As the Olympics dawn, and with the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise again, the mood is not relaxing in Tokyo, Japan. Nevertheless, a gigantic cat on an oversized billboard installed in the capital changes the ideas of the population.
One of Tokyo’s largest advertising screens shows the animation of a hyper-realistic cat getting up, lying down, and meowing at pedestrians near a station in the Shinjuku district.
The 149 square meters (1600 square feet) curved 4K light-emitting diode (LED) display offers the illusion that the feline is actually in a white box embedded in a building.
今日の15時半ごろに現地で撮られた映像です。雑踏が思いのほかうるさいので、声の大きさは調整しなきゃ。再生時、音量注意です！⚠️ pic.twitter.com/8OsmcyyVOo— 新宿東口の猫 (@cross_s_vision) July 5, 2021
The activities of the animated animal – which does not have an official name, but is nicknamed the Shinjuku Cat – can be watched live on Cross Space’s YouTube channel. (New window), one of the two companies behind the screen. However, the firm says that the three-dimensional effect is less impressive on the web.
The chat display, which has been in its test phase for a month, is not an advertisement for a product or a company, but an initiative intended for the well-being of people who circulate in this district of the capital.
We wanted to revive the city of Shinjuku and make it brighter, told the New York Times Takayuki Ohkawa, a spokesperson for Unika, the other firm that signs the animation.
The oversized panel will officially launch on July 12, just in time for the Olympics which kicks off on July 23. According to the spokesperson for Unika, new visuals of the cat could be added.
3D display, a trend
Billboards showing realistic 3D images have been popping up all over Asia in recent years. The latest example dates back to May: it was a screen showing a giant wave sweeping over a building in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea.
In China, a spacecraft that appeared to come out of a building entertained the people of Chengdu city in October 2020.