Designs for the Better World

future

Marco – Cleverest Digital Pet (Concept) That Loves You

Among so many gadgets that know you, which one of them loves you?

marco3_image1

marco_180

marco3_image6

Knows stuff around you

Smartens non-smart items

Ever wished you could do the ‘Search” for your lost item in the real world? Marco sees you and your room, remembers the locations of your belongings where Marco last saw them. Let Marco ‘sniff’ your car key to get him to memorize and trace it. When you lose it, ask him where it is. Marco takes you to the location and lets you know with his laser pointer. Nobody wants to plug everything to the internet. With Marco, you won’t need to.

marco3_image8bMake the item you want Marco to memorize close enough for him to ‘sniff’ it.

room_image2Marco points out the location of the item with his laser pointer.

Motion User Interface

Does more than words

Marco loves you. He does more than just ‘shows’ or ‘says’ that he does, but he moves his body to express his feelings. Also with his cute movements, Marco lets you know alerts and notifications. The movements of Marco depend on the types and importance of the alerts and notifications. Getting an email from your girlfriend with many angry exclamation marks, having a squall in 5 minutes, forgetting your meeting appointment, you notice it with Marco trying to tell you are having a situation.
Marco also recognizes your simple gestures and voice commands.

marco3_image10With its self-balancing system, Marco makes smooth and cute movements for 360 degrees.

room2_image1When you get home after a long absense, Marco will frantically welcome you.

Monitor Your House

When you are away

Yes, you can see your room through Marco with your smartphone when you are away. But, Marco is not just a moving monitor. He is clever enough to answer your verbal questions, such as “Did I turn off the heater?” Of course he makes a phone call for you right after you leave home, “you forgot to lock the door!”.
You can watch and talk with your kids at home when you are away. How about enjoying chasing your kid by remote-controlling Marco?

room2_image2bMarco not just waits for you alone at home. See things at home when you are away with his eyes, moving around with his foot.

marco_babyCan’t wait to see your little baby at home? You can not only see her, but also play with her.

Behaves Like a Pet & More

Apps for characters & skills

Customize the settings to make Marco behave the way you like it, but if you want it to do more tricks, download apps! Hip hop dance, little puppy tricks, snake movements, etc. You can also make settings on how he responds to certain gestures. Based on your choice, Marco will even hide and makes a surprise appearance on your birthday!
Download apps to enjoy AR games. See your Marco through your smartphone and have fun with games both in the digital and physical worlds!

marco3_image7bHave more fun by letting Marco move along with your gestures.

marco_personaThe personality of Marco is up to your choice.

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Dream Paper Concept – 4D Paper Printing Technology

When you have something you want to make with paper, you cut/fold paper to make the shape.
I wish however, there were paper and ink that do the ‘folding’ and ‘cutting’ automatically. You send the data of the shape you want to make from your computer/mobile to the printer. The paper you printed out automatically starts to cut and fold itself!

If that really happens, you’d be able to make various complicated paper models with no efforts. It’d be even cool if you could download 3D data from a gallery like Google 3D Warehouse, print it out and you get it in your hand. You download a physical thing!

But wait! If you could even control not only where and how far to fold but also when to fold via bluetooth or wifi, it means you could move paper as you like without touching it. (It’s like embedding Javascript in paper!)

And the shape-shifting concepts like the below one wouldn’t need any complicated mechanisms if such paper technology were available.


Futuristic Concept Mock-ups for Personal Exhibition

I’m hoping to hold a personal exhibition in NY or somewhere else for my future concept designs I’ve made. Although the mock-ups are just non-working prototypes, it must be a lot of fun for people to see, feel and touch very futuristic devices that we dream of. With some 3D movies and cool animations, I believe lots of people will visit the exhibition.

(Photoshopped just a bit)

These are some of the first rough mock-ups I made last year. I was planning to bring them to Re:publica in Berlin for my speech there. However on the very same day when the first mock-ups arrived to my house on March 11th, the earthquake happened (I was miraculously at home waiting for the delivery), which caused catastrophic damages not only in this country but places all around the globe, and my business was also affected from it. So I had to hold the plan for some time. And now I’m restarting to make the dream come true.




They are the very first mock-ups and pretty roughly made, so it’s not the level to show anyone yet, but I hope you can picture what it will be like to hold it in your hand.

