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Life-Size Gundam Gets 1/1 Zaku Counterpart — on iPhone

posted on by Egan Loo
Augmented-reality app puts virtual 18-m Zaku mecha next to "real" Gundam statue

Yahoo! Japan announced on Tuesday that it will release a Gundam AR app for the Apple iPhone that will display a virtual, 360-degree Zaku II mecha next to the "real" 18-meter-tall (about 59-feet-tall) Gundam statue in Shizuoka, Japan. The iconic red MS-06S Zaku II mobile suit is the personal ride of Char "Red Comet" Aznable, the nemesis of the Gundam protagonist and pilot Amuro Ray.

Yahoo! Japan says that it will release the free augmented-reality app "soon," and the app will display the virtual Zaku II from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m every day until September 30. The "life-size" Zaku II will only appear if the camera on the iPhone 3GS or 4 with the app is pointed at a spot next to the Gundam statue. (The app uses the newer iPhone models' magnetic compass sensor and assisted GPS system to pinpoint its direction and location.) The app can also display a smaller virtual Zaku II (pictured below) anywhere that the user places a printable marker template.

The Gundam statue is officially open to the public from Saturday, July 24, 2010 to January 10, 2011. It once stood on Tokyo's artificial Odaiba island, but it moved to the central Japanese city of Shizuoka, the self-described "model capital of the world."

Earlier this year, a similar app displayed a virtual life-size Evangelion unit (from the anime franchise of the same name) against the real-life landscape of Japan's Hakone City, the city that inspired the anime's New Tokyo-III setting. However, the app's sponsor, the LAWSON convenience store chain, had to cancel this and other promotional campaigns less than two days later because the influx of visiting fans disrupted the lives of local citizens.

Sources: Mainichi Shimbun, animeanime.jp

Images © Sotsu, Sunrise
© 2010 Yahoo! Japan Corporation

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