KAYAC, Inc was the talk of the show as they showcased two interesting mobile apps at SxSW this last week. For those who do not know KAYAC, they are a Kamakura, Japan-based web/mobile app developer with a very colorful background. They call themselves “omoshiro” which means a fun-loving company.
KAYAC’s company’s vision is to increase the number of creators in the world. Their corporate culture is to make everything weird and different. KAYAC’s weird culture includes things like on-the-move office, where they traveled and worked on a bus in Vietnam or to Tohoku to help the earthquake/tsunami ravaged area recover. Other uniqueness in their culture is that they set bonuses by rolling a pair of dice, and have the spirit of manga where superheros overcome the odds. Read more about their culture here.
A total of 20 companies came from Japan to showcase their products at SXSW. KAYAC sent three of their employees to SXSW, and attended to the booth dressed in Kabuki and Geisha outfits. So far, KAYAC has released 7 new apps to the US market this year. Among those apps, Photobag and MusicParty were highlighted at SxSW.
Photobag is an app that allows you to share unlimited pictures from your mobile device with your friends. There is no site registration required and all you need is a secret access code to share unlimited pictures with your friends. The catch is that they are only available free for a limited time. After that time, one will need to “feed” their honey bear with some money to access the pictures.
To promote Photobag, KAYAC ran a campaign at SXSW by making personalized Manga-style cards for the event audience and distributing them through the Photobag app. KAYAC attracted over 200 people to create the Manga cards.
MusicParty is a unique iPhone app which allows a user to share their iTunes mobile music with up to four of their friends.
This app uses wireless or bluetooth to share music. To use this app, the user will create a “Party” and phones that have that app loaded and active can see the “Party” and request music to be played on the user’s iPhone. The user who created the “Party” can select which music will be played on their phone. MusicParty can be useful for a roadtrip, party or even a wedding where background music is needed. This app is available in the iTunes App Store.
For more about KAYAC and their apps, visit them at http://www.kayac.com