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.
Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten Inc looked set to steal a march on rival Amazon.com when it launched its Kobo e-reader and e-book service in Japan last month For CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, it's the first salvo in a wider war that the ebullient Harvard MBA, called Mickey by everyone including his staff, hopes will transform Rakuten into a global player in digital commerce.
Time for us to admit another entrant into the hall of unnecessary, but cool inventions. Installed at Tokyo's Shinagawa Station yesterday, this latest spin on the vending machine dispenses with those silly windows unto what you're buying and furnishes its user with a 47-inch touch panel from which to make his (or her) selection. An embedded camera will recognize your gender and age, allowing the machine to recommend a beverage suitable to whatever stereotype is attached to your particular circumstances.
Non-traditional methods of controlling games are all the rage in Japan these days. Sega made headlines last year with "Toirettsu" or "Toylet," a game that drunken male patrons can play in the men’s room, since it's entirely controlled via one's urine stream. Meanwhile, a just-unveiled project by researchers at The University of Electro-Communications near Tokyo will soon have players using their tongues on the Kinect.
If you've ever been to Tokyo or any other large Japanese city, you'll have noticed the huge variety of billboards plastering the urban landscape, often featuring the month's most popular idol. Now researchers at Keio University are working on a system that will allow passers-by to interact with said posters via an ultrasound sensor setup.