Designs for the Better World

Gadget

To Design Next Version of ION Glasses

marca_ION-glasses
I’m very happy to announce that I’ll be designing the next version of ION Glasses, the first optical and sun smartglasses that interact with your devices! (The photos below are the current version.)

I’ll update the new design here when it’s ready to publish.

ION Glasses Project is receiving funds now until November 16, 2013.
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ion-glasses-first-optical-and-sun-smartglasses-that-interact-with-your-devices


How to use CaseMyWay & Great News

I announced the beta launch of CaseMyWay Website the other day. Completely customisable cases. CaseMyWay provides an online platform for mobile phone and tablet users to achieve complete customization of their protective cases by creating or uploading their own, fully wrap-around images, from holiday snaps to original artwork, sporting moments to profile pics. Even Instagram, Flickr or Facebook images can be added.

You must have some beautiful photos on Instagram, Facebook etc. Put them together on CaseMyWay to create one original case for your phone!


The print quality is actually much much better than I expected thanks to the MT3 technology, embedding ink directly into the case itself. It is not a surface sticker and will not peel off or scrapeaway with daily use. And here are some photos of the cases of my design. Believe me, I did no photo-retouching.

CaseMyWay is starting with the most popular brands but eventually will offer personalized cases in different materials for every handheld device in popular use. The good news is after full launch in September, CaseMyWay will be offering fully customisable cases in different materials such as leather, neoprene (soft) and even wood with many more features and products, including MacBook cases!!!

CaseMyWay – Press Release


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.


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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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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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.


iPetals

I like Fandi Meng‘s great “Sunny Flower” concept very much and was inspired a lot by the design.

iPetals_a

It’s a solar charger for an iPhone. Based on Fandi’s design, I made it work also as an iPhone stand.

iPetals_b

iPetals_c
petals colored with different lightness

iPetals_d


See animation at Vimeo.

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Quackie

This is a very weird looking CD player. It looks like a head of a duck when a CD is set. (Why a CD player now you ask? I’ll write a post in Johnnyholland.)

quackie_1

quackie_2

quackie_4

There’s a round body that rolls and a black speaker. the speaker is attached to the body at its axis and it rolls around the body.

The functions are just play/pause/next/previous and volume up/down. To turn up the volume, you roll the body so that the “beak” opens up. When you turn it off, just let it stop quacking.

circles3_image

description

That’s it. I wouldn’t stop rolling it for a while I had it on my desk. And my kids would never leave there.

quackie_5

quackie_6

circles7_image2

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iPhone Dock Sketches

iHammock

I use my iPhone at work and at home. When I’m at work in the office, I can’t make it ring loud when there’s an incoming phone call or an email, so I change the setting to the silent (vibration) mode. But when it vibrates on my desk, it makes even louder noise than a beep, so I was thinking if I could make something soft to put my iPhone on so that it doesn’t rattle when vibrating, and thought that a hammock style would be fun. It looks like your iPhone is relaxing on a hammock, so I added a parasol that works as a solar power battery charger. You open and flip the parasol in the sun to get electricity and close and fix it on the hammock to charge your iPhone.
“iHammock”?

Just for fun again.

hammock_image1

hammock1_image

hammock2_image2

hammock4_image

hammock5_image

hammock3b_image

hammock3_imagec

iAcqua2

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a 3D screen that displays stereoscopic images of music visualizer and stocked photos when your iPhone is docked? It’s like a combination of my old ideas (snow globe screen and iAcqua).

iAcua2-1
3D screen and a speaker

iAcua2-2

iAcua2-3

iAcua2-4

iAcua2-5

iAcua2-6

iAcua2-7
Cover flow in the water flow?

iAcua2-8

OC

This one tilts a bit when your iPhone is docked, making the speakers and the transparent screen float.
It tells you when there’s a phone call and an email by rocking from side to side.

OC-1

OC-2

OC-3

OC-4

OC-5

OC-6

OC-7

OC-8


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