Did you ever notice those huge corporate buildings, which take over the city and wondered, if it’s ever worth going in? We tried out the KDDI designing studio in Harajuku and must say: that one is fun! Entering that 5 story building in Harajuku, it looks a bit like any other store- the only nice thing is a little “mobile phone history” they features those huge old phones, from when it all just started- up to the most recent ones. Walking up that big spiral inside the building you get to the second floor, which shows all the latest mobile phone models and has a full range of prototypes: upcoming models or those, which were never build. Next to that you could try out different content (music, games or video) on one of their recent phone models. Nice thing about that was, that you have your picture taken, put in name and url and that will return to you as a set of stickers with a QR-code on them. You can then access your previously selected data. Climbing up another level to the Creation Studio is where it gets interesting. You can try out a – rather huge- mobile phone called “AI-MATE” , which is actually a hybrid communicator: an integration of mobile phones and PDAs. Those are currently used at the EXPO 2005 in Aichi. The “AI-MATE” had a very arty way of showing your battery status and reception: the more leaves (battery) or fish (reception) the better. You could also play around with the touch pad and the fish would follow the tab of your finger. The most fun part was the MYSQ (My stYle So Qute- crazy Japanese name finding here)! In a bright room with sensors on the ground (to step on), you are provided with another sensor to hold in your hand: a pink fur muff- definitely aimed at girls. 3, 2, 1: music ON, start dancing and create effects by stepping on those floor-sensors. Point the other sensor at the monitor at all times (we were told but don’t know why)- and your video will be captured. It turns out a bit like a self-made pink motion-graphics-video-clip (password: gjip). A lot of fun in the country of the purikura!
Written by Uleshka & Kyoko