I’m now looking for a sponsor to make this dream come true. Contact me if you’re interested.


Works for Tokyo Motor Show 2011

As I tweeted, I worked on a lot of concept designs for the movies of AGC (Asahi Glass Company) and TOYOTA for Tokyo Motor Show 2011.


 

Movie by AGC: Glass Can Change The World

Concept Car

Dashboard UI

Smart House



UI for Glass Fridge / Energy Management Pane

Roll-up Newspaper / Newspaper Graphic


Robot


Car Dashboard Mockup Panel Screens

It was my first time ever to design a car and a robot, but I had lots of fun making them.
Asahi Glass now introduces their great technologies in a booth for “Smart Mobility City 2011” in Tokyo Motor Show.
http://www.agc-smc2011.com/en/

 

TOYOTA Smart Mobility City 2011 Concept Movie

(I’ll post the movie when it’s officially uploaded on YouTube. This is the old version.)

One of my mobile phone concepts “Glassy Glass” was again picked up and used in the movie.


Kaya – Future Microwave Oven Concept

I’m not a cook, but I know what the food should be like for me to eat. I know it shouldn’t be burned or it should be defrosted. I just don’t know exactly how long it should be cooked. I wish there were a microwave oven like this that ‘shows” me what the food will be like after cooking.


But first, I wish a microwave oven was movable so that it could get close to the table when necessary.


Put a dish in it and this oven tells what kinds of foods are in it.


Adjust the ‘look’ of the food displayed on the glass by dragging the button. You can control the cooking time while looking at what it will be like after cooking the adjusted length of time. You’ll know exactly when it boils or burns.


Inspired by a dome tray when I was watching Ratatouille.

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Koriko – iPhone Dock Concept

I want an iPhone dock that can change its forms reflecting various kinds of notifications needing attention as well as some simple controls for applications. The feelings you can get with that kind of tangible output & input are what touchscreen lacks.

Koriko is a simple iPhone stand with speakers and a flexible long arm (tail?).

Notifications are represented with the tail forming simple shapes.

When a song is played, it works as music control buttons you can push directly.

It not only changes forms, but also makes certain movements for some time. It waves good-bye when you turn it off.

There are so many possible other applications that would work with Koriko. It would be really fun to see it working.

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Mobile Phone Sketch: Von

Von is a mobile phone that is sensitive to sound, especially the knocking sound when it’s hit. It looks like a piece of xylophone. It’s almost as tall as an iPhone, but it’s narrower.


Knock it to check if you have unread emails or new phone messages. If you do, Von knocks back. The knocking sound varies according to the kind of the message (email or phone).


Shake it to see if you have unread RSS feeds or Tweets. The more unread items there are, the more it rattles. Remember when you were a kid, you shook a box of candy to see how many were left. I wanted to bring back that small happy moment with this device.


Keep tapping it on the rhythm of your favorite song. After a few seconds, it detects what song you’re tapping. Then it starts playing the song along the tap.

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Polaroid iPhone Dock Concept

I wish there were an iPhone dock that instantly prints out the photo you take.


If you upload the photo to a website, you can add an QR code for the url on the back. For a geo-tagged photo, you can also include the map to show where the photo was taken.
Yes, I’m one of those people who still relish the feel (and smell) of photos.

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Mobile Phone Sketch: Zimmer

This post is to tell all of you that I’m OK.

After the tragic magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit Japan on March 11th, I’ve received many many messages from around the globe asking how I was or even if I was alive. As I tweeted about my situation, I’m doing fine. I truly appreciate all your considerations not only for me but for those who have been badly affected by the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear power plant issues. I’ll keep tweeting how I’m doing on my Twitter.

Also I wanted to tell you that Japan will get back to its feet for sure. Currently I’m going through many inconveniences that I have never experienced in my life (lack of water, gasoline, vegetables, power etc. etc.), so I’ll be able to think of ideas to overcome those difficulties. But for now, let me show you sketches I’ve been making since before the earthquake. It’s a mobile phone concept named Zimmer. (There’s nothing new or innovative here this time.)




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User Interface Concept: Universal Remote Controller

Lamp, stereo, TV, air conditioner, heater… Just point at it on the transparent screen and select the menu item you want to make a change to (speaker volume, channels, brightness, etc.).


