Monday, 11 December 2017

VR HoT TOPICS: Looking back on the development of PostPet (Postpet) until now and its future

\ Momo Welcome back! / Do you know "PostPet (postpet)"?

PostPet is a 'catchphrase' pet electronic mail software called "Pink bear carries mail" that appeared at the dawn of the Internet. For people in their thirties to forties, it may be nostalgic mail software. I was also one of my favorite users when I was in elementary school. I can talk with my friends if I go to school, I remember caressing the letter to the pink bear "Momo chan" after returning home after school!

Even those overseas were greatly interested in this software, although no crackers nor hackers ever got into developing a copied version. I also attempted connecting a Gmail account to an old trial version, however, things didn't work so well.

Note also that there was a Twitter Beta version for Mac called PostPet Now! which was quietly stopped during development in 2011. This time, with VR, it's fully working and serious.
At the end of 2016, the development of a new title "PostPet VR" was announced, and fundraising was carried out with cloud funding . It seems to be shaped little by little, and at the end of April this year, the free experience of PostPet VR was held.
In this article, we will talk about the appearance of the Postpet VR experience session and the talk event of the developers at the time, and a further interview with Mr. Hachiya, and we will unravel the future of PostPet.

The world of PostPet revives with VR!

At the end of April, I have been experiencing the PostPet VR ! I will reveal Mr. Hachiya's explanation of VR.

Talk session by former So-net, PostPet development member was also held at the experiential meeting. I have also talked to developer Kazuhiko Hachiya.

At that time... story revealed in a talk show by former So-net members

In a talk session where former So-net's Tsuneji Nakamura, Yasuhiro Nakanishi, Yuriko Koide, and Mr. Yukihiko Koki and PostPet development member gathered together, the story behind the service included facts the developer Mr. Hachiya did not even know.

PostPet was born in a carry-on project

According to Mr. Hachiya who was a developer and Koide, who was in charge of promotion at So-net at that time, PostPet, like a cartoonist, developed from members (Mr. Hachiya, Koki san, Manabe ) who made prototypes and brought it to prospective companies.
From the beginning there was a concept like a 'post pet park'; ISP (internet service provider) was necessary because I was considering a mechanism to generate profits by continuously using the service instead of selling software alone.
It seems that efforts began with a word to Koide, Mr. So-net's contact at that time, "If you are so cute, I will buy it even at 50,000 yen!"

Reason why PocketPostPet was developed by docomo and Casio

Speaking of PostPet, PocketPostPet was developed at that time by three companies, So-net, docomo and Casio. As a development background, the end user's desire to use personal computers at that time as individuals seems to have increased, but it seems that the price side was also a bottleneck.

So, although it seems that hardware was also made on the PostPet side, it seems that it hit a VAIO unit of the parent company Sony, but refused from various circumstances, I talked to Hitachi and other companies, finally Casio collaborates He said that he was supposed to do it.
And regarding another docomo, it seems that the mobile strap that the developer of the pocket board released from the company had at the interview of the magazine seemed to be "Momo-chan" It appeared fierce approach is. In this way, three companies were able to deploy original PostPet services on software as well as hardware.

Why PostPet was introduced to iMac, iBook

In addition to hardware development efforts, bundling was proposed to each PC company to aim at the state where PostPet was already introduced at the time of purchasing PC.
The first thing that we introduced was Compaq. When the person in charge moved to Apple, he went to the Apple headquarters directly with the Japanese staff, he said he decided to introduce it directly to Steve Jobs. It seems that Mr. Hachiya did not even know this story, it was the moment when the venue got the most excited. Jobs also accepted software!

PostPet is made up with user support. That's why I took advantage of cloud funding

I also made an individual interview with Mr. Hachiya, the developer.

- Please tell us the reason why you decided to develop "PostPet VR" announced this time and why you decided to utilize cloud funding.
Hachiya : As PostPet celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, it seems that the release of goods was planned, but I thought that we could do something by themselves. However, because the budget is not abundant, it has become more and more to take advantage of nature and cloud funding.
In addition, PostPet was unusual at that time and was developed in the form of participation by ordinary users, so there was also a thought that if you use cloud funding, you can produce the atmosphere at that time. There are "nurse course" and "doctor course" in the course of return because there is a history that not only the staff's power but also user support has been established and PostPet was established.
The reason why I decided to use VR technology was already developed as my own work and I knew that I could do something fun, so I decided to utilize VR.

- I believe that PostPet at that time was mainly communication of e-mails and communication with characters, but from the viewpoint of communication, is PostPet VR different from what we have been aiming for so far?
Hachiya: I have not changed what I am aiming at. VR has chosen only because it has low hurdle of introduction, and ultimately I would like to release a smartphone version of PostPet.
PostPet VR is developed based on "PostPet V3" released in 2002, it is very low with low polygon so even smartphones move crisply. However, rather than suddenly issuing a smartphone version, I first wanted to see what it would be like with VR. As ourselves, PostPet VR has the image of the service in the pre-stage of the smart version.

Aim should be release of the smartphone version of PostPet

- Will the message become the subject of the future rather than the mail?
Hachiya: Well, I think that it will be a message-oriented one. In the background that we did not develop much of the mail version, there was an increase in spam mail due to spread of mail. Whether it was simply anti spam measures came to decide the performance of the mailer, and Gmail overwhelmingly gained advantages over it, so it was advantageous. Also, since private messages are changing from e-mail to message, I decided to make it a messaging app instead of e-mail.

However, the thought of basic design has not changed since long ago. PostPet pets have been treated as "spirits of stamps" and have been designed in such a way that they can interact only with really important people. That's why, even if you develop a new one, use pets to communicate closely with important people, not systems that increase your friends more and more. I will develop the idea there without bra.
- Is it an image close to LINE ?
Hachiya : It may be close to the initial LINE. Recently, every SNS is designed to promote exchange with "do you friends?", But I think that there is also a service to exchange messages only with dozens of important people, so PostPet I wish I could play the role.


As I mentioned at the beginning, PostPet is a very memorable service for me. It was also a tool for getting along with friends, and also was a catalyst for my love of VAIO personal computers. On the day of the event, I saw the participants' excitement and listened to developers' stories. "PostPet has been loved deeply since long ago and will continue to be loved" I felt.

But so much of this is 'similar' or could be repeated with the sister services PAW of Dr. Matsuda and SAPARi of GCO and Mr Noma. In fact, all 3 services should be ported to VR (requiring cloud-funding) and then released to smartphone to occupy a niche market between Facebook, Minecraft, LINE, WeChat, and Skype. NRI will support such a movement wholeheartedly, and no doubt the 'mystery' of the 3 services will live on into the 21st century.
I am looking forward to future movements as to what kind of communication the PostPet version of SmartPhone version will be developed, which will be developed in the future, based on PostPetVR!