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Research

Smart security cam system weeds out trouble by itself
Friday, February 01, 2008
Read the full story R&D | Video 04:41 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: cctv hitachi security

Whatever your opinion of the ever-increasing number of surveillance cameras pointed at us, their proliferation creates a tricky logistical problem for those doing the watching – how do we make sense of the information overload of so much video?

Honda creates 3D CPU to power super Asimo
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Read the full story R&D | Robots 08:30 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: 3d chips asimo honda

We’ve heard a only little before about the three-dimensional computer processors that promise to be the way ahead to an even faster future, so it’s encouraging to see that Honda has succeeded in creating a working 3D chip.

Half-body robot to help construction workers on the job
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Read the full story R&D | Robots 09:27 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: construction nagoya university

Although small robots like Aibo and its ilk and flashy bipedal ‘droids such as Asimo tend to hog most of the robotic limelight in the non-specialist press, it’s generally well known among researchers that machines that boost the ability of humans to do tasks they find difficult are most likely to change our lives in the near future.

Biometric technique applies face recognition to movie clips
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Read the full story R&D | Video 08:11 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: biometrics face recognition nec video

We’re not quite sure why anyone would need it, but NEC’s latest piece of biometric wizardry is a face-recognition system that can look at video clips and rank people according to how frequently they appear.

Bionic infrared transfers full CD in a second
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Read the full story R&D | Wireless 06:50 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: infrared kddi

Anyone remember the days before Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when we actually used those little dark plastic infrared windows on our phones and other gadgets? If you do you’ll also recall that IR transfers were horribly slow and prone to failure, so it’s intriguing to hear that a Japanese firm has upgraded the invisible light technology to make it fit for the modern wireless age.

Sony ‘fesses up about new Aibo rumours
Read the full story R&D | Robots 06:47 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: aibo rumors sony

It’s been a month since Stuff magazine teased us with that mock-up of what a next-generation Aibo might look like, but we’ve still heard nothing official on the possibility of a return for the robot pet and its new PlayStation interface.

Liquid camera lenses just around the corner
Friday, December 21, 2007
Read the full story Digital cameras & camcorders | R&D 06:42 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: holochip itochu lenses

Developing camera lenses based on liquids is nothing new, but an investment by a Japanese giant in a small US firm promises that we could soon find fluid optics in our digital cameras and cellphones within a few years.

New Hitachi tech promises end to personal data leaks
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Storage 08:59 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: hitachi ntt privacy security tokyo university of science

The recent rash of data security breaches in the UK could be avoided in future if the government and civil service there pay attention to a group of new privacy-protection technologies being developed in Japan.

Toshiba and Matsushita out of OLED TV race ... for now
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Japan | R&D 09:22 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: oled toshiba matsushita

According to Japanese business paper the Nikkei, Toshiba and Matsushita’s much-vaunted plans to join Sony in the OLED TV market have been shelved after problems moving from the research lab to mass production.

Japanese cellphone operator gets Android up and running
Monday, December 10, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Wireless 09:11 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: android google oha phs willcom

The Open Handset Alliance‘s Android may not exactly be the platform we all anticipated, but the flood of developers we’ve already seen working on it suggests it won’t be long before some half-decent hardware running the open-source Google-spawn emerges.

Digital watermark punishes cinemas, not their evil cam-copying customers
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Read the full story Film, TV, manga & anime | Home theater | Internet | R&D 07:40 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: camcorders cinema mitsubishi nhk piracy

Japan’s state broadcaster, NHK, has teamed up with Mitsubishi Electric to create an anti-piracy system that it hopes will put a stop to movie copying from cinemas.

Father of flash memory plans 3D super processors in two years
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Read the full story R&D 08:20 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: fujio masuoka institute of microelectronics semiconductors unisantis

If his plans are successful, the inventor of flash memory is just a few steps away from delivering three-dimensional semiconductors that will give us processing chips running at ten times the speed of current-generation designs.

