile is a 3G operator, and AT&T and Softbank carring default networks for iPhone 3G are, what are called 2G operators.  (Although they have 3G networks, their business models are still in 2G?)

I understand, the reason why flat rate is flat is, physical costs for constructing and maintaining networks are not always proportionate to the volume of data transfered.

In a long-term perspective, cellphone operators have to invest more for additional facilities, but even if Netshare is not to be available again, iPhone users like operators not to enact regulation controlling the data transmission on intelligent layer.

Moreover, I think Apple and cellphone operators have to establish a new sound business model, even if iPhone apps like Netshare come alive again.

Google StreetView Coming to Tokyo!

It looks like Google StreetView will start in U.K. with avoiding the privacy problems, its localized edition became available in Japan and Australia as well.

Last week Google Japan said “Nothing to say” about when the service starts.

Japanese Edition covers many streets and alleys in Tokyo, Osaka, Sendai and Sapporo.   But I’ve never seen their vehicle taking the pictures.

I wrote a lot about StreetView, I found it records changing of the town scene by taking the pictures periodically, like a certain historical encyclopedia of images, when I see the pictures of my neighbourhood.

StreetView with iPhone is a useful combination for those who have GPS devices but lose their ways very often.

The following is Google’s camera vehicle taking images, witnessed in the heart of Tokyo.