technology

Five things expats wish Japan had, and why it’s sometimes a good thing it doesn’t

For the most part, Japan is a pretty great country to live in. Among a host of other positives, it’s clean and safe, with good infrastructure and reliable transportation.

Still, some people move to Japan and find that even if they like the overall package, it doesn’t quite have all the comforts of home. Today, we’re taking a look at a list compiled by blogger and internationalist Madame Riri of five things expats wish Japan had, plus adding our own explanation of why it’s sometimes a good thing that it doesn’t.

Read More

D Free: a new wearable device that gives you a 10-minute warning to find a toilet 【Video】

After inventing the printing press, mastering the power of flight, and connecting the world through the power of the Internet, it’s inspiring to know there is still more human ingenuity out there innovating and giving us life-changing products like a USB-powered rice ball warmer. But our species is a bright bunch and we continue to find new ways to harness technology, like a Japanese startup that has announced a new wearable device that predicts bowel movements and gives the user a 10-minute heads-up before needing to find a toilet.

It may not be as trendy of a wearable as the upcoming Apple Watch, but it could be a life-changing device for people who suffer from incontinence or those working in the nursing home industry.

Read More

Saga Prefecture is in big trouble as “technology in the classroom” trial fails big time

Nowadays, with online resources, textbooks, and even virtual high schools, technology has been making a big impact in the education world. School computer labs have come a long way in recent years and some schools are even supplying tablets for their pupils to use in class! Oh, to be a student in the 21st century!

Unfortunately, many schools in Japan have yet to jump on the in-classroom technology bandwagon. Wanting to head-up a new trend, last year Saga Prefecture decided to do a trial run of personal computers for students, and so had all high school first years purchase tablets–only, the technology caused so many problems, the program has been sacked only a year in and now the board of education is in hot water.

Read More

How to cook pot stickers in just three seconds: Lots of garlic, lots of craziness 【Video】

I love gyoza, the pork and garlic-packed dumplings that you can find in diners, ramen joints, and grocery stores across Japan. Seriously, when the Japan Gyoza Association released an ad that was just a dude running around with a delirious grin saying, “Aha! Gyoza! Ahaha!” it seemed, to me, like the most natural reaction in the world to the little wrapped bits of deliciousness.

Really, the only complaint I have about gyoza is that I don’t have a freshly cooked batch in front of me right now. With a solution to that problem, here’s a video of how to make gyoza in just three seconds, without using a microwave.

Read More

Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby

A proper anime character huggy pillow seems to have become a critical component of the full fetish and fantasy regalia of a well-rounded otaku, but there are certain things you just can’t do with such a 2-D crush. Sure, anime girl pillows will let you squeeze them and passionately insert your sweet nothings into their non-existent eardrums, but no matter how fervently romantic you become, you can’t expect any sort of pillow talk from your pillow.

Unless, that is, you’re curled up beneath the sheets with the Ita-Supo, the first talking huggy pillow that responds to your touch with verbal responses, including angry outbursts if you get too grabby.

Read More

“That can’t be an Asian person…” Apple’s plan for greater emoji diversity backfires

With expressions ranging from happy to sad to ironic, emoticons serve as a kind of virtual extension of the self on online messaging platforms. As a result, many rejoiced when Apple decided to import Japan’s Emoji keyboard back in 2011, eliminating the need for app extensions. Yet something was still missing. “Where’s the diversity?” asked everyone from Tahj Mowry to Miley Cyrus, addressing the notable lack of non-white cartoon faces.

It looks like Apple has been listening closely to these concerns, with plans to implement a more racially and socially diverse set of emoji for iOS 8.3 later this year. Problem solved? Not quite. As Apple unveils its most recent developer betas, a furor has broken out in China regarding what some regard as a prejudiced depiction of Asians. While one can certainly make a case for this position, Apple claims the startlingly yellow emoji at the heart of the uproar doesn’t depict a normal human face at all.

