Web 2008 Expo - Day 2 - Web Innovation & Creative Day - Power Pitches

Power Pitches

First on the card for the second day was "Power Pitches" ... two lightning presentations from two startups that couldn't have been more different.

The first was Hironao Kunimitsu, director of gumi, presenting his company's "port" of Open Social to a REST platform for application to the Japanese mobile web - and by extension, other non-Javascript UIs.

As no-one else are doing this, Kunimitsu said with a smile, they are by default world's largest mobile open web platform ... but they do have over 90 applications working so far.

Second was Taisei Tanaka from Geisha Tokyo Entertainment, introducing their "Augmented Reality" product - "Aris". It is a software package that hooks up to a web camera, and a small cube that is placed in front of the camera, and the systems uses as a visual marker. As the company name might suggest, the system overlays a "Virtual Maid" onto this cube. Oh dear ... I thought ... Japan's vision ... to the world? ... but wait, there's more.

Not only can you rotate this virtual maid, and peek up her skirt - Tanaka said "excuse me to the ladies in the audience" as he demoed this - cringe! - he went on to show of the virtual stick that you can virtually abuse your virtual maid with, and yes ... tear off her dress! Wow. Now you can instruct her to get changed. Fortunately at this juncture she regains her poise and - displaying a modicum of decency - disappears down a stairwell that appears on your desk, before reappearing in a new outfit so you can repeat the process.

Well .... still with me? There is certainly a little bit of technology going on there, and I can see the Akihabara angle, but really, is this kind of puerile cack the best way to showcase Japan's Web Vision? The audience seemed to think so, as the ovation based winner of the power pitches was - you guessed it - the virtual maid.

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