Two AR iPhone Apps Come To Our Hands This Week

tonchidot's Logo Sekai Camera's Logo

Tokyo-based tech start-up led by Takahito Iguchi(@iguchi), a self-styled Willy Wonka who made an unique presentation at last year’s edition of TechCrunch 50, Tonchidot finally released an augmented reality (AR) iPhone app Sekai Camera on Thursday, it’s now available at AppStore for free of charge.

In time with the release of the app, Mr. Iguchi made a special presentation at Tokyo Game Show 2009 which is now being held, as well as giving his special contribution to TechCrunch Japan[J], and he talked about their long journey from concept making process to final the app.

As the first trial of business use of the app, which aims at finding a way to make money, Sekai Camera-installed iPhone devices are now provided at a flagship store of Spanish luxury brand LOEWE, in order to make it smarter to explain the details of the brand’s newly released items to store visitors.

The following video shows you a press briefing that has been jointly made by Tonchidot and LOEWE’s owner Louis Vuitton.   It was shot by Macintosh-related video news shooter LivenMac.

Presslite's LogoBionic Eye's Logo

Meanwhile, Paris-based iPhone app developer Presselite also just released the Tokyo edition of an AR app called Bionic Eye, which is also available at AppStore for USD1 or JPY115.   Compared to Sekai Camera on which tags associated with real-existing buildings and premises are expected to be added by the app users, Bionic Eye is more focusing on finding coffee shops and fast-food restaurants nearby by combination of Google Map and shop geo-location database containing over 100,000 POIs (point of interest) prepared by the app developer.

Sekai Camera is designed for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, and its compass feature does not work with iPhone 3G.    Bionic Eye is intended only for iPhone 3GS.

A day passed since the two epoch-making apps have been released.   We could witness not a few persons held their iPhone at the ready to shoot pictures around the city (probably for enjoying AR apps).    Some people warn that we should be so careful not to be misconsidered as we peep.   Otherwise, AR-ing in the town has some risks that you may be suspected as a candid shot shooter by passer-byes and be questioned by the police.

iPhone 3GS Keeps No.1 In Japan On Its 2nd Week

This is a follow-up article on the news of iPhone sales in Japan.

BCN weekly ranking [J] is updated and now we are seeing a weekly ranking for June 29th to July 5th.

BCN Japan cellphone sales ranking 2009-07-07
BCN Japan cellphone sales ranking 2009-07-07

The newly introduced iPhone 3GS 32GB stays at the top position, whilst the 16GB loses No.2 position taken back by Sharp SH-06A.

Although over 100 types of new cellphones are sold in year in Japan, luckily for Apple/Softbank there were only two new other Softbank cellphones [J] released during the week, Sharp 935SH (ranked No.82) and Panasonic 931P (No.99). If they can keep this high rank more and more weeks, iPhone will be the real No.1 cellphone in Japan this year.

The next week, iPhone 3GS will face off against another smartphone, DoCoMo’s first Android phone HTC HT-03A [J] on July 10th, which I personally don’t think making huge success, again by not supporting Japanese standard functions.

This is DoCoMo’s “quick spec table” which shows customers what features the cellphone support. The red ones are supported.

DoCoMo Android HT-03A spec sheet
DoCoMo Android HT-03A spec sheet

You can compare it with DoCoMo’s other latest cellphones from this listing page [J]. All are in Japanese but click any cellphone images give you the same spec chart with a lot more red in each page.

iPhone 3GS Purchase Livestreaming Girl in Tokyo

At a flagship shop of Softbank Mobile, Japanese reseller of iPhone, there are people began lining up for tomorrow morning, new iPhone 3GS.


Ketsudan Potaufe, a web unit sends a live reporter girl to there and let her broadcast live report from there on ustream.

The livestream quickly got an attention from Japanese net users. At 8 p.m. (Japan Standard Time, JST), over 1500 viewers was recorded. Searching @PTFLive tag on twitter shows people’s chatting on her programme.

It seems that they use a note PC Let’s Note with 3G mobile connection service e-mobile.

[Update 1 a.m. (JST)]

There is an overnight iPhone event running in the building for waiting purchasers. But this girl @ksorano seems to be unabled to get power supply from official, Softbank Mobile and chose to broadcast in front of the Softbank Omotesando shop. The viewers is now 1574.

The event ustream can be watched here. Now it shows iPhone app contest but the number of viewers is 346.