Read More

This is the most technologically-advanced cat feeder you’ll ever find

Like it or not, cats are pretty much in the fast lane to world domination. They’ve already invaded our homes, taken over the internet, and have even got us going to extreme lengths to give them the very best. Take this new, high-tech cat feeder for example, which not only weighs your cat and keeps track of how much they eat and drink, but, if you have multiple cats, can even recognize each one’s face and allows you to watch them eat in real-time from your phone.

Read More

Students at new online high school in Japan make anime-style avatars for virtual campus

As society and education changes, Japan is slowly opening up to the idea of online high school courses. But while modern technology makes video lessons and email correspondence easy to implement, some things are still lost in the transition to a virtual classroom setting. One major issue is the lack of ability to affirm your own individuality, as well as the increased difficulty of building bonds with other students without any sort of visual representation of their identities.

Hoping to alleviate these problems is a new online high school in Japan that requires students to create anime-style online avatars, and even provides a simulated school campus for them to mingle in.

Read More

Did you know Japan actually provides some of its own supply of this surprising natural resource?

It’s no wonder that nuclear energy has kind of been dominating the news about Japan ever since the March, 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster.

As one of Japan’s proudest domestic resources, Japan has long been an advocate for nuclear energy. Even following the 3/11 disaster, many domestic factions still push for even more nuclear energy in a country that largely imports many of its resources.

But there’s at least one more resource that Japan is capable of producing energy domestically and, in fact, it’s been doing just that for a while.

Read More

NTT creates two-dimensional pictures that can move: Harry Potter photographs are now real!

One of my favorite things about the Harry Potter universe was the fact that all the photos and paintings of people moved around on their own. Sure it was only a tiny detail, but it was all those little details of how a wizarding world might actually work coming together that made the final product so amazing.

And now, our muggle world has taken one step closer to Harry’s: NTT, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, recently announced that they’ve developed a way to make normal, printed-out two-dimensional pictures look like they’re moving through a bit of magic of their own.

Well, I only have one thing to say: “You’re a wizard, NTT!”

Read More

Kyoto’s amazing mechanized underground bike parking system is even more awesome in motion 【Video】

Compared to Tokyo, Japan’s former capital, Kyoto, is fairly compact. Most of the commercial development is clustered around Kyoto Station, with a ring of temples, gardens, and other historical sites surrounding the more modern parts of the city.

Kyoto is also relatively flat, and the grid pattern its major streets are laid out on makes it an easy town to get around by bicycle. Of course, Kyoto doesn’t want an unsightly mass of parked bikes marring the scenery and cluttering pedestrian walkways, which is why at one of the city’s major transportation hubs there’s a subterranean, automated bicycle parking lot, and if that sounds awesomely high-tech, wait until you see it in action.

Read More

Is Samsung sounding the retreat on the Japanese smartphone market?

South Korean Electronics giant Samsung may soon pulling out of the smartphone market–in Japan, at least. Recent information from industry sources paints a dreary picture for the company’s prospects in the country, with Business Korea saying: “By continuing to do business in Japan, Samsung should expect more of a loss than a gain.”

So what’s to blame for its floundering smartphone sales?

Read More

Possibly real viral image shows potential but ridiculous way app developers influence sales stats

If you’re one of the many, many people who downloaded smartphone smash Flappy Bird only to find yourself decidedly underwhelmed and wondering why it was getting quite so much praise and press, you’re not alone. And while the aforementioned game may well have made it to the top of the charts due entirely to word of mouth and its strangely addictive, if simplistic, gameplay, you wouldn’t be considered completely crazy for wondering whether some games got to the top Google Play and the App Store’s popular downloads lists by some other means.

Case in point, this viral image doing the rounds online today, which purportedly shows a Chinese employee of a firm which makes its living boosting apps’ stats.

Read More

Meet Asuna, the hyperreal android that will leave your jaw hanging 【Video】

Wonder Festival is a semiannual Japanese convention dedicated to model and figure-building which attracts all manner of pros, amateurs, and cosplayers from across the country. Most recently, the Winter 2015 Wonder Festival was held at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba City on February 8.

