With the invention of passenger airlines, live international television broadcasts, and the power of the internet, there's no denying that over the last century we, as the Human Race, have grown ever closer.
But as our community grows on a global scale, it seems as though a limelight has been shone onto our lack of knowledge and understanding for each other’s cultures and ways of life. As we aim for a future with little to no boundaries, this lack of knowledge (and sometimes ignorance) is an issue that can make international relations difficult.

If we want to progress as a connected species, we need to tackle these issues head on, and that’s exactly what every-day design company Hobonichi is trying to achieve with their AR-compatible globe “Earth Ball”.

Developed by Hobonichi, “Earth Ball” is an educational globe that has no borders or country names and shows the earth as it is “seen from space”. When you hold up your tablet or phone over the Earth Ball with the dedicated application open, you can see the globe with 21 different types of AR content.

With the Earth Ball you can explore the world in greater detail; from observing weather changes as they happen around the globe in real time, to comparing the languages and customs of different countries.

In total, The Hobonichi Earth Ball comes with 21 different modes that are perfect for learning a little more about the planet we live on and the people we share it with.
Below is a brief introduction to just five of the modes, the rest can be seen in detail here.

Today’s Earth
Following hourly updates, you can see the distribution of clouds, rain, and temperatures all across the world in real time.
You can also replay a radar video of the changes in the weather that has happened over the last 24 hours. This mode is perfect for observing the ever-changing appearance of the world beyond its borders of the land and sea.

Countries of the World
This mode provides encyclopedia-like content, such as the flags, the population size, area measurements and the main languages of each country.

Global SDGs Map
The United Nations set goals known as SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to create a richer world while protecting the global environment by 2030. This mode allows you to view the current SDG situation of the world, and how the goals differ country-to-country.

In this mode the Hobonichi Earth Ball takes on the appearance of the moon. Navigate and explore the far side of the moon, take a deeper look at the landscape and topography, and compare the size of the earth and the moon.
Additionally, if you tap on one of the astronaut figures you will be presented with views that they saw when landing on the moon during the Apollo program.

Earth at Night
Witness a view of the earth at night as seen from outer space. Like tiny fairy lights, the lights of the cities glint in the dark of night, highlighting the edges of continents and countries with a beautiful glow. If you take a closer look, you may even notice the light of a fishing boat flickering from the middle of an ocean.

Since the release of the second model of the Earth Ball back in March, cumulative sales have surpassed 100,000 units, proving the product's popularity. And, if that wasn’t enough, the Earth Ball is now being promoted for use in educational settings by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, who have distributed Earth Balls to around 50 elementary and junior high school classes nationwide.

If you want to pick up your very own Hobonichi Earth Ball, the globes are available to purchase online or from a select number of stores nationwide.

Hobonichi Earth Ball
Price: 3,960 yen (tax included, shipping fee separate)
Diameter: 15cm
Weight: 145g

By - Connie Sceaphierde.