Apparently the destruction of soft silky tofu is so much of a problem that one company has developed a machine to replace the delicate task of handling tofu. No more will we have to worry about shaky cumbersome hands to package the jiggly white stuff. Yes, we can all rest easily knowing our tofu is safely in the hands of robots. Or maybe that is something we should fear.
No matter how shiny and slim your new smartphone is, no matter how high-definition a display it has, it’s still very much a slab of plastic and metal with a screen sitting in the middle. But what if your phone’s screen could wrap around the sides? Imagine if the edges of your tablet computer could also be used as a touch screen, removing the need for physical buttons entirely. Or how about a wrist watch whose strap could also function as a display?
Imagine no more: Japan’s SEL is already producing that very technology, and it’s positively droolworthy.
As waste gasses from fossil fuels continue to choke our planet and money-grubbing businessmen propose plans to frack (and that’s not some coy euphemism) the very ground we walk on to get at even more of the stuff, more and more people are doing their bit to be kind to the environment. Solar panels can be seen up on the roofs of residential buildings, people separate their waste so that as much of it can be recycled as possible, and more consumers than ever are choosing electric or hybrid vehicles.
And now, Japanese motorists have another reason to go green: Evangelion-themed electric car charging stations!
That’s right video game fans, as of this week, we now finally have a full crop of next (or should that be “current?”) generation games consoles to play with, bringing with them a whole new era of video game magic! Nintendo’s Wii U has been with us for a while now, PlayStation 4 showed its sleek little face over 10 days ago, and we now finally have an Xbox One to tinker with!
The media centre approach Microsoft has taken with its newest home console may not appeal to all gamers, but even if you’d rather play focus on games than flick between live shows and Dead Rising, there’s no denying that Xbox One has one big advantage over its competitors – its ability to receive, rather than simply output, a signal from another device. Microsoft ideally wants us to use this feature to hook up our cable boxes and make the console our living room hub, but being the gaming nerds that we are and already owning every other console, we decided to do something a little different: play PlayStation 4 and Wii U games on our Xbox One. And it works like a charm.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been out in North America for over a week now, and is finally heading to Europe this coming Friday. Thanks to the efforts of our game-loving staff in the US, we managed to pick up a few units, and have been tinkering with them for about a week now, so felt it was time to share our thoughts on the new hardware.
Rather than getting all techy and giving you lists of stats or focusing on frames per second, however, we decided to take a slightly more human approach, and talk about how Sony’s newest console rates in the eyes of both a self-confessed Sony fan and a long-term Xbox lover.
Let the mud-slinging begin!
Sony has boasted over a million PlayStation 4 consoles sold during the new machine’s first day of sale alone, and that figure is climbing ever higher by the day, but it’s important to remember that these are just the numbers for North America, and European gamers still have a little while (make that a long while if you’re Japanese, but let’s not rub salt in the wound) to wait until they get to throw cash in Sony’s direction and make the PS4 their own.
It turns out, though, that unlike the millions of units shipped to the US in recent weeks, which were mostly made in China, there’s a good chance that the consoles European gamers will be snapping up come November 29 were in fact made in Sony’s homeland, Japan.
In news that Android fanboys will likely want to spit at, Japan’s top 10 smartphone sales chart currently reads 100-percent iPhone, it has been revealed.
Now carried by all three of the country’s biggest mobile providers, Apple’s iPhone has become immensely popular in Japan in recent years and is seemingly the must-have mobile this November.
Man, wouldn’t life be a whole lot easier if, say, when you dropped your phone, it landed predictably on its strongest edge, preventing breakage? Or how about a system that automatically mutes your annoying boss, not by making you deaf to him, but by making it physically impossible for him to talk? Oh! Or, what if there were money printers that printed as much money as we wanted?
It turns out all of those things actually exist, albeit one of them isn’t available for personal use because it would cause the world’s currencies to become wildly inflated and ultimately lead to the downfall of civilization as we know it.
There are, in fact, a lot of awesome hi-tech inventions you probably wish for on a regular basis without even knowing that they actually already exist. Here are just a few we’ve picked out:
After releasing a teaser video last week promising an announcement on November 5, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan has revealed that its “PocketStation” brand is officially making a return, though it’s not quite as exciting as we had all hoped.
The original PocketStation was a tiny device released in Japan back in 1999 and very like Sega’s own Dreamcast VMU tech. Essentially a memory card “micro-console” with a simple LCD screen, when used with the original 32-bit PlayStation the device could be used to save data from games and play themed mini games on the go. PocketStation even came with infrared capabilities, meaning that saves could be passed between gamers anywhere and everywhere, which, back in the days before cloud storage, was considered pretty magical.
This new “device”, however, will be entirely for PlayStation Vita and arrive via a download from the PlayStation Store, it has been revealed.
In one of the strangest stories we’ve come across so far this week – yes, stranger than exploding yogurt and ramen cake – reports are coming in of a number of Chinese-made irons that contain “mini microphones” and chips that can plant viruses in nearby computer equipment via home Wi-Fi networks.
We always knew ironing sucked, but this is ridiculous.
Japan is known for its dichotomy of unique tradition and state-of-the-art technology, so tatami mat floors that light up during a traditional tea ceremony should really come as no surprise. Although the photo above might look like an illusion or a Photoshopped image, it’s actually a real tea ceremony room in Yokohama, Japan. The eerie yet peaceful glow is thanks to a company that uses LED lighting to illuminate traditional Japanese flooring. And the results are absolutely stunning.
