Serkan Toto

Serkan Toto
[Dr. Serkan Toto](http://serkantoto.com) is an independent consultant and advisor focusing on Japan's web, mobile and social gaming industries. Based in Tokyo, he works together with financial institutions and startups worldwide. Serkan has been the Japan contributor for TechCrunch.com since 2008. He is sept-lingual, holds an MBA and is a PhD in economics. CrunchBase profile →

Latest from Serkan Toto

  • Casio’s New G-SHOCK Connects To Smartphones, Shows Incoming Calls, Emails, SMS

    Casio’s New G-SHOCK Connects To Smartphones, Shows Incoming Calls, Emails, SMS

    Casio Japan is planning [JP] to roll out the G-SHOCK GB-6900 on March 16 next year, a wristwatch that connects to certain smartphones via Bluetooth LE (LE=low-energy, a standard that’s baked into Bluetooth 4.0). The device will be compatible with the Medias LTE N-04D Android phone from NEC (to be released next year) and NEC’s Medias PP N-01D. Casio says that the G-SHOCK not… Read More

  • Video: Electric Car From Japan Reaches Over 300KM Travel Range

    Video: Electric Car From Japan Reaches Over 300KM Travel Range

    We spent two posts on SIM-LEI, an electric car developed by a a spin-off startup at Keio University in Tokyo in collaboration with a total of 34 domestic and foreign companies, in the past months. And it seems that the startup, SIM Drive Corporation, is on track to start mass-producing the vehicle in about 2 years. The company was set up in August 2009. The main selling point of the newest… Read More

  • LG To Showcase 84-Inch 3D TV With 4K Resolution At CES 2012

    LG To Showcase 84-Inch 3D TV With 4K Resolution At CES 2012

    It seems that 55-Inch OLED TV wasn’t enough for LG: the Korean company today announced it’s ready to showcase another monster TV at the CES 2012 in Las Vegas (which kicks off on January 10). This model comes with a 84-inch 3D LCD display with 4K resolution (3,840×2,160 pixels). To put things into perspective: 4K resolution, which LG calls “Ultra Definition”, is four… Read More

  • Japan Gets Wi-Fi Dispensing Vending Machines

    Japan Gets Wi-Fi Dispensing Vending Machines

    It’s no secret that Japan is the country of vending machines (they even have models like this one now), but this is new: Tokyo-based beverage company Asahi Soft Drinks took the wraps off a vending machine [JP] that not only offers drinks but also sends out Wi-Fi signals within a 50m radius. The Wi-Fi will be available for free, is accessible with multiple devices, without registration… Read More

  • 3DS Sees Record Sales In Japan, Fueled By Mario Kart 7 And Super Mario 3D Land

    3DS Sees Record Sales In Japan, Fueled By Mario Kart 7 And Super Mario 3D Land

    Nintendo is really lucky to own the Super Mario brand: after the bumpy, Mario-less launch of the 3DS in Japan back in February, big N is seeing record sales for its portable console. As predicted, sales in Japan for the 3DS crossed the four million unit mark before the end of the year, namely sometime between December 19 and 25. That’s the week Nintendo sold 510,629 units 3DS systems… Read More

  • Fire Emblem: Nintendo Announces First 3DS Game With Paid Download Content

    Fire Emblem: Nintendo Announces First 3DS Game With Paid Download Content

    They have been fighting against the concept of making customers pay for extra game content for years, but as previously reported, Nintendo has now changed its strategy. According to a report by Japanese business daily The Nikkei, Nintendo has chosen Fire Emblem as the first game on the 3DS to offer paid download content. Fire Emblem: Kakusei, the latest title in the classic RPG series, is… Read More

  • 5 Japanese Tech Companies (And Samsung) Set Up LTE Mobile Chip Venture

    5 Japanese Tech Companies (And Samsung) Set Up LTE Mobile Chip Venture

    Big news from Asia’s mobile market today: Japan’s biggest mobile carrier NTT Docomo (55 million customers, over US$50 billion in sales per year) is teaming up with five other tech powerhouses to develop chips for next-generation mobile devices. Docomo’s partners are NEC, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd., Panasonic, and Samsung. The goal is to use synergies in the six… Read More

  • 55 Inches: LG To Showcase World’s Largest OLED TV AT CES 2012

    55 Inches: LG To Showcase World’s Largest OLED TV AT CES 2012

    We’ve been waiting for large-sized OLED TVs at least since Sony rolled out the cool (but too small) XEL-1 in 2007. Various bigger OLEDs and “breakthroughs” have made the news in the years after that, and now LG says it’s ready to showcase the world’s biggest OLED TV at CES 2012 (which kicks off on January 10). Sized at 55 inches, the panel has a contrast ratio… Read More

  • Sony Exits LCD Joint Venture With Samsung

    Sony Exits LCD Joint Venture With Samsung

    S-LCD Co., the joint venture for making LCDs for TVs between Sony and Samsung, will soon be history. The Japanese company today announced it will exit the 50-50 venture by selling its share to the Korean rival for US$940 million, after seven years of collaboration. After inking a final agreement, Samsung is ready to absorb the South Korea-based joint venture into its existing LCD business and… Read More

  • Ubislate 7: India Gets Second Low-Cost Tablet – For US$57

    Ubislate 7: India Gets Second Low-Cost Tablet – For US$57

    India is getting a second government-sponsored tablet. The first model (the so-called Aakash) sold out in just a few days after it was launched online last week, but maker DataWind has already followed up with another 7-inch model, the Ubislate 7. It was actually announced a few weeks back, but is now available for pre-order, priced at US$57 (US$10 more than the original Aakash), and features… Read More

