technology

Drinky: The South Korean robot ready to share a glass of booze with lonely drinkers 【Video】

With this mechanical friend, you’ll never have to drink alone!

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ASUS: Four little letters that are a pain to pronounce

There’s a strong chance you’ve been pronouncing this company’s name wrong the whole time.

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Creepy promo video for wearable translation device has foreign man trying to kiss Tokyo women

Finally! You no longer have to let language barriers keep you from lying to random girls you meet on the street of a foreign land.

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Researchers use uniformity of Japanese language to read people’s minds

A research group from the Kyushu Institute of Technology have announced that they have successfully read certain words and letters from people’s minds without them saying anything.

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Japan gears up for foreign visitors with new interactive vending machine

Have you ever looked at a vending machine in Japan and had no idea what the strange, kanji-labelled drinks were? Now there’s a new interactive service that will explain everything for you!

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A look at the innovative yet bizarre technology coming out of China【Video】

One YouTube vlogger explores some of the greatest tech Shenzhen, home to what many consider to be the world’s best electronics market, has to offer.

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New product combines PC, keyboard and mouse into one for a super-compact desktop computer

…monitor not included.

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People are really excited about that ‘Doraemon-like’ translating megaphone

There’s a new megaphone in the works that can translate the speaker’s message into three languages—and people in Japan can’t get over how ‘Doraemon’ the whole thing is.

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AI Samurai: The artificially intelligent, armored samurai that will answer all your questions

Are you hosting a large event with lots of guests? Maybe it’s time to call in AI Samurai to help with crowd control!

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Purikura evolved: Design and print your own nail art with Sega’s new “Nail-Puri” machines【Video】

The machines are available at arcades and amusement centers in the “purikura” section and offer over 1,500 designs.

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Work-in-progress Japanese AI program could probably get into 474 universities in the country

Now in its third year of testing, the artificial intelligence just earned its best mock entrance exam score yet.

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Tokyo airport to test megaphone translator

Translates announcements into English, Chinese, Korean.

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Sony to stop selling Betamax video cassette tapes in March

Sony announced on Tuesday that after four decades, it will stop shipping Betamax (or Beta) and MicroMV video cassette tapes next March. The company explained that it is ending sales in these formats in light of the changing marketplace, due to the end of analog television broadcasts in Japan in 2012, the decreased demand, and other factors.

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Sync! Illumination lets you watch Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade from home on multiple phones

Tokyo Disneyland is a popular destination at any time of the year, but when the holiday season approaches, the theme park swells with visitors keen to get in on the festive spirit.

One of the highlights of the season is the “Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights”, where a number of well-known Disney characters appear on large floats dressed up in spectacular light displays. Accompanied by music, the scene is also accompanied by huge crowds, eager to receive a wave from the likes of Mickey, Snow White or even Woody from Toy Story.

Now there’s a fun way to avoid the crowds and enjoy the illuminated parade from the comfort of your own home. It’s called the “Sync! Illumination” and it lets you link up with your friends’ cellphone screens to create an awesome interactive show. 

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Geminoid F: Japan’s android actress with a starring role in a new film 【Video】

A delegation of anime huggy pillows appeared on the red carpet at the recent Tokyo International Film Festival, but they weren’t the only non-human stars whose work was featured at the event. Also screening was Sayonara, a new film written and directed by Koji Fukuda. The fact that one of the Japanese-produced movie’s two female leads is a foreigner would be notable enough on its own, but what really makes Sayonara unique is that her costar is an android.

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Japan has vending machines for just about anything, including emergency care

In the case of a cardiac arrest, every second counts, which is why over the past decade Japanese health organizations have deployed a large number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public areas, with the current count somewhere over 300,000 units.

Eventually the country would like to see that number expand to one in every building, but for the time being the first priority is AED accessibility, leaving some foreign tourists surprised to find that AEDs in places that might seem a little odd at first: like vending machines.

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Axent Wear, those cat-ear headphones with LEDs and external speakers, are finally going on sale!

Think cat ears are only appropriate for cosplay and on Halloween? Think again!

Thanks to a highly successful crowd funding campaign, these amazingly awesome cat ear headphones are now, after what feels like an age since we first discovered them, hitting the market, and just begging to be worn just about anywhere.
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Yamaha shows off Motobot, the motorcycle-driving robot created to surpass us, at Tokyo Motor Show

With all the companies working on self-driving cars right now, it can be difficult for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Yamaha, however, is sure to stand out from the crowd with their newest project Motobot, a robot designed to ride a motorcycle on its own. But simply riding a motorcycle isn’t enough—the company’s hope is to eventually create a machine that can “surpass” humans!

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Crazy-looking car is basically one giant airbag, will appear at Tokyo Motor Show next week

If you saw this car on the street, you’d half expect a comically large number of clowns to come piling out of it. But it turns out despite its Looney Tunes-esque look, there’s a noble—if somewhat bizarre—concept behind this new car from Toyoda Gosei.

This is the “Flesby,” a new concept car that Toyoda Gosei will display at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show next week, with the “concept” being essentially that the entire outer body of the car is one gigantic airbag. Let’s take a look.

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International collegiate VR Contest features simulated pants wetting, creepy ear whispering

Virtual reality is a huge topic in the news right now, and with the many VR headsets to be released soon, we imagine the topic will only get hotter. Of course, gamers aren’t the only ones excited about the technology, and plenty of university students have taken a shine to the options virtual reality provides.

The International collegiate Virtual Reality Contest started in 1993, and since then it’s been one of Japan’s best places to find virtual reality project made by students from Japan and abroad. What you might not expect though is just how odd some of these projects can be, with everything from simulated pants wetting to simulated creepy ear whispering.

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