A charging stand with a magnet so the remote can stand on a table.

Of course, you can use it for an internet TV.


Switching channels.

Also visit the other series of this gadget.

User Interface Concept: Air Conditioner
User Interface Concept: Air Conditioner

User Interface Concept: Light Switch
User Interface Concept: Light Switch

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Klipp — Future Camera Concept

I was really impressed with the WVIL camera shown in CES 2011 and I’m very much inspired by the concept. I was wondering what it would be like if there were a WVIL for amateurs. So I made it smaller and thinner. The lens has a clip on its back so that you can place it on various places. No matter where you clip it, the lens sends the images to the screen wirelessly.





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Peel –Moving Notifier Concept

Basically it’s a clock.

It’s wirelessly connected to your PC and mobile phone; your calendar, schedule, email account are synced.
You get a notification with a peeled screen on a face.

The more serious the thing is, the wider it’s peeled.

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Thru –Lucent Mobile Phone Concept


Just like some of my previous mobile phone concepts, the transparent body would be pretty attractive.

What’s different this time though is that this Thru has a function to show 3D images behind the screen. It looks as if there were another world behind it because the images are made to look natural on the floor behind the screen.

So the email notification would be made like a game, which sounds fun.

There could be a fierce battle on your desk. In any case, I’m pretty sure it would be so fun that you couldn’t stop watching it.

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TOYOTA Smart Center 20XX


It’s such an honor that one of my future mobile phone concepts “Glassy Glassy” is in the TOTOTA official near future mobility life short movie!

It was aired on January 1st 2011 and you can see the movie on YouTube and GAZOO.


It depicts a smart life of a middle aged man in the near future.








I worked on this project last year and have been really excited to be able to get involved. Initially I was planning to design many other objects and gadgets in the movie (including the car), but this and that happened and the mobile phone was finally left in the end. But I’m really happy to see my concept ‘alive’ in a movie like this.

It’s been such a pleasure to be involved in projects of big-name brands such as TOYOTA and SOFTBANK. I’m hoping to have more chances to work as “concept artist”.


View it on YouTube


FiiL – Post-Touchscreen Interface Concept

Future TUI (Tangible User Interface) mobile phone. This is a post-Looking Glass concept; I’m thinking this type of user interface will be commercialized after touchscreen hopefully within a few decades.

As matter of fact, Looking Glass has two sequels in my head.

Looking Glass –> FiiL –> ???

I’ll make a post of the 3rd concept after I make a few that introduce more application examples of FiiL.

Basically this is a touchscreen, but this mobile phone lets you “feel” what you’re touching. The flexible screen surface makes z-axis movements and takes shapes of buttons, switches and so on.

For example, you toggle a switch to unlock the phone.


Buttons are now real buttons that you can feel the height of. You also feel the pressure when you push it.

Not leveled ground can be instantly scanned and rendered on the screen, which must be helpful for visually disabled people.

Solar charging. How much is completed can be known by its shape.

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Frostie – Digital Music Player Concept

Have you ever tapped a table with your fingers as if you were playing the piano? Or drums? Air guitar? Yes I have and I wish there were real sound made according to the movements of my fingers.

So what about a digital music player that not only plays music like iPods, but also actually plays sounds in your mind?

If it could listen to your song and adjust the tone, it would be more fun. Auto cord sounds would be exciting.


I love music, but I’m not satisfied with a digital music player I can only carry with me. I want something that can be part of me; something that is with me all the time, gives me what I want and creates what I imagine. You know, music is not only for listening.

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Chrystal Cloud

I’ve been thinking about a good way to visualize “cloud”.

You can’t see cloud with the naked eye. Users are using multiple cloud computing providers and saving data here and there. On the other hand, the screen of your mobile is not large enough for you to get a good sense of the structural overview of cloud.

So I wish there were a pair of glasses or opera glasses like device that allows you to “see” and “touch” those data in the air.


When you see through the glass, you can see clouds floating in the air. Touch it and see what you have there.

The difference between the Crystal Cloud concept and the Looking Glass concept is the former is to assist your mobile computer while the latter works alone itself. And with Crystal Cloud, you can touch and control the visualized data in 3D.

For tasks other than cloud management, such as writing a document etc., send files to your mobile device. This way you can get out of the screen and use the air in front of you.

Yes, I just can’t wait to “get out” of the small screen of my iPhone.