  • AQUOS PHONE IS14SH: Sharp Integrates Android 2.3 Into Feature Phone Body

    AQUOS PHONE IS14SH: Sharp Integrates Android 2.3 Into Feature Phone Body

    It seems Sharp saw good sales when the company launched the so-called AQUOS PHONE THE HYBRID 007SH on the Japanese market, the world’s first clamshell Android phone. Today, Sharp’s AQUOS PHONE IS14SH [JP] went on sale in Japan, and again they squeezed a ton of smartphone functions into a feature phone body. The obvious target here are customers who want to type on a physical… Read More

  • Japan’s Top 3 Mobile Carriers Agree To Support Global NFC Standard

    Japan’s Top 3 Mobile Carriers Agree To Support Global NFC Standard

    Japan, one of the most advanced mobile nations in the world, doesn’t want to be a “cell phone Galapagos” anymore, at least when it comes to payments over NFC. Paying with cell phones is already ubiquitous in Japan, but now the country’s top three telcos (NTT Docomo, KDDI au, and SoftBank Mobile) are trying to switch from the Nippon-only Osaifu Keitai system to the Type… Read More

  • Report: Nintendo 3DS Sales In Japan To Pass The 4 Million Mark Earlier Than Expected

    Report: Nintendo 3DS Sales In Japan To Pass The 4 Million Mark Earlier Than Expected

    It’s a common platitude in the gaming industry: it’s the killer titles that make or break a video game system. One case in point is Nintendo whose 3DS sales in Japan, one of the biggest video game markets in the world, are expected to cross the four million mark two months earlier than expected. Just two weeks ago, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said this will happen “in… Read More

  • To Prevent Theft: Car Seat Identifies Drivers Sitting Down

    To Prevent Theft: Car Seat Identifies Drivers Sitting Down

    A group of researchers at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo has developed a car seat [JP, PDF] that can identify drivers when sitting down. The trick is that the system measures the pressure people apply on the seat through a set of 360 sensors. Each sensor is measuring pressure by its own and sends the information to a laptop, which aggregates the information to show… Read More

  • Japanese Company Works On 13-Foot Robot With Built-In Cockpit

    Japanese Company Works On 13-Foot Robot With Built-In Cockpit

    The Robocalypse is near: Osaka-based Hajime Research Institute is working on a humanoid that will stand 13 feet (4m) tall, which is much taller than most other existing robots of its kind (the latest version of Honda’s Asimo, for example, is just 130cm high). It will also sport a built-in cockpit. Hajime Sakamoto, president of the institute, is on a mission. After having successfully… Read More

  • Video: Japan Gets Vending Machine 2.0 With See-Through Full HD Display, Facial Recognition

    Video: Japan Gets Vending Machine 2.0 With See-Through Full HD Display, Facial Recognition

    There can be no doubt that Japan is the country of vending machines, and this newest model is perhaps the most advanced yet. Developed by Japan-based tech companies Sanden and Okaya (and Intel), this “vending machine 2.0″ features a 65-inch see-through display with full HD resolution as the biggest selling point. When there are no potential customers around, the display shows a… Read More

  • Sony Sells 321,407 PS Vitas In 2 Days, Apologizes For Technical Problems At Japan Launch

    Sony Sells 321,407 PS Vitas In 2 Days, Apologizes For Technical Problems At Japan Launch

    Sony has managed to sell a total of 321,407 PlayStation Vitas on December 17 (the day it was launched in Japan) and 18, Japanese video game magazine Famitsu is reporting [JP] today. This pretty solid number means that big S has sold about 46% of its initial shipment of Vitas (which is rumored to be around 700,000 units) in 48 hours. The Famitsu says that back on December 12, 2004 (the day the… Read More

  • Social Music Community Beatrobo Makes Sharing And Listening To Songs With Friends Easy, Asynchronous

    Social Music Community Beatrobo Makes Sharing And Listening To Songs With Friends Easy, Asynchronous

    Most online music services have a common problem: it takes too much time and effort to get started and engage with other people. Users usually need to create playlists after registration, look for existing friends using the service or invite new ones, hope that friends really add the songs and bands they like, etc. If this has been done, sites like Turntable.fm, for example, only work well when… Read More

  • Video: Omni-Directional Spider Robot Asterisk

    Video: Omni-Directional Spider Robot Asterisk

    It’s not the first spider-like robot out there, but it’s almost certainly the most advance one: a team of researchers at Osaka University in Japan has developed Asterisk [JP], a six-legged insect robot that can perform a few pretty interesting moves. Perhaps the most interesting feature is that Asterisk can pick up objects with two legs, lift them on top of its body and carry… Read More

  • LG’s Optimus LTE Android Phone Goes On Sale In Japan

    LG’s Optimus LTE Android Phone Goes On Sale In Japan

    Japan’s biggest mobile carrier NTT Docomo has introduced LG’s awesome Optimus Android phone in Japan yesterday. It’s compatible to Docomo’s 4G service Xi and follows the launch of the handset in Korea and North America. The Docomo version comes equipped with NFC and a digital TV tuner for Japanese users wanting to watch 1seg channels on the 4.5-inch, 1280×720 IPS display. Read More