Hakuhodo to host “Caress Your Brain” booth at SXSW 2018

Feb. 22, 2018
  • News

Tokyo—February 22, 2018—Hakuhodo Inc. (Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masayuki Mizushima, President & CEO), Japan’s second largest advertising agency, is proud to announce that it will have its own booth at the South by Southwest Trade Show (SXSW) 2018, a globally renowned showcase for technology startups to be held in Austin, Texas, March 11–14.

The theme of the Hakuhodo booth this year will be “Caress Your Brain.” Achieving coexistence between people and technology is a major challenge these days. Hakuhodo believes that the technology of the future will need to possess three qualities: humanity, meaning that it is ultimately designed to expand human potential and the range of human activity; educational value, meaning that it cultivates the values of the next generation; and physicality, meaning that it appeals to the bodily senses that make us human and is emotionally inspiring. This year our booth will exhibit products that caress the brain by gently working on people’s sensibilities and emotions and delighting the mind. It will bring the world Hakuhodo’s vision of how people and technology should coexist, inspired by our philosophy of Sei-katsu-sha Insight. This sees people not as mere consumers but as sei-katsu-sha— unique individuals each with their own lifestyle, aspirations, and dreams. It is a people-oriented rather than technology-oriented way of thinking.

The booth will display and demonstrate unique technology developed or co-developed by Hakuhodo. This includes Saya the Virtual Human, a computer graphic schoolgirl who moves so naturally that she can claim to be the first computer simulation to successfully cross the “uncanny valley”*; and Qoobo, a therapeutic robot in the form of a cushion with a tail.

*As robots and computer graphics come to resemble actual humans, at a certain point they become downright creepy. That phenomenon is termed the “uncanny valley.”

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