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Household

Robot transformer bed turns self into electric wheelchair
Friday, September 18, 2009
Read the full story Household | Robots | Transportation 09:16 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: bed healthcare panasonic robots wheelchair

Panasonic has a long history of supplying high-tech medical devices to institutions throughout its home country of Japan. Combine that expertise with its emerging robotics know-how and this is what you get – the world’s first robot bed that lifts the occupant up when needed and transforms itself into a wheelchair that can move off on its own.

Sony Bravia TVs now send and receive email postcards

Sony‘s new Bravia Postcard service for cellphones pretty much does what it says on the pack - sends virtual message cards from compatible phones to net-connected Bravia TV sets.

Can gadgets and gene engineering kill swine flu?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Read the full story Household | Japan 09:21 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: health panasonic swine flu tokyo university

It’s official - Japan is in the grip of the swine flu pandemic. Or, at least, its media is, but what about possible ways to tackle the disease?

Swine flu-fighting face masks From Japan’s master makers
Monday, May 04, 2009
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic 04:37 AM Mark Weitzman • Permalink
Tagged with: fashion hay fever influenza masks swine flu virus

You’ve seen the pictures of people wearing face masks to prevent catching the H1N1 swine flu. If you’re going to wear a mask, why choose plain blue? People in Japan wear masks out in public all the time, for colds, the flu, and hay fever. Japanese mask-wearing citizens demand the finest quality, menthol cool wet-filtered, nonstick lipstick-ok face masks. From single-use to 7-day to designer…

 

High-tech Japan solves those low-down embarrassments
Monday, April 13, 2009
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 10:00 PM Mark Weitzman • Permalink
Tagged with: drugs health women

In the spirit of the amazing Kowa anti-pee pills, we bring news of another product helping Japan move toward ending the need for people to urinate entirely.

Tokyo toilets deliver data dump by very personal RSS
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Read the full story Household | Japan | WTF? 07:30 PM Yoshi Suzuki • Permalink
Tagged with: inax rss toilets

The world and his dog know how space-age Japanese toilets can be (well, not this one), so it’s no great surprise to see the latest model add a little something extra to the mix in the shape of personalised RSS feeds from the throne.

Toshiba slashing utility bills with domestic fuel cells
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Read the full story Environment | Household | Power | R&D 10:12 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: fuel cells toshiba

As the world’s supply of fossil fuels shrinks, it’s heartening to see one company pressing ahead with serious plans for alternative ways to power our homes.

Gyazapo RFID phones to carry loyalty points from 100 stores
Monday, February 23, 2009
Read the full story Household | Japan | R&D | Wireless 11:43 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: bic camera felica ntt osaifu rfid suica

When I visited NTT last October for a private demo of its new cellphone RFID loyalty-card system, it was still in its early stages of development, so there wasn’t a great deal to write home about at the time.

Battlestar Galactica says What the Frack? to weird bicycle
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 11:11 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: bicycles bsg frack

Battlestar Galactica fans on a budget might get a kick out of this Japanese Mama Chari (or ‘Mom’s bike’) named for their favorite pseudo swearword.

Sanyo cranking up the solar power spend in Japan
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Read the full story Household | Power | R&D 07:54 PM Yoshi Suzuki • Permalink
Tagged with: sanyo solar

The Osaka-based electronics maker will be investing a whopping ¥6 billion ($65 million) to build a new solar cell plant in Kaizuka, Osaka Prefecture.

Filthy habits of the webcam generation #374: online video karaoke
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Read the full story Audio | Digital cameras & camcorders | Household | Internet | Japan | WTF? 03:25 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: karaoke

If actual karaoke in the nasty ole world beyond your bedroom is a bit too scary, then how about doing it in front of a computer with any Tom, Dick or Taro looking in? Best of all, you can even do it in Japanese.

Tokyo Gift Show packed with unnatural goodness
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Read the full story Events | Household | Japan | Off Topic 07:03 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: bananas gifts

Banana gadgets, super-soapy shower slippers and ingenious uses for empty drinks bottles are among the zillions of products you didn’t know you needed, but now can’t live without, that are on display at this week’s International Gift Show in Tokyo.

New natto packaging prevents spills and sticking beans
Monday, January 19, 2009
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic 01:34 AM Mark Weitzman • Permalink
Tagged with: natto

An innovative package for natto – the popular fermented soybean food – lets users start eating quicker by eliminating two steps from the usual preparation process. Previously, after removing the package lid, one would have to peel off the top film, stir the natto….

