Six internet related startups from Japan were presented to Silicon Valley last week at the SF New Tech Japan Night held in San Francisco. The highlight of the group was a web browser by the name of Sleipnir, from a company called Fenrir Inc. This might be the first browser out of Japan attempting to contend with Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla in the big leagues, but it seems they’re off to a solid start. Sleipnir is available for Mac OS X, Windows, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, and has over 30 million downloads according to Kazushi Makino, Fenrir’s CEO.
Sleipnir has some pretty advanced features such as using touch gestures to navigate and change tabs, bookmark syncing across multiple devices, and even something new like having a phone number from a website sent to your smartphone so it can be dialed instantly. Currently the browser is free on all platforms, however beginning in June they will offer additional services for a fee, such as the ability to have various user names and passwords securely stored to eliminate the hassle of logging into different websites.
The next service was called Beatrobo, from a company going by the same name, which lets you create a robot-like avatar and then tie it to your favorite music playlist. You can then share your avatar with friends, where it waits in their “lobby” to be called upon to play your chosen tunes. They have even designed a physical token that plugs into the headphone jack of a smartphone and then transmit your avatar’s ID to their system. Users would be able to create their own tokens, and should the startup get enough funding, they would like to sell tokens with celebrities’ playlists.
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