Category Archives: Industrial design

“GACHA” Autonomous Shuttle Bus by Muji

Finnish autonomous driving company sensible 4 and Japanese lifestyle brand Muji have launched the first driverless bus called “GACHA” for all weather conditions. It is expected to start operating in the city of Espoo, Finland in April 2019.

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Airvase by Takeo and Torafu Architects

Specialty paper company Takeo based in Tokyo, and Torafu architects collaborated and created “airvase” by using a single piece of paper. It was exhibited at Japan House in London.

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Infobar A02 by Naoto Fukasawa

A new series of “Infobar” will be released in Japan in February 2013. Designed by Naotao Fukasawa, the HTC-made phone comes with Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz quad-core APQ8064, 4.7-inch 720p display, 16GB of storage, microSD slot, 2,100mAh battery, LTE radio (800/1500) and Android 4.1.

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Japanese carrier NTT DOCOMO will launch NEC’s “MEDIAS W N-05E” in April 2013. It is possible to use two displays separately for different tasks, or to use them together as one larger display. Specs: OS: Android 4.1 Processor: Dual core MSM8960/1.5GHz System memory: 1GB Camera: 8.0 megapixels Built-in storage: 16 GB Battery: 2100mAh Dimensions: 136 x 64 x 12.2mm Weight: 183g Images and videos via

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LLS-201 by SONY

SONY will release “LLS-201”, a wireless storage device on April 30th. It comes with NFC (Near Field Communication), and the device can receive data files such as pictures and videos from mobile devices just by one tap. Specifications: Storage: 1TB Wireless LAN: IEEE802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz) Inputs and Outputs: USB 2.0, Memory Stick Duo, SD memory card, HDMI output Supported formats: JPEG, MPO, RAW, AVCHD, MP4, MPEG2, SD, MOV, 3GPP(3GPP2), AVI, MPEG1 Dimension: 172 x 172 x 32mm. Weight:500g Price: 30,000 Yen or around $335.

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Professor Masaharu Komori of Kyoto university invented “Permoveh”, a new vehicle which can move around in a limited space.It uses a joystick shaped controller to steer the vehicle. Komori is planning to develop the vehicle as an electric wheelchair and expecting three to five years before a production version. Video via: The Asahi Shimbun

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Omron thermometer designed by Fumie Shibata

Fumie Shibata designed a new Omron thermometer MC-642L, and it will be released in Japan on April 10th. The thermometer is made for women, and it takes only ten seconds to measure temperature. It is possible to transfer data to a computer or mobile phone via USB holder(separately sold). The size is compact (39x103x16mm), and it automatically turns on by removing the thermometer from the case. More information (in Japanese):

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INFOBAR C01 by Naoto Fukasawa

Japanese phone manufacturer KDDI has released “INFOBAR C01” designed by Naoto Fukasawa.  These INFOBAR phones are first series that works as “smart phones”.

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Panasonic’s OLED smartphone

Panasonic will release its first mobile phone in seven years outside Japan. Panasonic left the global market in 2005 when its sales went down. The name of the mobile phone has not been disclosed, but it is a ultra-shin mobile phone with minimal design.  It also features a 4.3 inch OLED display and is water-resistant. This global model will be available only in Europe in March 2012. Panasonic apparently has a plan to expand its market to the US and China later.  

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iida X-RAY by Tokujin Yoshioka

Japanese mobile phone brand “iida” released a new model “X-RAY” designed by Tokujin Yoshioka. The concept is “designing a phone that doesn’t seem to have a form” It is transparent, and Yoshioka designed the inside the phone: the chips and electric lines. The material used is also a new, special material which was developed by a glass textile manufacturer. Red, Black, and Blue are available.

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