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Mobile Phone Sketches: Nagisa

Just a sketch again. A part of it is glass.

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Motion Graphic Designs For SOTBANK 30-Year Vision Movie

I had a chance to design concept models for a movie titled “Information Revolution” which was aired at the 30th Anniversary Event by SOFTBANK.

Here I designed the user interface for a future computer.

This is a concept model of future computer program. I made lots of images and the below movie is the motioned sequel of them. I tried to make it look organic. (Not all of the below cut was used in the final version.)

(View it on Behance Network.)

I also made some concept images of future medical technology.

I was invited to the anniversary event in Budo-kan, Tokyo. I was truly impressed with the vision of the SOFTBANK president Song-san.


Dew – Future Wearable Mobile Device Concept

Like one of my previous posts (Cobalto), I was picturing sci-fi movies when I thought of this wearable mobile phone. It’s something I want to see used in a futuristic scene.

The ball works as a controller and an indicator changing colors. It can slide anywhere on the surface.

Of course it’d be fun to watch 3D hologram on it.

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Animation Video Chat

Now that we have Google’s automatic captioning on videos on YouTube, which I like very much, what about speech balloons around the captions? It’d be more helpful if the location of the voice source could be indicated by an arrow from the balloon and the voice tone could be expressed with different balloon shapes.

If your gestures could bring motion characters that can be manipulated on both sides, video chatting would become like a fun video game.

When your girlfriend throws a kiss when video-chatting, many hearts appear moving towards the thrown direction. You can touch and move the characters on your side.

Wink and get stars. (Can characters go beyond the chat window like this?)
You might think of lots of other gestures and fun characters.

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Funny USB Memory Stick #6 Final

This transparent USB memory stick covers all the convenient functions of the memory sticks I’ve introduced so far. The light inside the glass represents the data saved in it: No lights means no data, lights filling the glass means there’s no more space. The kind of data is recognized with colors. For example pink is for images, blue is for documents and green for movies, etc. It would be more fun if the lights can move in the glass when you shake it.

Synced with the icon on your desktop of course.

Inspired by Japanese Soma-Toh or a revolving lantern, which beautifully shows colored silhouette.

Also visit the other series of this gadget.


Part1


Part2


Part3


Part4


Part5

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Clip Watch

I’ve been thinking about a watch I can put on my coat or bag, which tells me time when I need to know because when it’s cold, my watch is under the thick coat and is hard to take out.

By making it look like a button, it may go well with many kinds of outer wears.

Click the face once and it displays the time and date on the glass face for a few seconds. (I figure we usually don’t need to stare at a watch for a long time.)

Solar battery panels charges electricity for the display.

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Cobalto & Zafiro

This is something a little different from my usual posts. This time I tried to design gadgets that I want to see in a Sci-Fi movie like “Minority Report”. I love the futuristic computer and the UX in the movie, but I was wondering what it would be like if I designed those stuff. So this time I just focused on look and feel of the devices.

“Cobalto”
I don’t remember what the mobile phone is like that is used in the movie, but the glass computer screen remains vividly in my mind and I tried to use as much lucent stuff as possible.




With this deformable metal, you can have either the usual number buttons or an iPod like dial.



LIke one of my previous posts “3D Desktop PC Concept“, it would be fun if this could create 3D objects in the air. With this device, you could see 3D holography on top of a 2D screen, so it would be really exciting.





I happened to be talked to by a Russian TV program, who wanted to feature my 3D desktop concept, so I also gave them this mobile phone concept images and 3D animation. Check out the animation too!

“Zafiro”


The desktop is also made of a glass screen and a round rim. This is not the one that Tom Cruise makes that hand (or body) gesture to use. This is a desktop PC.



Remember that transparent disk used in Minority Report? It can be also inserted on the screen.

The keyboard has the deformable metal and the keys get flattened when not in use.



I mentioned that I wanted to try a new career on Twitter and I’ve been thinking of becoming a concept designer for movies. I’m finding a way to be one. Do you think I can be a Hollywood concept artist?

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By the way, I’ll be out of Japan next week to attend the red dot award ceremony in Singapore, so I won’t be able to post for FFFFOUND! during the week. But I’ll upload some Singapore photos in my Flickr. Oh of course I’ll be tweeting while I’m in Singapore, too.