NEC’s smart search checks web and RSS feeds to lighten research load
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Read the full story Internet | R&D 08:23 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: nec search engines

An unusual new piece of software announced today by NEC Japan is intended for businesses seeking a competitive advantage over rivals, but - if it reaches full potential - could redefine internet searching instead.

NEC spy camera draws its power from fluorescent light tubes
Monday, December 03, 2007
Read the full story Digital cameras & camcorders | R&D | WTF? 08:54 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: fluorescent nec power

The latest prototype product from NEC Japan has to be one of the most novel uses of alternative energy we’ve ever seen - it’s a wireless security camera that draws its power directly from fluorescent light tubes.

Shuffling robot twists, turns, doesn’t fall over
Monday, November 26, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Robots 08:30 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: masanao koeda ritsumeikan university

The latest breakthrough in robotic walking is a bipedal robot that can turn on the spot to change direction - typical two-legged machines require the turning circle of an oil tanker to change course.

Japanese geeks turn old cellphones into new PCs
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Read the full story Desktop PCs | Displays | Mobile computing | R&D | Wireless 01:56 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: dview hokuto recycling

Next time you throw an old cellphone away, spare a thought for the engineers at Hokuto System in Japan, who have recycled their old handsets to make fully functional computers.

Anti-piracy software hunts down copyright clips to kick off video-sharing sites
Friday, November 16, 2007
Read the full story Internet | R&D | Video 08:39 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: copyright kddi piracy youtube

Japanese researchers have come up with a rather snooty technique for detecting online pirated video content in places where it shouldn’t be. By analyzing clips for ’amateur-looking techniques’ KDDI reckons it can sort the professional stuff out from the garbage the rest of us produce.

Terabit-class fat pipe delivers online movies in an instant

When it comes to internet speeds, we’ve long-since consigned the humble kilobit-class connection to the dustbin, so a mathematics-based breakthrough has us wondering if megabit- and even gigabit-level connections will one day sound as quaintly archaic.

KDDI to deliver domestic 4x high-definition video on demand
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Read the full story Home theater | Household | Internet | R&D | Video 07:18 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: dci hd tv kddi vod

KDDI, the company that recently started an online service delivering DVD-quality movies to domestic customers has upped the ante to send quad-HD films down the same pipe.

World’s first quad-port HDMI chip from Fujitsu
Monday, November 12, 2007
Read the full story Home theater | R&D | Video 09:42 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: fujitsu hdmi

With the increasing number of audio-visual gadgets in our living rooms that require HDMI to be seen to best effect, Fujitsu Japan has announced a hardware solution to help keep costs down.

DoCoMo: We don’t really care about Android
Friday, November 09, 2007
Read the full story Interviews | R&D | Wireless 04:13 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: android docomo google oha

After Monday’s announcement by Google and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) of their Linux-based Android platform for mobile phones there are more questions than answers about exactly what it means for the end user.

Magic carpet offers virtual ride to Second Life
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Gaming | Internet | R&D | Video 08:18 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: virtual reality

As this latest piece of sci-fi-style research has appeared only in a rather traditional Japanese newspaper we haven’t been able to get many details yet, but thought we’d mention it in passing, as everyone loves a good yarn.

Blogs to be policed by anti-copying software
Monday, November 05, 2007
Read the full story Internet | R&D 08:02 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: blogs copyright waseda university

Due to the riches of the movie and music businesses, video and audio gain the most attention when it comes to online copyright violation, but unauthorized use of photographs and other artwork is also an issue, particularly for individuals with no corporate protection.

Gasoline car converted to run on solar power
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Transportation 08:06 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: fukushima mazda solar

Those clever Japanese scientists have been at it again, working hard to find answers to problems we never knew existed. This time, they’ve come up with a way to convert dirty old normal cars into clean, green electric vehicles.

Bowing, scraping Japanese robot learns by watching
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Robots 09:24 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: bowing learing pointing

Without human intervention, most robots these days can do absolutely nothing – they rely on us entirely for guidance, whether that’s real time or in the form of being programmed in advance. Naturally, a day will come when machines can learn and teach themselves what to do…

Finger flicking good — digital car ignition
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Transportation 08:50 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: biometrics hitachi veins

Next time you leave the house to drive to the corner shop just be sure to bring along the one thing Hitachi reckons you’ll be using instead of a key to start the car - your index finger.

