Sony Corp., which popularized portable music players with the Walkman, is seeking a U.S. patent for “SmartWig” hairpieces that could help navigate roads, check blood pressure or flip through slides in a presentation. The wig would communicate wirelessly with another device and include tactile feedback, Sony said in the filing with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Depending on the model, the hairpiece may include a camera, laser pointer or global positioning system sensor, it said.
In a country that has no shortage of vending machines, Google Japan has decided to join the fray. The company has announced three dedicated Google Play machines that will each sell 18 different gaming titles, which are a mix of free-to-play and paid-for titles. To use the machines, you'll need a smartphone running Android 4.0 and NFC -- and that's about it.
NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile carrier, will use location data from its 61.5 million subscriber devices to build a platform that monitors traffic conditions across the country. DoCoMo said it will leverage its access to massive amounts of location data to build a cloud platform of traffic information on which services can be built.
A Japanese entrepreneur’s answer to Google Glass, but with a Japanese manga-style twist. Japanese entrepreneur Takahito Iguchi wants people to see the world through other people’s eyes. But as a less ambitious jumping off point, he’ll kick it off with a world that looks like a Japanese manga cartoon. His device, called the Telepathy One, is the closest thing I’ve seen under development yet to Google’s Glass gadget.
Japan's public broadcaster says it could begin transmissions in a format with 16 times the resolution of today's high-definition television in 2016. The format, called Super Hi-Vision, has been under development by Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) for the last few years. Super Hi-Vision images have a resolution of 7,680 pixels by 4,320 pixels. That's four times the resolution of "4K" television that's currently being touted by TV set makers as the next big thing.
Apple investors focus heavily on growth opportunities in China; but what about another neighboring Asian country? Is Apple overlooking iPhone growth potential in Japan? Japan's largest wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo has now expressed interest in carrying the iPhone, after the company has been losing subscribers to rivals that do offer Apple's device.
Remember Minami, the lifelike robot we introduced earlier? She was just the beginning! Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory was founded to encourage and promote studies based on original and unique ideas from Hiroshi Ishiguro, ATR Fellow, who has remarkable achievements on robotics. The scientists have explored new information media based on humanlike robots that harmonize humans with information-environment beyond existing personal computers, while inquiring "what is the essence of human beings?"
A humanoid robot that can mimic facial expressions is entertaining shoppers at a department store in Osaka, western Japan. The 160-centimeter tall android is called Minami. She was modeled on a real woman. Minami can smile, frown or show other emotions by adjusting her silicon skin with air pressure. On Friday, she was joined by a male android modeled on Osaka University Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. He developed the female android.
An app offering real-time translations is to allow people in Japan to speak to foreigners over the phone with both parties using their native tongue. NTT Docomo - the country's biggest mobile network - will initially convert Japanese to English, Mandarin and Korean, with other languages to follow. It is the latest in a series of telephone conversation translators to launch in recent months.
A regional bank in Gifu Prefecture on Wednesday began using new ATMs that allow customers to withdraw cash, make deposits and check account balances through simple palm scans. The cardless service offered by Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank requires customers to input their birthday, put their palm on the scanner and input their PIN code. Preregistration is required.