LINE, the most popular messaging app in Japan, is known for launched the world's first business selling stickers. Their business has unearthed many artists and created many cute characters. They are no longer just virtual goods, but real products. LINE FRIEDS STORE HARAJUKU is the LINE's flagship stores, where you can buy real goods of cute LINE stickers.

Giant brown plush "statue". It's a store symbol.

He/She is Usamaru, a rabbit character, which became popular with LINE stickers, and also produced short animations.

■ Information
Address: 4-31-12, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 11: 00-21: 00 (irregular holidays)
TEL: 03-5785-3001
URL: https://www.linefriends.com/


Starbucks Japan uses Web AR to promote new spring menus

Starbucks Japan offers Sakura(cherry blossom) menus every March. They are all pink and this color signals the coming of spring.

 Some of them. Sakura donut and Sakura latte.

In addition, this year they are running a promotion using Web AR. When you recognize the QR code on the receipt with your smartphone camera...

You can access their Web AR promotion page.

Then, when you tap the pink button located at the bottom of this screen, a diorama with Sakura(cherry blossoms) in front of you appears.

In the diorama, cherry blossom petals scatter and a  train run. Of course, you can resize the diorama and view it from different angles.

There are five types of Web AR content for this promotion and these QR codes are printed randomly on receipts. You need to go to Starbucks many times to see them all.


Instant camera with wide-angle lens

Camera applications like Instagram are popular, but nostalgic real photos are also popular among young Japanese people. They take it into everyday communication. Toy company Takara Tomy will release a new instant toy camera Pixtoss on February 27.

This uses Fujifilm Instax mini film, but unlike the conventional Instax series, it has a wide-angle lens in advance. So it's not only for selfie, but also for shooting with multiple people. The mechanism is a bit retro, you have a viewfinder at the edge of the body, press the shutter lever next to the lens, and turn the handle to get the film out. You can also apply this mechanism to superimpose images multiple times on a single film and take multiple exposures. In addition, you can take photos with different colors by attaching three optional color filters to the lens.

If you are worried about overexposure, use the attached lens cap to prevent overexposure even in clear weather. The size is 145 x 100 x 67mm, the weighs about 275g, and is powered by two AAA alkaline batteries. They will release the white version on February 27 for 6,578 yen (tax included), and the pink and blue versions in March.


Speakers with remote control that won't lose

Do you frequently lose your TV remote and look for it? With this, that no longer happens. Sony released the SRS-LSR200, a wireless remote control-integrated wireless speaker that can play back TV sound at hand, on February 22 for 22,000 yen (including tax).

This is intended for use by people who are deaf such as the elderly and those who watch the TV while cooking in the kitchen. Because this with remote control, of course you can control the TV, such as adjusting the volume and changing channels.

They released the previous model SRS-LSR100 in September 2015, and this is the model change in four and a half years. The main update is that, apart from the left and right stereo speakers, a voice speaker that outputs only the human voice frequency band is located in the center. This allows you to hear clearer voices from the speakers. This is connected to the TV with an optical digital or analog audio cable. The TV and the transmitter / charger are connected with a cable, and the transmitter and the speaker use 2.4GHz band radio. The diversity antenna is used for the receiving antenna, which makes it harder to cut off than the previous model. The speaker has a built-in battery and can be used for up to about 13 hours. In addition, the speaker also has a USB-C charging terminal, so if you connect the power, you can use it without returning to the charging stand.


Let's eat AR parfait at AR cafe in Shibuya!

On November 22, 2019, Shibuya PARCO, one of the major shopping malls in Shibuya, was reopened. It has a variety of interesting shops, and Tyffonium Cafe is one of the interesting tenants among them.

Tyffonium Cafe is an AR cafe run by Tyffon, a Japanese XR entertainment company. They run VR theme park Tyffonium in Odaiba and Shibuya in Tokyo, and Tyffonium Cafe is a new business that promotes them. The concept is the "Twilight Circus", and they sells parfaits with AR contents.

There are five types of AR parfait(They call them "magical parfaits"), and you can enjoy different AR content in each of them.

You can enjoy the AR content before the parfait comes. The point is the coaster. This is actually an AR marker.

Tablets are placed in each seat, and when you watch at the coaster with its camera, the content is displayed on it. Probably this is a Web AR. An outdoor theater has appeared on the coaster!

Of course you can take screenshots and send them to your smartphone.

One of AR parfait.

If you put AR parfait on the coaster, you can enjoy different AR contents. The camera would have recognized that the glass had been placed on the coaster.

This AR content was a little horror. This is the motif of the VR attractions that they are running at Tyffonium, and it also serves as a PR. And it was designed to be a frame for decorating AR parfait. They may also be targeting social media such as Instagram.

Then, I came up with something.

This is my Nameko stuffed toy.

This can be used as a decoration for shooting photos of stuffed toys and figures! :)

If you want to share AR parfait and content gimmicks with family and friends, the AR chocolate boxes they sell are perfect. AR markers are drawn on the chocolate block, and watching these with a smartphone or tablet camera, cute AR content appears.

Don't worry if you can't speak Japanese. The cafe also supports English.