Product / ServiceBUGS HUNTER
CategoryA02. Creative Innovation (incl. business solutions in association with a brand or creative campaign)
Entrant Company MICROAD Tokyo, JAPAN
Advertising Agency KIDSSTAR Tokyo, JAPAN
Production Company LOCUS INC. Tokyo, JAPAN

The Brief

In Japan, digital Signage is known as a tool merely to display information.MicroAd, is an online and digital signage advertising platform company. We thought of an idea where we can utilize a digital signage and transform it into a tool that not only displays information, but also connects people and promotes communication. Currently in Japan, communication between parents and children is decreasing due to dual working parents. According to a survey conducted, 68.2% of parents with a 3 to 5-year-old child felt that the communication between them and their child has worsened due to their absence. Based on this situation, we came up with a solution to help bridge the communication gap between them. We installed a digital signage screen at a kindergarten that synchronizes with the smartphones of parents. The children will play a game on screen and the information and pictures will be sent to the parents. With a bug hunting game which we have created, children will design their own bug nets and catch bugs from the digital signage screen. The parents at work can see what bugs their children caught and pictures of their children in action on their smartphones. Back home, the children can learn more about the bugs through an application installed on the smartphone, increasing the chances of the parents and children to engage in conversations, thus providing a platform to improve their relationships through the increase in communication. We intend to install digital signage screens at more kindergartens and also develop new games. The total expenses for the hardware and manufacture of signage totaled to 400,000 yen, and development of application cost 4.5 million yen. The current progress of this project is at a Beta phase, where it has been introduced and tested out by subjects in a kindergarten.

This project has the potential for further developments. Through a questionnaire conducted to garner the parents’ feedback, 70% of them indicated they were very satisfied with the implementation and the remaining 30% were fairly satisfied. Furthermore, 9 out of 10 parents felt this aided communication between them and their children, while others did not experience drastic changes. Our short term goal is to increase the number of digital signs at kindergartens in Japan while our long-term goal is to increase usage of digital signage as a means of communication and connect people of different locations, not limited to just kindergartens. Currently, we have installed digital signs in 32 kindergartens and aim to connect children all over the world. The opportunity for future developments is promising. We have the flexibility to install digital signs at any location, and use it as a new form of communication. This brand-new communication will certainly be in demand as it can be utilized in various situations and customized to the users’ needs. Digital signage will not only display information, but also create a new platform for communication to reach out to the masses. Now, MicroAd is using digital signage to redesign the way we communicate.

Our innovation involves the usage of Kinect, a game console, a QR code-based net and android smartphones. Kids Star Corporation, an educational application developer for children, worked with us to develop this project. The digital signage is connected to Kinect, which is incorporated with an insect catching game. Individuals will stand in front of the signage to allow the system to identify players. Also, the system configures with a QR code-based net held by the player for identification while Kinect synchronizes with the users’ body movements. RESTful API, accessible from both signage and smart phones, is provided via the cloud system of the Amazon Web Services, allowing the synchronization of the QR code-based personal identification system with the info and photos obtained. It works in such a way that if Child A catches an insect, it will be stored parent A’s smartphone and Child B’s insect will be stored in Parent B’s smartphone. Hence the system is able to correctly identify and match the pairs accurately despite having multiple players each time. The app has an inventory of two pages, and more information about the insects caught by the children will be displayed. The contents of the digital signage can be changed to cater to the various needs of individuals. In this case we made a bugs hunting game for kindergartners. However, topics will not be limited to only insects. We also intend to develop contents related to food and sports. Different contents can also be created for hospitals and nursing homes. We have not sourced for any investments, seed capital, or funding for our project, however, the next stage of development of our innovation is to make it compatible on the iOS systems.