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[31 May 2011 | One Comment | ]
Toshiba Donates Portable OLED Lamps to Disaster Areas

Toshiba has developed a portable OLED lamp for use in the earthquake affected areas of Japan. The company announced on May 30, 2011, that it has donated 50 units to an evacuation center in Miyagi Prefecture and that it plans to produce and distribute 100 more units.
Toshiba intends for the lamps to be used as reading lights. They use 4 AAA alkaline batteries and can also use solar-powered rechargeable batteries via a usb port. The lamp has different levels of brightness from 100% to 10%; the brightness of a desk …

Gadgets, Headline »

[30 May 2011 | One Comment | ]
In Japan TV Watches You.

They’ve finally done it folks! TV that watches you, knows who you are and what you like, based on your facial expressions. It’s called UTAN (User Technology Assisted Navigation) and it’s currently being researched by the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK).
With a camera mounted on the TV, UTAN uses facial recognition technology to identify the age and number of viewers. Is it the whole family? Is it just the child? The content presented changes depending on who is watching and also their level of interest. If you express interest in certain …

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[26 May 2011 | No Comment | ]
Wanna Study Japanese? Now You Don’t Need to.

Wanna learn Japanese? Why spent countless hours with your face in text books or embarrassing yourself with your horrible pronunciation? Wouldn’t it be cool to have a device that let’s you understand any language on the planet? We’re one step closer, now the the technology exists for you to have a telephone conversation with someone speaking a completely different language.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=OEPoy2FCsQQ
Docomo is developing an automatic translation service which provides two translation of both speakers’ language in real-time. Not only does it provide an audio translation but it also displays what was …

Gadgets »

[24 May 2011 | One Comment | ]
Fanbrella (fan + umbrella) Stay Cool and Dry

What do you get when you cross a fan with an umbrella? Gadget makers Thanko, asked and answered this question with their latest creation, the Fanbrella.
Thanko recently announced the release of this umbrella with a small battery powered fan on the inside. The fan is activated by pressing a button on the handle of the umbrella. This is just in time for the beginning of the rainy season here in Japan, where it can get pretty hot and humid in the summer. If you want to keep your head …

Gadgets, Headline »

[19 May 2011 | No Comment | ]
Sony Develops Markerless AR Technology

Sony has developed markerless augmented reality (AR) technology which they’re calling “SmartAR”. Instead of using 2D markers, SmartAR can generate on-screen virtual images from everyday objects such as menus and posters. SmartAR technology uses “object recognition technology” to achieve the markerless functionality and also Sony’s own proprietary “3D space recognition technology” which they use in their research robots such as AIBO. It also boasts extremely accurate high-speed tracking, 3D space recognition and interactivity.

Live demo

What does this mean? A lot more freedom and flexible for AR games and applications. If this …

Featured, Gadgets, Geek Stuff »

[18 May 2011 | No Comment | ]
Cute Japanese Maid Mods a Furby

Julie Watai is a model, cosplayer, photographer and sings in a chip-tune band. And if that isn’t enough to make any geek fall in love, she also knows how to mod a Furby to speak Martian. Watch how she skillfully handles a soldering iron.

Send your marriage proposals to Julie Watai
via Japan Probe

Gadgets, Headline »

[12 May 2011 | No Comment | ]
Tickle Me iPhone.

An app that let’s you use your iPhone to tickle your friend’s hand across great distances (..why?). Being developed at the University of Electro-Communications Japan, this application has a preloaded image of a palm that looks like yours, so with the phone in hand it’s like you’re staring at your palm. Your friend has the same. When you make tickling motions with your finger, your friend sees a finger on his iPhone screen that mimics your movement. This movement creates the illusion of actual physical stimulus to you friend; a …

Featured, Gadgets »

[8 May 2011 | One Comment | ]
Cute Mind-Controlled Cat Ears

Necomimi (cat ears) is a wearable pair of feline ears that move according to the wearer’s thoughts or moods. Basically, you can make them move with just your mind. The ears “read your mind” with the use of attached sensors. They wiggle around if the wearer is excited, stand up when they’re concentrating and point down when they’re relaxed.

These ultra cute ears are sure to be a hit with cos-players but I’m sure there will be other amazing applications for this type of technology. Necomimi was developed by the company …

Featured, Gadgets »

[6 Apr 2011 | One Comment | ]
A Stylish Radiation Detector to Protect the Babies?

With all the talk of radiation these days, I’m not surprised to see this; a prototype for a stylish wrist-worn radiation detector. The detector changes color and starts vibrating whenever the wearer gets close to a source of high radiation.

There’s arguably nothing wrong with providing a product to addresses consumers’ current concerns. I know plenty us here in Kanto region of Japan would have been eager to snatch up this gadget during the height of the nuclear reactor scare. What I think is over-kill, is the marketing direction the …

Featured, Gadgets »

[5 Apr 2011 | One Comment | ]
AlphaSphere Futuristic Musical Instrument

This cool looking orb, the AlphaSphere, is proposed as a musical instrument for the future. The AlphaSphere hopes to revitalize the performance of electronic music by giving musicians alternative to just mixing on their PCs. It can be used a studio tool for track production as well as a live performance instrument.
AlphaSphere was developed from a concept by Adam Place while he studied at the Nagoya University of Arts in Japan. He’s currently back in the UK where he founded nu desine who are working on commercializing his invention. …

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