12 Pixels is on Sony Ericsson new phone.


Sony Ericsson included 12Pixels as a standard feature of its new mobile phone.

12Pixels is an interface and application that allows creating and sharing sophisticated pixel art drawings using just 12 keys of a mobile phone. We developed it at Sony CSL.

Cedar™ is exactly the type of mobile phone that we had in mind for 12Pixels: an affordable candybar-shaped handset designed to be used anywhere in the world in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Americas. Somehow we keep forgetting that more then 80% of mobile phone users do not use smart phones with touch screens! It is phones like Cedar™ that connect majority of people to each other.

In addition to 12Pixels Cedar™  has impressive specs including web access, 3G modem, nice color screen, camera and Facebook integration.

12Pixels hits 20000 downloads!


12Pixels service hits 20000 uploads!

This means that 20000 pixel drawings have been created and uploaded on SonyStyle 12Pixels web site. It took us approximately a year to achieve this number and although its tiny when compared to PC-based services for user-generated content, it is nevertheless a significant achievement for such a niche application as pixel-art drawing tool and sharing service for mobile phones.

The drawings created by 12Pixels users continue to amaze me. Below is a collection of some of the drawings that were uploaded to 12Pixels web server. The current stream of drawings can be experienced here.

12 Pixels Color is released in Japan!


A new version of 12Pixels has  been released in Japan by Sony Marketing on Sony web site. This new version, named 12Pixels Color,  incorporated a lot of changes and improvements that resulted from observing how people were using the first version. Some of these improvements include: allowing to draw with color (obviously, hence the name!), simplifying interface for drawing emoticons, improving help and adding a lot of traditional social web features, such as ranking and commenting.

This release has been done in collaboration with Sony artist, musician and TV personality Neeko (ニーコ) who provided her original content and encouraged people to re-mix it and post on 12Pixels web site. She visited us in Sony CSL the other day.


12Pixels stays free and the goal of the project stays the same: to explore how people can be creative with traditional mobile phones. For more information please check links below:

  • 12Pixels Color is here;
  • Neeko 12Pixels page with her profile and drawings is here;
  • Research page that explains what 12Pixels is all about is here.

12Pixels is released by SonyStyle.

12pixels_logo12Pixels, which is one of my research projects, has been released by Sony Style Japan as mobile phone service. It can be accessed  here.

What is 12Pixels? 12Pixels is an interface, mobile phone application, and web service that allows people to draw and share images using only the keys of a standard mobile phone. In Sony Style release the images drawn by the users can be saved on the mobile phone, used as a wall papers, converted into custom emoticons and even sent to partner company to be made into crystal stone fashion accessories. Sony Style is not allowed to write it, but it uses Swarovski lime stones.

This release also includes some of the the sample content drawn with 12Pixels application  by one of my favorite design collective Dai Nippon Type.

  • SonyStyle 12Pixels service can be accessed here.
  • SonyStyle press release (in Japanese) can be accessed here.
  • The real-time gallery of drawings created by the 12Pixels users is here.
  • The original 12Pixel project page is here.
  • My personal research page on 12Pixels is here.
  • The QR code for downloading 12Pixels is below:


And these are some of the drawings made using 12Pixels:

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