Regular readers will no doubt recall the Telenoid R1, the tactile doll shaped like a giant human foetus that when controlled via remote computer almost appears to be alive. Using this intriguing yet somewhat disturbing technology, creator and Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro went on to produce Hugvie, a soft, pared-down version of the doll that has a slot for a smartphone in its head, enabling users to cuddle and chat at once while the doll’s internal vibrators simulate the caller’s heartbeat based on their tone and the volume of their voice.
As fun and quirky as the pillow was, few ever thought it could be beneficial to users’ health, but recent research suggests that cuddling up with one of these blobs while chatting on the phone could actually help reduce stress and make us feel more content.
September 20 was a special day for Apple fans, as the newest iteration of the company’s smartphone, the iPhone 5s, went on sale. The youngest member of the iPhone clan was an instant success, and while some people were motivated to buy one by the simple camaraderie of hitting the Apple store with a group of friends, Apple also touts a number of technical advantages the iPhone 5s has over older models.
One of the biggest strides lies in the iPhone 5s’ camera, which we discovered can be used to take dramatic slow motion video that looks like something out of a movie.
We fell in love with Sony’s new PlayStation Vita Slim the very first moment we got our sweaty little hands on a demo unit at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, but this new commercial, which features rocking gaming penguins of every colour the new device is available in, made us even more eager to buy one.
Depending on where in the world you live, adult movies could be anywhere from freely available to buy in their uncensored forms to banned completely. In Japan, naughty movies are, as we’ve seen, in plentiful supply, but most are subject to heavy censoring, with genitalia either blurred out or pixellated over; an effect referred to in the business as “mosaic” (or so I’m told…).
So when Apple recently rolled out its newest smartphone operating system, which features a visual design that, on certain screens, makes parts of background images look like they’re behind a layer of frosted glass, the first words that sprang into minds of many young Japanese were “porn mosaic”. Barely minutes after iOS 7 had been rolled out, cheeky photos began cropping up on Facebook and Twitter showing how, to quote one user, it is “the most erotic operating system ever.”
Mildly titillating and possibly NSFW images after the jump.
As well as showing off its new PlayStation 4 console, PlayStation Vita 2000 handheld and Xperia Z1 smartphone at last week’s Tokyo Game Show, electronics giant Sony was also quietly pushing its newly designed HMZ-T3 personal viewer headset into tech fans’ consciousness, with demo units popping up in a number of booths. Since bringing its first headset to the market back in 2011, Sony has been gradually tweaking and refining its tech in response to consumer feedback, with its newest iteration due to go on sale later this year.
With the HMZ-T3, Sony has produced its lightest, most compact headset yet, retaining the ability to watch movies and play video games in both 2-D and stereoscopic 3-D, as well as boasting smartphone connectivity and, for the first time, wireless operation thanks to a portable battery pack.
Our experience of the previous model having been something of a bittersweet affair, we were keen to see whether Sony had managed to perfect its headset the third time around, so with the help of a friendly booth attendant we slipped on the new HMZ-T3 and put it through its paces.
Probably the most intriguing feature of the new generation iPhone is its fingerprint authentication. Once recognized by the system, only the true user’s fingerprint will unlock the phone, rendering it impossible for anyone else operate.
However, registering a fingerprint has its drawbacks. Someone can easily press the phone against your finger while you sleep and have access to all your secrets. If you want maximum security, we recommend using your toe or nipple. They really work!
We’ve all been there: you’ve got your shiny new laptop, smartphone or tablet computer and you’re lounging around on the floor at home, watching videos on YouTube, tapping away at Plants Vs. Zombies… when suddenly your pampered, first-world body throws a hissy hit. “I’m tired! Why do I always have to hold all the expensive electronic devices!?” it moans as you start to lose the feeling in your arm or your left leg goes to sleep. You wriggle around and find a new position, but before long your body’s complaining again and you just can’t get comfy.
Oh, wouldn’t it be great if there were something – a piece of furniture perhaps – that would hold your tablet or computer for you while you did massively unimportant web browsing and lay on the floor!?
Enter the Goron tablet cushion, which not only supports your head and neck while you laze around, but comes complete with an adjustable holder for tablets, laptops and even small monitors! Yep, gamers just got that little bit lazier!
It’s become an annual ritual. Every year, Apple releases a modified version of a product already available and people begin to migrate towards the glowing white apple in their cities to congregate and await its glorious arrival.
This year, however, one Japanese iPhone5S user-to-be may have jumped the gun on his pilgrimage to the Apple store in Ginza, Tokyo. Arriving 10 days before its release, he sits patiently waiting for it to come.
Smartphones on the market today allow users to do all sorts of things that would have otherwise been unimaginable even a decade ago. You can listen to music while surfing the net or writing an email, watch movies, get live weather reports, and let’s not forget the phone’s original purpose of talking to people.
The bane of the average smartphone user’s life, however, is their device’s short battery life. And anyone looking to save their beloved device from a sudden black screen of death has to either cut down on the heavy-duty apps or carry a charging cable or battery charging unit with them. But what if we told you that you could cut out the middle man and attach your phone directly to the power outlet whenever and wherever you were?
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