Big Brother software tracks humans in live video
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Read the full story Digital cameras & camcorders | Household | R&D | Transportation 07:57 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: imaging security toshiba

The marvelously named Pacific-Rim Symposium on Image and Video Technology, which kicked off this morning here in Tokyo, is home to many wondrous devices, but few as likely to alter our lives as a piece of software from Toshiba.

Counting the quake-is-coming countdown alert systems in Japan
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Read the full story Household | Internet | Software | Wireless 08:15 PM Mark Weitzman • Permalink
Tagged with: earthquake gadget safety

Knowing when the quake will arrive keeps getting easier in Japan. Official earthquake warnings that pop up in a window on your computer screen is the latest alert method. Already earthquake warnings are broadcast on TV. Cable TV providers and telecoms offer…

Fuel cells powered by sewage and cookie dough
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Read the full story Environment | Household | Power | R&D 11:44 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: dough fuel cells hydrogen kajima sapporo sewage

Hydrogen fuel cells are clearly a great idea, but the fact that much of the gas that goes into them still comes from fossil fuels is a bit of a problem. That’s why researchers are looking at alternative sources of hydrogen from substances as diverse as dough and sewage.

RFID rail pass also tracks your kid’s every movement
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Read the full story Household | Transportation | Wireless 11:14 PM Mark Weitzman • Permalink
Tagged with: pasmo rfid safety

Kids carrying an RFID contactless transit smartcard can also use it to automatically notify parents of their whereabouts.

Pekoppa, the listening plant nods while you unload
Monday, December 22, 2008
Read the full story Household | Toys | WTF? 05:04 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: plants sega

This isn’t entirely new, but it’s worth bringing you a snippet on Sega Toys’ Pekoppa – a tiny pot plant that apparently nods in agreement when anyone talks to it.

Digital phone knows when earthquakes are coming
Friday, December 05, 2008
Read the full story Household | Internet | Japan | Wireless 07:56 PM Mark Weitzman • Permalink
Tagged with: earthquakes sanyo

A new fixed-line phone from Sanyo uses an internet connection to receive and announce earthquake warnings.

Japanese jelly candy might just choke you to death
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 09:22 AM Mark Weitzman • Permalink
Tagged with: food konnyaku safety

Hey kids, see this sweet candy? You probably want some, right? Here you go…no, can’t have it! Put it back behind the counter. It’s dangerous. And don’t let grandma buy it either.

Portable heater Tipsy rocks - quite literally
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Read the full story Household 09:18 AM Mark Weitzman • Permalink
Tagged with: cute heater kerosene

This cute heater can be kicked, tipped, tossed, punched and undressed and it will continue to keep you warm without turning off. Free-standing gas, kerosene and electric heaters in Japan usually…

Foaming beer shampoo only for baseball champs
Friday, November 21, 2008
Read the full story Household | Off Topic | WTF? 06:16 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: bandai beer shampoo

In honor of the much-televised locker-room celebrations sports teams worldwide love so much, Bandai has found a way to turn spraying carbonated beverages from a filthy pastime into the very embodiment of cleanliness.

Voice-recognition TV remote knows His Master’s Voice
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Read the full story Audio | Home theater | Household | R&D 08:08 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: oki tv waseda university

Voice-powered technology can be pretty hit and miss at the best of times, but a new approach to creating remote controls that hang on our every word looks promising.

Japanese live-in coffin for the saddest of shut-ins
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Read the full story Household | Off Topic | WTF? 05:42 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: my room yamaha

Take a look at that photo - yes, your eyes are not playing tricks on you; and no, you don’t need to do one of those cartoon double-takes on the whiskey bottle in your hand before throwing it over your shoulder. It really is a portable wooden room that is designed to be set up inside another room.

Japanese nano-tech microwaves your tiny feet warmer this winter
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Read the full story Household | Off Topic 11:41 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: heaters yutapon

Yutapon’s the name, getting your feet warm in bed’s the game.

Japanese house plant writes own blog – no, really
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Read the full story Household | Internet | Japan | WTF? 06:31 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: blogs kamakura midori plants

They say any fool can be a blogger and, judging by the standard of my usual garbage, who’s to argue? Still, I bet no one ever guessed Japan’s latest online star would be a humble pot plant.

