Sano:How do products show their character? Their shape is certainly important, but personally, I think color plays a larger role. For the mylo, we researched extensively to choose colors for the keyboard, buttons, and other parts. After repeated simulations, we settled on a combination of white and orange as fitting colors for the novelty of a new product category and the fun of a great communication tool.
But even the freshest design and most distinctive colors will fail if they don't convey these traits to users. So for greater impact in emphasizing orange as the mylo color, we also use orange prominently in the product packaging. A simulated screenshot can be seen on the mylo through the window, and overall, you can notice how the packaging demonstrates key functions.
The shape of the mylo, two joined circles, also represents a unique design. Of course, we couldn't resist the opportunity to use this shape as an icon or symbol as often as possible. The package window outlines its distinctive shape, revealing the mylo and presenting the shape as an icon. And naturally, the logo design is rounded.
Imamura:I can add that the mylo GUI features this symbol of joined circles, too, used as a software icon. It spins around during data transfer and in other situations, much like an hourglass icon on computers.
As in the U.S., every day we see more and more Wi-Fi hotspots in Japan. I think it's interesting to imagine users here deciding where to meet, for example, based on where hotspots are available. Something like, "Hey, we can use our mylo communicators in that cafe, so let's go there." And when they arrive, there are communicators all around. If we see the edges flashing in orange, we can guess that everyone is connected and having fun streaming music in ad hoc mode. I think this is the true appeal of the mylo. It's not merely the addition of player functions on an existing platforms such as mobile phones or PDAs; it's a multiplication of performance, amplifying social interaction through music.
Kubota:The mylo has 1 GB of internal memory. Some users who carry around thousands of tracks may feel this is not enough. But we decided this was the right amount because users can share music in ad hoc mode.
Designing the communicator especially for WLAN environments led us to determine that somewhat unexpected specs are most practical. When you resist the urge to store data on a device, you begin to realize the essence of the age of network computing. Just access servers as needed for required data or email messages. If this sets the scene for new services and functions, it holds great promise for exciting new directions in communication.