technology

Japanese Electronics Company Releases Camera Glasses for Under US$100

Japanese Electronics Company Releases Camera Glasses for Under US$100

With the general release of Google Glass still several months away, Tokyo-based electronics maker Thanko is already offering gadget lovers something that shares one function with Google’s wearable computer for a fraction of the price.

On April 11 Thanko released its mita manma megane, or “just what you see glasses” video camera, designed like a pair of eyeglasses. Read More

Japanese Electronics Shoppers Create Works of Art on Floor Samples

Japanese Electronics Shoppers Create Works of Art on Floor Samples

With nearly all of today’s graphic, comic, and animation design work being digital, any serious artist needs a graphic tablet. These are large LCD screens that can be drawn on directly with a stylus allowing for easy uploading and computer editing of the created image.

Like most electronics chains in Japan, Yodobashi Camera has sections of its stores where customers can try out the latest products, graphic tablets included. Most of us would probably be content to scribble a few lines, doodle a stick figure, or maybe add a splash of color. But like finding a novel filled with dozens of fleshed-out characters and a gripping narrative left on Word in the laptop section, seriously talented artists have been creating true works of art on Yodobashi’s graphic tablet floor samples. Read More

GungoHo Online Entertainment Continues Upward Surge, Market Cap Exceeds Nintendo in Morning Trading

GungoHo Online Entertainment Continues Upward Surge, Market Cap Exceeds Nintendo in Morning Trading

On the morning of May 13, GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc. (JASDAQ Standard) rose by its maximum allowable single day limit of 300,000 yen (approx. US$3,000). The stock increased 28.79 percent to 1.342 million yen (approx. US$13,420). The rise comes on the heels of a 17 percent gain on Friday, May 9.
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Buzzard Breath? Funky Feet? Odor-Detecting Robots Rate Your Pungency

Buzzard Breath? Funky Feet? Odor-Detecting Robots Rate Your Pungency

A team from Kitakyushu National College of Technology (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka) and CrazyLabo (Koga City, Fukuoka) has developed two robots capable of detecting degrees of offensiveness in foot odor and breath.

Blow into the face of lovely Kaori, a female mannequin-headed robot, for a quick reading on whether or not you are ready to interact with others. After a brief analysis, Kaori will assign one of four ratings to the (un)pleasantness of your breath…
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Finally! Spaghetti and Hotdog Are Now As One!

Finally! Spaghetti and Hotdog Are Now As One!

The science world has been reeling as a photo surfaced demonstrating what might be a successful fusion of hotdog and spaghetti. However, many pasta experts remain skeptical claiming, “Man, ain’t no way you can put a piece of dry spaghetti through a wiener! It’d break!” This photo documentation says otherwise, however, and the end result looks really good too!

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Students in Japan Create a Robot That Can Balance on a Ball

Students in Japan Create a Robot That Can Balance on a Ball

Oh Japan, you never disappoint in the robot department. This one in particular may look a little plain compared to the femme bots in Shinjuku or a $1.25 million giant robot, but it’s still really cool. Created by two students at Tohoku Gakuin University in Japan, this little guy is able to perfectly balance on a ball while carrying a load and moving.

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Time to Get Rid of Those Ugly Radiation Suits, Teijin to Unveil Radiation-Proof Fabric

Time to Get Rid of Those Ugly Radiation Suits, Teijin to Unveil Radiation-Proof Fabric

It’s often sad to see the workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant or any other radioactive site around the world. It’s a dangerous job that requires brave workers, and brave workers deserve a cool looking uniform. Firefighters get those axes and huge trench coats, police often have cool looking bulletproof vests, but workers in areas of high radiation have to wear those white or yellow suits that look like trash bags.

Thankfully, this sad state of affairs may soon change with the development of a fabric which blocks x-ray and gamma-ray radiation.

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Procrastination is the Mother of Invention: College Student Invents Kinect “Boob Tracker”

Procrastination is the Mother of Invention: College Student Invents Kinect “Boob Tracker”

While most male college students put off homework assignments by looking at boobs on the Internet, one enterprising computer programming student decided to procrastinate by inventing an ingenious program that tracks and hides them with Kinect-enabled gestures.

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Is That Sushi in Your Ear or are You Just Wearing “Crazy Headphones”?

Is That Sushi in Your Ear or are You Just Wearing “Crazy Headphones”?

Gadgets purveyor Apparestore is hoping that pretending your ears are so unclean that fungus has actually started to grow out of them will become the new fashion trend with these “crazy headphones” featuring weird objects that jut out from the earbuds. Samurai swords and sushi are just some of the things you could have seemingly growing out of your ears with a pair of these cheeky earphones.

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Hitachi Provides IT Support through Shin and Shin, the Moe Server Fairies

Hitachi Provides IT Support through Shin and Shin, the Moe Server Fairies

The life of an IT professional is a hard one. Grueling hours are spent late into the night working out solutions to complex problems.

For these hardworking people Hitachi has come up with a unique solution: “Server Fairies Shin & Shin” who are a pair of magical 20 cm tall girls who dispense valuable network solutions to exhausted IT workers.

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iOS Facebook Chat Update Includes Awesomely Disgusting Projectile Vomit Emoticon

iOS Facebook Chat Update Includes Awesomely Disgusting Projectile Vomit Emoticon

Facebook, possibly in an attempt to outpace Asia’s reigning chat program king LINE, updated their iOS Facebook Chat program on April 17, adding “stickers” that can be used in chat conversations much like LINE’s “stamps” (also called “stickers” in English language versions).