Our reporter Meg was busy checking out the show when she spotted a cute girl standing behind robotic company A-Lab’s booth. “Aww, she looks just like an idol from AKB48!” Meg thought. But when she got closer, she was shocked to realize that the girl was actually a hyperreal-looking android! In fact, many of the people attending the exhibition were equally stunned to learn that Asuna was an android, and not a living, breathing human girl. Would you have been tricked along with them?

Read More

No Photoshop here! Chinese city really does have a two-headed, German-made fire truck

Speed is of the utmost importance for emergency responders. When a fire breaks out, for instance, a delay in rescue workers arriving on-site can directly lead to lives being lost.

But while fire trucks have powerful, torquey engines that enable them to haul a full team and all of their firefighting equipment, they aren’t the most nimble vehicles when you need to bust a U-turn on a narrow road. Thankfully, some firefighters in China’s Nanjing City don’t have to worry about pulling off such complex maneuvers on their way to a blaze, thanks to their crazy-looking double-headed fire engines that can be driven in either direction.

Read More

Handy bath pillow doubles as a smartphone holder, might also be giving you a hug

After a long, hard day at work or school, there’s nothing like a nice, hot bath. But then again, a lot of people also like to unwind by kicking back and sending a few emails, watching a video or two, or perusing the Internet’s most profound sources of knowledge on their smartphone.

Rather than choose between the two options, some people opt to take their phone into the tub with them. But if you’re so tired you’re craving two indulgences at once, having to grip your phone in your hand while you soak can really put a damper on maximizing your rejuvenating/loafing time.

So instead of doing that job yourself, why not get one of these inflatable bath pillows that double as a smartphone holder to do it for you?

Read More

Huge six-meter (19.7-foot) anime hug pillow will prove you’re a great big otaku 【Video】

When you look at them a certain way, huggy pillows with pictures of cute anime girls on them are kind of creepy. Well, actually, they’re creepy in several ways, but for right now, let’s limit our discussion to one way in particular.

Even if we accept that there’s nothing wrong with consensual love between a man and his pillow, their relative sizes make the situation kind of weird. After all, a person’s height is far greater than a pillow’s length, so wouldn’t Miss Anime Pillow feel a little awkward cuddling with her much larger otaku owner?

It’d probably be a little like squeezing a gigantic anime pillow that’s six meters (19.7 feet) long. Of course, if that sounds like your personal vision of bedtop bliss, there’s a company giving away just that.

Read More

It sounds like HTC’s new phone is going to have an incredible camera

HTC is planning to announce a new smartphone and smartwatch at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona on March 1, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Read More

Charge up your new tech with a nod to old games with Famicom controller battery pack/card reader

Although millions of people have fond memories of playing games on Nintendo’s original Famicom (known internationally as the NES), not too many people spend much time actually playing with the system anymore. After all, portable gaming devices like Nintendo’s own 3DS and even smartphones now boast more powerful hardware specs than the classic 8-bit console, and have just as large a library of legitimately fun games as well as the capability to play old-school titles as software downloads.

Of course, the flipside to having so many great portable games to play or, in the case of smartphones, extremely important websites to visit, is that your mobile devices are going to be running out of juice before long. Now, though, there’s a way to give your new tech a recharge and your old tech a shout-out simultaneously, with this battery pack/card reader that’s styled after the Famicom’s Player One controller.

Read More

“Live2D Euclid” technology creates 3-D models while retaining the essence of a 2-D drawing

What happens when you take the merits of both 2-D and 3-D animation and combine them to make a new hybrid form of animation technology? Unfathomable as it may seem, that’s precisely the type of technology that Japanese company Live2D is in the midst of developing. Their latest achievement, known as “Live2D Euclid,” is software that is able to transform your 2-D drawings into a 3-D reality while still retaining the look and details of a pen and paper illustration. In other words, it looks like “a hand-drawn picture that will move in the way you want it to.”

Still confused? Check out the introductory video after the jump to see this new technology that is revolutionizing the way we animate characters in anime and video games!

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. ...
  9. 27
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 20,439 other followers