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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Are you tired of using plain old cream-colored masking tape for your masking needs? As you should be! Why keep using the same old drab colorless stuff when you have awesome options like this that will give any surface you apply it to the look of an electric circuit? Nazca Electric Circuit Masking Tape will snazz up any surface, your accessories, and more!
With their heated seats, hidden sensors and warm water cleansing systems, Japanese toilets are used to being the centre of attention in hotel bathrooms, public restrooms and ordinary residences all around the country.
Now its time for their next-of-kin to get an upgrade, with a new machine set to revolutionise toilet paper dispensers, making it possible to automatically cut sheets and even fold the final edge into a neat little triangle for the next person to use.
The somewhat euphemistically named process of “denailing” has remained a popular torture method since medieval times and, according to the sort of creepily detailed Wikipedia page for the method, it remains in use today.
There are a few good reasons for that. It apparently leaves no permanent marks or injury – after the nail grows back, of course – and requires only the most basic of tools to pull off. It also objectively hurts like hell and there’s something about the tips of the toes and fingers being manipulated that leaves a person feeling unbearably vulnerable.
All of which has us wondering why anyone would voluntarily use this tool, which is clearly just a re-purposed torture device, to fix their ingrown toenails, regardless of how amazingly well it supposedly works.
Thanks to the world of smartphones, we’re now able to connect to ourselves on a physical level in a way we never could before. Fitness apps and wearable devices like the Fitbit wristband allow us to monitor everything from the number of steps we take to our walking speed and heart rate.
While activity trackers usually take physical data from our wrists, Japanese eyewear brand JINS is taking a very different approach by monitoring not only our physical but also our mental state, with the new JINS MEME glasses. Using a number of built-in sensors to gather data from the eyes and body, now you can monitor everything from posture to alertness levels and find out how your body and mind “age” alters throughout the day.
Considering some of the cute critters we’ve seen recently, you might have come away with the impression that Japan is all generous birds and adorable yet spatially confused dogs. But you still shouldn’t let your guard down, because as this video shows, you never know when you’re going to run into a robot dinosaur that breaks away from its handlers and rampages through a crowd.
It’s no secret that in Japan selling the fantasy of an anime or video game sweetheart is big business. But is everyone with a 2-D crush simply a lonely soul using the fictional character as a substitute for a lack of real-world interaction with the opposite sex, or do some people just prefer having a virtual romantic prospect? One Japanese technology company is aiming to find out, using the power of science.
Japan’s Meiji period ushered in revolutionary changes to the country. As over 200 years of self-imposed isolation came to an end, centuries of economic, political, and scientific advances came flooding into Japan, and the nation’s thinkers and entrepreneurs began scrambling to modernize. Thanks to their efforts, soon after the Meiji period began in 1868, Japan had its first railways, banks, and apparently a dog-powered butter-making machine.
At some point in our childhoods, most of us probably owned a few coloring books to keep us entertained on rainy days or while traveling.
Although coloring is still a great way to boost a child’s imagination and improve motor skills, as digital technology continues to develop, fewer children are turning to coloring books to pass the time.
So in order to make coloring “cool” again, Disney decided to do a little research into what they could do to breathe some life back into this old pastime favorite.
If there’s a menial task that takes up a substantial amount of time, you can bet Japan is developing a robot for it. So far we’ve seen gems like the 24-fingered hair-washing robot, the floor-cleaning bot and the robot that feeds you tomatoes while you run.
Now, a new generation of self-automated robotic assistance is set to make life easier for families in the very near future, with an amazing new machine that folds your laundry.
Google’s self-driving cars have gone from being a quizzical project that only the geekiest of geeks cared about to a very real possible future. Of course, Google isn’t the only company making forays into automated transportation, so it’s hardly a surprise that Japanese companies are also working on such technology.
But where Google’s self-driving cars basically look like tiny adorable bugs, Japan’s Robot Taxi is looking to solve the various transportation issues facing Japan—both urban and rural—with one magic bullet. Will they be successful? We have no idea, but this touching commercial will definitely have you rooting for them!
As Japan’s human population decreases, its robot population steadily rises. From the giant, rideable KURATAS to SoftBank’s domestic robot, Pepper, there’s diversity in their numbers but from next year, one smart mechanical biped aims to outdo them all.
It’s the adorable RoBoHoN from Sharp, who’s set to crush the cellphone market with an array of impressive features and an equally charming character. To see just how amazing this little guy is, come with us as we take a look at his exclusive introductory video after the break.
Every year since 1957, Japan’s Good Design Awards have honored products which are designed in such a way to have a positive impact on people’s lives. The award system, which is now operated by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, has recently released their list of 2015’s Good Design Best 100 award winners.
With such innovative ideas as LED jump ropes and basketball courts, these awards are truly the best place to catch a glimpse of athletics equipment of the future!