Charming Technology
(1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Written by Lauren Goschnick   

Charming Technology

Charming Technology

Where would we be without our mobile phones? You will be hard pressed to find a person in Japan, young or old, who does not own a mobile or cell phone. Indeed the mobile phone has become an essential item with people carrying them on their person almost all the time. While businessmen and women use mobile phones to better organize their busy lives, young people and children are also huge users of mobile phones.

24.7% of sixth grade children own a mobile phone with the figure climbing to 45.9% for eighth graders and 95.9% for second-year students at senior high school. And of course mobile phones are heavily used by people in their twenties. A mobile phone can be seen as essential for communicating with friends and having access to the latest technology and entertainment. But it seems a mobile phone acts as more than a tool for communication, or a means to while away boredom while waiting for the bus. A mobile phone acts as an expression of identity. This is true of many young people in Japan who decorate their phones, often lavishly.

Decorating a mobile phone gives the owner the opportunity to personalize and make a statement to the world about who they are and what they like and it isn’t unusual to see a mobile phone covered in bows, gemstones, charms and stickers. Phone straps are also popular, these are like key rings but for your phone and they come in many weird and wonderful designs.

Pocky, the popular confectionary sticks come in phone strap form, or rather the convenient packaging does. The small box-shaped Pocky does not contain any real confectionary but has two small buttons that when pressed will sing the popular Pocky commercial jingle. It comes in 10 designs, or ‘flavors’ and is a marketing success because it is both cute and almost pure advertisement for the product.

In a similar vain, Kellogg’s make miniature phone strap cereal boxes in all their favorite cereals from Cornflakes to Fruit Loops and Just Right. Each of the twelve cereal boxes comes with a tiny milk bottle as an added bonus.

Chupa Chups is another brand that has cottoned on to this type of cute advertising. Attaching a small replica of the popular lollypop to your phone looks cute and also comes with a fortune-telling card advising on your love life, work life, friendships and your lucky number.

It is easy to be quite cynical about the phone straps or charms listed above. Companies are using brand identification and cute packaging to attract young people who subconsciously market the product by attaching it to their phones, an item they carry around with them everywhere.

However less commercial phone charms also exist. There are lots of cute animals, flowers and crystals, rather like jewellery for your mobile phone. There are beads inscribed with messages like ‘I love you’ encased in small vials of liquid and Feng Shui apple charms that change your ringtone to better suit your mood and create good energy. Similarly you can purchase a mood ring, not for your finger but for your phone.

Fashion and functionality meet in the UV bead phone strap. Five beads will change color from white to purple, pink, peach and yellow to tell you the levels of UV surrounding you and each charm comes with a famous Swarovski crystal.

Mobile phone decoration is not only for girls, many guys also decorate their phone.

Everything it seems can be made into a miniature phone strap, from characters from popular anime series Death Note to cars and even fake Nintendo DS’. It is also popular to have stickers of yourself with friends on your phone.

In Japan decorating your mobile cellular phone is almost as important as having one.



Get to Know us

  • Contact Us
  • Terms & Conditions