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New Hyundai Concept Car Looks a Bit Like Dragon Ball Character Frieza’s Ride

New Hyundai Concept Car Looks a Bit Like Dragon Ball Character Frieza’s Ride

South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai revealed its new E4U single-person concept car at the recently completed Seoul Motor Show. Egg-like in shape, the mobility device measures 92cm in width while standing 123cm tall. Hyundai believes the vehicle to be suitable for narrow streets in urban centers where speeds are generally slow.
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New Fujitsu Technology Lets Users Scan Objects and Manipulate Data with Their Bare Fingertips

New Fujitsu Technology Lets Users Scan Objects and Manipulate Data with Their Bare Fingertips

Imagine putting a travel brochure on the table, touching the word “Hawaii” and having a video of sandy beaches appear next to it. Better yet, image tossing some Post-it notes onto the table and tapping them with your finger to instantly digitize and upload them to your computer. Sounds like something from a movie set in the distant future, doesn’t it?

Fujitsu Labs has made this and more possible with a new interface system that may let us toss out our mouse and scanner in a single throw.

Watching the video below, you might think cutting edge sensors are required, but all it takes is a run-of-the-mill webcam and an on-the-market projector.

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Fox Sports ‘Foul Ball Armor’ Papercraft Helmet Takes Five Hours to Build, Might be Effective at Your Little Brother’s Wiffleball Game

Fox Sports ‘Foul Ball Armor’ Papercraft Helmet Takes Five Hours to Build, Might be Effective at Your Little Brother’s Wiffleball Game

Fox Sports Japan is offering a freely downloadable “Foul Ball Armor” papercraft helmet for people with a lot of free time and an iron will (papercuts are serious business and you should expect a lot of them building this thing).

You’ll also obviously need access to a printer, or if you have no sense of shame, a nearby Kinko’s.

Fox Sports introduced the Foul Ball Armor in a new television ad campaign to coincide with the March 29 start of the 2013 baseball season.

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Control Your Music Player with Your Mind or Let Your Music Player Control Your Mental Health

Control Your Music Player with Your Mind or Let Your Music Player Control Your Mental Health

Just today I was flicking through my iPod to get to a song I wanted to hear, but my thumb quickly began to fatigue with the constant, slight motions. “There’s got to be a better way,” I thought to myself when suddenly I heard news of a “brainwave remote control” which could allow me to simply will my favorite songs into playing.

Developed by Yasue Michikura of Keio University this technology will allow you to select a song just by thinking about it. Even better, this technology could be used to get more in-touch with your own feelings.

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Forget 3D, Nagoya Movie Theater Goes 4D With Moving Seats, Wind, Smells

Forget 3D, Nagoya Movie Theater Goes 4D With Moving Seats, Wind, Smells

Japanese cinema chain Korona World has announced that it will be opening the country’s first full-body, immersive “4D” movie theater in Nagoya on the 26th of this month.

According to the company, the theater will be equipped with 4DX technology, a system developed in South Korea that adds motion, humidity, aromas, strobes, bubbles and other effects to the standard audio and video experience. Read More

Retractable Tsunami Breaker Construction and First Test Underway off Coast of Wakayama

Retractable Tsunami Breaker Construction and First Test Underway off Coast of Wakayama

Late last year we reported on the development of a completely new kind of breakwater to prevent a tsunami from hitting the coast with its full might.  Unlike other breakwaters that would otherwise hinder sea transportation and the aesthetics of the ocean, these remain at the ocean floor until called upon.

If a tsunami warning is in effect then they can rise up in a matter of minutes and disrupt the coming wave. On 28 March the first nine-meter segment of this system was constructed and successfully tested. Here is some video of the test.

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One Shanghai Building’s Answer to Disaster Preparedness: Wacky Fun Slide!

One Shanghai Building’s Answer to Disaster Preparedness: Wacky Fun Slide!

East Asia is an especially disaster-prone part of the world. Threats of earthquakes, flooding and typhoons, just to name a few are always lingering. In these instances it may be important to evacuate a building as quickly as possible.

One building in Shanghai seems to have engineered an elegant solution to this which they say can evacuate a fifth floor tenant in 14 seconds: a wacky fun slide.

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Never Let Go of Your Lizard Umbrella, Even When You Let Go of It

Never Let Go of Your Lizard Umbrella, Even When You Let Go of It

On rainy days, especially in Asia, a dozen or so umbrellas can be seen sitting outside of stores and other buildings. For thieves or people with momentary rain-soaked lapses in conscience it the perfect chance to get a free bumbershoot.

To combat this we have the Lizard Umbrella – a 2012 Red Dot Design Award-winning concept by inventors Kim Seokhui, Kim Seongjin and Kim Dasol.

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SRF’s Earthquake Protection Strips Give New Meaning to “Band-Aid Solution”

SRF’s Earthquake Protection Strips Give New Meaning to “Band-Aid Solution”

Dr. Shunichi Igarashi has surprised even himself with his line of Super Reinforcement with Flexibility (SRF) technology. SRF basically involves wrapping the columns and walls of building in adhesive strips.

The idea of gluing fabric on a building to protect it from the sheer force of an earthquake doesn’t sound very comforting. However, when Dr. Igarashi’s SRF was put to the test in the Great Tohoku Earthquake on 11 March, 2011, it passed with flying colors.

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