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Ugrading home entertainment

by Chiho Komoriya

Settling in with smellyvision

At Tokyo Game Show 2018 in September, Kyoto startup Aromajoin Corporation exhibited its recently released Aroma Shooter 1, which adds another dimension to your enjoyment of games and movies.

The palm-sized device can instantly disperse and switch through six types of fragrances, timed to enhance your progress in a game or scenes in movies. It’s connected to your PC or mobile device via USB or Bluetooth and it releases the scents from small, replaceable aroma cartridges.

Existing aroma diffusers use water with oil to produce a mist, so once a fragrance is dispersed, it drifts and lingers for a long time. Aroma Shooter 1, however, uses a solid fragrance in a trade-secret manner that shoots aroma in short bursts, which dissipate quickly enough not to interfere with the next shot from another cartridge.

The tech behind this is still patented for development, but Aromajoin has released application programming interfaces for Windows, iOS, Android, Java, Node.js and Unity on its website, so developers can tweak contents linked with Aroma Shooter 1 to suit the media it can be used with.

The Aroma Shooter 1 USB version is ¥192,000, while the Bluetooth one is ¥240,000. Cartridges, which last up to six months if triggered 250 times a day start at ¥6,095. That may be expensive, but if Aromajoin demand is enough for the company to mass produce, it could be cheaper in the future.

aromajoin.com/en

Earbuds that are ahead of the curve

Earbuds tend to follow similar designs, which makes audio manufacturer S’Next Co. Ltd.’s Make buds a little different. Originally a Makuake crowdfunding project, Make managed to gain almost 18 times its goal in pledges and S’Next is now shipping them out to its buyers.

What makes the buds really unique, however, is not just the aesthetic design, but the fact that you can adjust the buds to give you your preferred listening experience. Based on in-ear monitors, the kind of devices used by musicians to hear themselves as well as instrumentation, the Make earbuds can be adjusted by changing and combining tiny filters within them. There are three versions — Make 1, 2 and 3 — with Make 1 offering 77 variations on listening experience, and the 2 and 3 offering a total of 847.

Though it simply involves unscrewing the earphones and adding or removing filters with tweezers, combining them for the ideal personalized sound is a more complex process, so there’s an online manual showing exactly how to tune them on the company’s website, complete with graphs showing the changes in frequencies that can be made with different filters.

S’Next plans to release the Make lineup in December, so keep your eyes, and ears, open.

bit.ly/makeearbuds (Japanese only)

Showing off from the yard

If you love sports tricks but you’ve got no one at hand to show off your achievements, the Miez sports social media app could be good for you.

Miez is a video-clip specialized mobile app aimed at people who like to share their skills with like-minded individuals. As this is a beta version, it’s currently only offering freestyle football skills, but there are plans to add other soccer and basketball drills later this year. A cross between a game and social media, the app allows users pick a drill to copy via a search page of other people’s attempts. Users then film themselves copying the drill and upload the clip (up to 15 seconds). Peers can rate the performances, which will help other users find the best videos to learn from. As with other social media apps, users can also add effects to their videos and comment on others, making it a good opportunity to make new sporty friends.

Miez, which is being developed for global expansion, is free on the Apple iTunes store with plans to bring it to Android.

miez.tokyo (Japanese only)