Fighting Monsters And Defusing Bombs In Augmented Reality

Osuke Honda, a general partner with Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture firm DCM, says he has been traveling back and forth between Japan and the U.S. all his life. He spearheads many of DCM’s investments in Japanese companies from the firm’s office in Tokyo, and this week participated in a $12 million Series B funding for augmented-reality company Tonchidot Corp.

With a couple of downloads and the camera application on a smart phone, users of Tonchidot’s software can view information on their phone screen about their physical location, drawn from geo-tagged content submitted by users. They can also battle virtual monsters or defuse virtual bombs in real-world environments. Tonchidot’s technology combines the “check-in” elements of companies like Foursquare Inc. with social games similar to those of Zynga Game Network Inc.

Honda says his favorite Tonchidot game is called Sekai Hero, in which he checks in to a location to collect points with his pink-haired monk avatar. He can also fight monsters that might be lurking in the location’s augmented reality space. “I play quite a bit,” he said. “My wife is actually fed up with me.”

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