Light up plug adapters make travel feel fun again
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Read the full story Household | Off Topic 12:28 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: adapters led

There’s nothing particularly unusual about Kashimura’s new range of ¥350 ($3.50) travel adapters for AC plugs apart from the fact that each one lights up blue when the juice is flowing.

Lucky Japanese get storming fast gigabit fiber internet
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Read the full story Household | Internet 12:02 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: ftth hikari kddi

After so many reports about how slow US/UK/wherever broadband really is, this is kinda like rubbing salt into the wound, but we really do need to tell you that Japanese homes are about to get hooked up to 1Gbps fibre internet connections from next month. Yes - that’s a freakin’ gigabit per second.

Japanese scientists study cow burps as Earth heats up
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 02:05 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: cows environment tsukuba

Vegans should probably look away now – researchers at a Japanese agricultural institute are so concerned about global warming putting livestock off their food they’re testing ways to make them eat better.

Wi-Fi Chumby delivers Godzilla news to bedside/futonside
Friday, September 05, 2008
Read the full story Household | Toys | Wireless | WTF? 01:41 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: chumby godzilla wi-fi

Although it was announced in the US a while back, it’s only this fall that other territories will get their hands on Chumby, the so-called alarm clock of the future.

New lamps cut UV to shoo away suicidal insects
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan | WTF? 11:09 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: environment insects matsushita ultraviolet

Summer is the time of year when evenings are often filled with the fizz and crackle of winged insects obliterating themselves on outdoor lights, but did you know that it’s the ultraviolet part of the spectrum they really dig?

Japan aims to exploit sea-bed methane, end life as we know it
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 03:34 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: energy environment methane hydrate

Worrying news from the Nikkei this morning as the august organ reports that Japan has made concrete plans to exploit methane hydrate deposits on the ocean floor 1km down in a wide area off its coast.

Panasonic replaces Sony as Japan’s coolest electronics brand
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Read the full story Desktop PCs | Displays | Household | Japan | Mobile computing 02:15 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: panasonic sony surveys

Although much has been made of Sony’s recent resurgence under Sir Howard Stringer, the Tokyo monster may be surprised to learn that it has been toppled as the public’s favourite producer of quality electronics.

Sanyo’s greener, cleaner future (or why the Japanese giant gave itself the mother of all makeovers)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Read the full story Digital cameras & camcorders | Household | Interviews 01:02 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: batteries eneloop environment sanyo

Of the many huge Japanese electronics purveyors that we’ve long been familiar with, one name that rarely stands out from the pack is that of Sanyo.

Japan sales figures show Blu-ray picking up speed, CRT and VCR on life-support
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan 12:57 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: blu-ray crt lcd marketing sat-nav

When it comes to consumer electronics, Japan is generally an excellent weathervane for forecasting the picture in the West a few months ahead. With that in mind, the latest electronics sales figures suggest a balmy Fall lies ahead.

KDDI building real-world bank to encourage e-payments
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan | Wireless 02:27 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: banking e-cash kddi mufg

Earlier this month, when we looked at the future of mobile technologies from an academic’s perspective, one of the predictions that stood out was that phone companies looking to encourage mobile micropayments using their handsets would be well advised to team up with a solid financial institution first.

Video: Panasonic’s giant surface computer in action
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Read the full story Household | R&D | Video 03:20 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: panasonic surface

One other cool thing I saw at the super-funky Panasonic Center last week was the company’s take on a wall-mounted surface computer.

Bending the sun’s rays to light high-tech buildings
Friday, May 30, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan 02:52 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: inosyo ishikawa lighting luxfer prisms

In this age of environmental awareness, a couple of high-tech Japanese companies have turned the clock back over a hundred years to reduce energy consumption using 19th-century lighting techniques.

Gorgeous Japanese kids’ dinner set hewn from bamboo
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic 07:54 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: bamboo food funfam

Japan has long enjoyed the reputation of being home to some remarkable craftsmen in fields as diverse as ceramics and woodblock prints, but today’s mail brought the first piece of art I’ve ever seen that’s designed to be bashed around by kids at meal times.

Paranoid simpletons welcome all-seeing car nav system
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Read the full story Household | Transportation | WTF? 12:48 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: 1-seg gps panasonic sat-nav strada tv

Come the end of next month, one of the last refuges of escape from the digital onslaught of the modern world will be cruelly ripped from us, when Panasonic’s new, fully connected car navigation system goes on sale.



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