Hakuhodo develops Shake Sync™ with Osaka U. and Zero By Zero

Mar. 7, 2018
  • News

Tokyo—March 7, 2018—Hakuhodo Inc. (Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masayuki Mizushima, President & CEO), Japan’s second largest advertising agency, has developed a new educational toy called Shake Sync™—a set of luminous blocks—in partnership with Osaka University and the creative team Zero By Zero.

The educational toy Shake Sync™ consists of a set of blocks that change color when shaken and turn the same color when brought close together. The idea originated in the quest for a new way for children to enjoy themselves by having fun with something intangible: light. All you need to play with the blocks is your hands. Shake one of the blocks and it will light up or go out; bring two blocks together and their colors will sync. By arranging multiple blocks in a row, you can create a domino effect in light. The blocks, which emit seven colors, develop children’s imagination and self-expression by letting them have fun creating patterns and pictures in the medium of light.

Besides being interactive in that colors can be transferred between them, these blocks are also visually unique in that they employ beautiful color gradations, a technique that goes back to the days of Japanese ukiyo-e prints. Not only are they for kids either; adults too will find them a delightful way to jazz up any interior.

Website: http://shakesync.com (in Japanese)

Shake Sync™ was developed by Hackts, a project team based at Hakuhodo’s Kansai Office, in partnership with Osaka University and the creative team Zero By Zero. Hackts came up with the concept and directed product design. Wobble oscillator technology invented by Osaka University is used for the light patterns. Zero By Zero designed the color transfer process and developed the hardware and software. The color transfer technology has the potential to enable various lighting effects to be adjusted interactively at attractions like illumination events and concert venues. We intend to come up with ideas for new applications like these and seek corporate partners to work with us on commercialization and mass production.

Shake Sync™ will be on display at the Hakuhodo booth (Booth No. 1420) at the trade show South by Southwest (SXSW) 2018, a showcase for technology startups to begin March 11 in Texas, USA.

The development of Shake Sync™ is the first full-blown project for Hackts, a creative team based at Hakuhodo’s Kansai Office dedicated to fostering innovation by working with both technology startups and traditional artisans, not to mention universities and research institutes. The Kansai region abounds in research assets and traditional crafts. Hackts’ mission is to uncover outstanding technologies possessed by universities, research institutes, and technology companies based in and around the area, and develop them into products and services by fusing them with creative ideas. It thus adds value to people’s lives.

Hackts will now start looking for partner institutions and companies to work with it on achieving that goal.

Read news release

Back to News & Insights