SoftBank launched its +Style platform in 2016 connecting IoT hardware device makers with Japanese consumers who are keen on adopting the hot, new technology into their lifestyle. At the beginning of 2017, SoftBank introduced the +Style as a program on HWTrek to attract the developers of cool IoT devices to the Japanese market.
SoftBank’s +Style has collaborated with ARM Innovation Hub to feature products developed with ARM technology. Six products that use ARM technology are currently available for sale on the +Style platform and four have been offered for pre-order on the crowdfunding section of the platform. For more innovations developed with ARM technology, check out the ARM Innovation Hub.
Planning: Participatory product planning
The Planning component of the +Style platform provides an opportunity for hardware companies to connect with potential consumers of their products during the planning and prototyping stages of their product development. The most talked about project in the Planning component of +Style is a consumer smart health device project called Ketto, developed by Tokyo-based E3 Enterprise. Ketto measures blood sugar, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels. It received more than 120 comments and more than 150 people favorited the project.
Quantum is Tokyo-based open innovation corporate startup studio that supports the development of innovative IoT products from the product planning and design stages through to business development and strategy. Connect with Toshi Shiwa, Chief Engineer at Quantum, on HWTrek to learn more.
Arrk Dison specializes in manufacturing industrial design models and product prototypes including appearance model, function model, silicone mold, temporary vacuum casting, CNC machining, and SLA laser light modeling. To learn more about their services, connect with Sam Liao on HWTrek.
The Smart Aluminum Bag is a sophisticated, craftsman smart briefcase from Tokyo-based Garret Interior. The designer is considering a number of features that include smartphone charging, LED light, GPS logger, and locking mechanism controlled by a smartphone app via Bluetooth connectivity. The project idea was favorited 38 times and received 33 comments.
Crowdfunding: Raising money for product production or testing the market
The two most successful campaigns crowdfunded on +Style are Beam, a smart LED light projector, and Code Horizon, a connected, real-time strategy board game. IoT hardware developers can leverage crowdfunding on SoftBank’s +Style platform to help ease Japan market entry and help to speed go-to-market strategies.
The Beam, which raised 1,346,600 yen, is a smart projector that fits in any light socket (E26/E27 type socket compatible) and can also function as a lighting fixture with its 12 LED lights and is controlled via an iOS or Android app. The Netherlands-based Beam Labs initially raised $759,656 on Kickstarter before testing the Japanese consumer IoT market via +Style. It runs on Android OS, features both Bluetooth and WiFi wireless connectivity, and has two built-in speakers.
Code Horizon is a real-time strategy board game, developed by Yokohama-based Mira, that knocks down enemies by deploying realistic robots, VRO (Valkyrie Rover), on the table and virtual infantry units on the iOS/Android application, using all the tactics while identifying the speed change situation. The VRO robots use ARM Cortex M0 processors and are wirelessly connected to the player’s iOS or Android device via Bluetooth 4.0. The project’s campaign raised 527,800 yen on the +Style platform and also raised $30,407 on Kickstarter.
Tokyo-based Kiluck provides planning, product, mechanical, and PCB design services and prototype consulting. Connect with Yaoxuan Zeng, who is responsible for Global Marketing at Kiluck, on HWTrek to learn more about their services.
Shopping: Purchasing products unavailable in Japan
The shopping or e-commerce component of the +Style platform gives consumers the chance to purchase the latest in innovative IoT products that are not yet available in the Japanese market. Some of the most popular devices on offer for sale include a web-connected video camera that can dispense pet treats remotely called Furbo, TrackR bravo, which is an item tracking device backed by a Crowd GPS network, and a wireless robotic button or switch pusher called MicroBot Push. Slovenia-based Ulla Lab’s, a member of the HWTrek community, sells its Ulla personal hydration monitoring device that attaches to a user’s drink to monitor hydration and issue reminders to drink more water. Ulla was developed with ARM technology.
IoT hardware developers looking for assistance in developing a cloud-based network such as TrackR’s Crowd GPS can look to ACCESS on the HWTrek platform. Tokyo-based ACCESS is a provider of advanced IoT software development and solutions. Check their profile and connect with Takashi Sasaki here.
Together with SoftBank’s +Style program, HWTrek provides a complete end-to-end hardware development ecosystem—a one-stop shop—for IoT hardware innovators collaboratively working to manage their product development, connect with manufacturing and supply chain industry experts, and bring their connected device projects to market in Japan.