If you love watching cat videos during your work break, you’ll certainly love this giant 3D cat billboard in Tokyo, Japan.
The hyper-realistic feline is shown between advertisements on a gigantic 1,664 square-foot curved LED screen in the Shinjuku district, one of the city’s busiest railway stations.
The calico cat comes to life on a 4K-resolution display that spans over three floors, walking around high above as it seemingly watches over the entire district. The billboard is also equipped with speakers, so passersby can hear the cat meowing, making it more lifelike.
“From the beginning of the design of Cross Shinjuku Vision, we have been conscious of the installation position and shape suitable for viewing from the east exit square of Shinjuku station, and it is possible to promote and market using high-impact 3D images,” reads the official release.
NBC reporter Tom Llamas, who has been reporting on the ground in Tokyo leading up to the Summer Olympics, said:
“They line up to watch this thing. It pops out for about 10 seconds at a time, and the organizers say COVID has been so dark in Japan they wanted some brightness.”
The giant cat doesn’t have a name, but some have dubbed it the “Shinjuku east exit cat.” It also doesn’t promote any product or service; it’s really just there to delight crowds.
The video airs between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m. and changes throughout the day, with the furball popping into view every few minutes.
The cat is startled awake in the morning, and by the afternoon, it can be seen roaming around the screen and meowing at passersby. At night, it lies down and falls into a slumber with its head resting on its paws.
Even before the display officially launched on July 12, test broadcasts have started taking place in June. The “Shinjuku east exit cat” has attracted people’s attention online, with netizens expressing their amazement at the technology and the “cute” feline brightening their days.
A hotel employee who had come to see the giant cat told CBS News:
“With the pandemic, we don’t have any way to chill out. We’re dog people, but the cat is so adorable. It’s soothing.”
Another onlooker said the cat is really “powerful and cute” but wished it had a few seconds more of exposure.
If you aren’t in Tokyo, don’t fret—you can still view the billboard online. One of the companies behind the display, Cross Space, has started live-streaming the billboard on YouTube.
However, the screen’s owners warned that the 3D effect can be diminished depending on where you view it from.
According to Cross Shinjuku Vision, a website launched for the display, 190,000 people pass by the screen every weekday.
Takayuki Ohkawa, a spokesman for Unika, one of the two companies behind the billboard, said the faux feline is their attempt to bring some joy during difficult times.
“There are many reasons we decided to display the cat, but one of the big reasons is that with corona, the world became very dark,” he said. “Through the cat display, we wanted to revive Shinjuku and make it brighter.”
And they certainly pulled that off spectacularly! Watch the video below to see the Shinjuku 3D cat in action.
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