Mapion And TFPS Introduce NFC Technology Service Allowing Game Points To Be Used For Purchases At Real Shops

Mapion Inc. [J] and TF Payment Service [J] have developed a service that allows the use of mobile game special points at real shops.

This uses NFC, and by linking the service platforms of both companies, payments are settled simply by holding a smartphone.  It acquires a series of marketing data from customer introduction to payment of account.  From this, shop businesses and all kinds of internet businesses can develop more effective 020 (online to online) services which combine the net world with real world actions.  From October of 2012 Mapion is offering the 020 platform “Stamp” which includes various services based on the mobile location based game with over 1.07 million users, Keitai Kuni Tori Gassen [J] (Cell Phone Country Taking Battle).  An original special point system “star,” in which gains can be made according to the level of mission achievement within the game, is being developed in coordination with “Stamp.”  On the other side TFPS is offering a cloud type payment platform service “Thincacloud” which uses NFC technology, from June of 2012.  “Thincacloud” supports two methods of payment: over the counter use (face to face payment) as well as online use (no face to face), and it adds all kinds of electronic money payments, allowing the materialization of customer attraction using NFC and services based on 020.  Furthermore, TFPS is exhibiting a demonstration of this policy at the “NFC & Smart WORLD 2013” held at Tokyo Big Site.

Translation authorized by VSMedia

NTT Docomo To Open Etsy-like Handmade Marketplace In May

Docomo announced [J] on February 18.

The service D-creators will be a combination of a newly made handmade craft marketplace and user-generated novels/comics/photos provided by E-Everystar, joint cellphone web service by Docomo and DeNA.

The teaser site is already on.


Social Gift Service “mixi Birthday” Delivers Half A Million Virtual Cakes In First Week

Frenxxo, Inc. [J] has announced that the total number of greetings sent by the social gift service “mixi Birthday” [J] within one week of its release has exceeded half a million.

“mixi Birthday” is a service which allows you to present mixi friends with digital birthday cakes and decoration items (free / for a fee) and celebration comments on their birthday.  Several people who are common mixi friends can make decorations together on the birthday cake, and you can also recruit people to make congratulatory comments.  The prepared birthday cake and congratulatory messages will be delivered to the birthday boy or girl at midnight upon the conclusion of their birthday.

From this Spring, the same company is planning to offer a service which allows you to send actual (real) presents to mixi friends whose address you don’t know.

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Android App Karelog Lets You Spy On Your Boyfriend Remotely [Update: Pulled]

Are you a woman? Are you easily getting jealous? Does your boyfriend own an Android cell phone? If you answered all of these questions with “yes”, then a new Android app called “Karelog” [JP] (Boyfriend Log) might be the right thing for you. In a nutshell, it’s a piece of “spyware” that you secretly install on your boyfriend’s Android handset and that runs in the background.

The way it works is that after downloading, you install the app on your boyfriend’s cell phone and provide an ID and password. After you’re done, you can track your boyfriend’s whereabouts via a website you can access with the ID and password you provided during the installation process, as seen below:

Karelog itself can be downloaded and used for free for 3 days. After that, membership costs between costs 525 Yen a month (or 840 Yen for 3 months or 1,980 Yen for a year). For that money, you can not only track a person’s location via GPS but also check the battery status of the Android phone they use.

Platinum members (1,980Yen/month, 4,980 Yen/3 months or 8,980 Yen/1 year) can also check their boyfriend’s call log and what kind of apps he has downloaded (to uncover dating or erotic apps, for example).

Needless to say, Karelog can not only be used to control boyfriends but any kind of Android user (you need Android 2.2 and up by the way). As such, the Japanese blogosphere isn’t only abuzz with the appearance of the app itself currently but also sees some users discussing privacy issues (example).

I myself wouldn’t be too surprised to see the app getting the axe rather sooner than later.

Update September 2, 2011:
The maker of the app apologizes over privacy problems the app may cause and pulls the app to “redesign” it.

Zaim: The Socialized Cashbook App Helps You Find Better Ways To Save Daily Expenses

Takako Kansai[J] (@kansai_takako), a full-time engineer at Tokyo’s web service start-up and also the best known tech geek girl in this country, just released her first iPhone app called Zaim on Tuesday.

Zaim, meaning “financial affairs” in the Japanese pronunciation, makes you possible to easily note where you have bought something, what you have bought, and how much you have paid for it, on the iPhone app. You are allowed to share your expense records with other users, that’s why the app is subtitled as the social account book, compare the characteristics of using money with those who have a similar demographic profile with you, and find a better way to save your money.

Pic: Mrs. Kansai pitches Zaim at Tokyo’s monthly start-up showcase event, Startup Dating[J] (June 2011).

She lives in Yokohama, a Tokyo’s adjacent city, and she has been developing the app in her one-hour home-office daily commute, and spent three months to complete it, TechCrunch Japan reports. She has enhanced its functionality that allows users to handle up to 19 currency units both in English and Japanese, and expects it gain user traction from the world.

Mrs. Kansai is currently working with UserLocal[J] (See these stories for more about it), which is known for their visualized website access analysis solutions, and also represents a weekend/after-hours web development group called Tinymonks. She is now working on a third-party API for the app, which is expected to be published later this month, and her group mate is working on the Android app for the service.