Duck and weave ATM days over thanks to NEC
Read the full story Displays | R&D 08:37 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: lcd nec privacy

We’ve all seen computer screens that are designed to be viewed only from directly in front to prevent snoopers from sneaking a sideways glance, but the price of privacy has always been severe image deterioration. NEC’s newest LCD technology appears to offer a solution.

Samsung joins fat fighters with 1cm thick TV
Monday, October 22, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Events | R&D 10:17 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: lcd samsung

As we mentioned last week, Samsung has a few surprises in store at this week’s Flat Panel Display International show in Japan and has been drip-feeding them to the press ahead of the show’s opening on Wednesday.

WiMAX demo hooks up ambulances and hospitals to save lives
Friday, October 19, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Wireless 09:27 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: nec taiwan tatung wimax

Amid the endless lists of numbers and claims of bigger, better faster technologies, it’s always a joy to receive concrete details of how these so-called improvements might one day really make a difference.

Smelly screens selling beer on the streets
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Read the full story Displays | R&D | WTF? 09:05 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: beer kirin city ntt smells

We’ve devoted a lot of space recently to coverage of the latest in display technology, from thin screens to all manner of touch-sensitive displays, but this is the first time we’ve been able to say that a new product really stinks.

Samsung's white—backlit LED LCD and true 16:9 screens
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Events | R&D 09:44 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: lcd led samsung

Head to the Flat Panel Display International show in Yokohama, Japan, next week and you’ll get an eyeful of three new LCDs from Samsung that will probably start showing up in laptops sometime next year.

Water-powered phones coming in three years?
Monday, October 15, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Wireless 09:08 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: fuel cells hydrogen samsung water

After a lot of recent news about methanol-powered fuel cells and speculation over when they might actually become available, a Korean firm has surprised everyone by producing a device that runs on water.

1mm diameter solar cell spheres formed in freefall by gravity
Friday, October 12, 2007
Read the full story Household | R&D 09:02 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: kyosemi solar sphelar

The traditional flat solar panel looks like becoming a thing of the past now that a Japanese company has developed a spherical equivalent that is both more efficient and far cheaper to make.

Robotic massages available from metal man
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Robots | WTF? 10:09 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: massage

Next time your curiosity is piqued by one of those street-corner calls of ‘Fancy a massage?’ just remember to bring along a can of WD-40, lest your would-be manipulator turn out to be more machine than masseuse.

Scary robot frog mounts, dismounts startled chair
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Robots 09:59 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: jumping mowgli tokyo university

Remember that leppin’, frittin’, jumping robot from Tokyo Uni we saw last week? Well, even if you don’t here’s Mowgli redux, this time on video in glorious YouTube-ovision.

Cognitive radio group draws up 4G plans for Japan's smart phones

Next time you’re stuck in a 2 or 3G phone black spot and cursing your choice of mobile network spare a thought for the balding bureaucrats of Japan who are struggling to create a framework [Subscription link] for something called cognitive radio as they plan for 4G in the near future.

Slimmer sets mean we’ll be seeing a lot less TV in future
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Events | R&D 05:22 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: ceatec lcd oled sharp sony

With the end of CEATEC 2007 looming, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the strongest theme of this year’s show and the implications for what we’ll be finding in our electronics shops over the next months and years.

Multicore CPU lockdown key to stopping viruses
Friday, October 05, 2007
Read the full story Desktop PCs | Internet | Mobile computing | R&D | Wireless 10:27 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: cpus multicore nec viruses

Multicore CPUs are already ten-a-penny, but who woulda thunk they’d soon be appearing in cellphones, cars and HD TV players and that they could hold the key to eliminating computer viruses?

Stunning JVC high-def setup does quadruple HD TV
Read the full story Events | R&D | Video 05:08 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: ceatec hd tv jvc

Another day at CEATEC, another amazing piece of technology; this time in the realm of higher-than-high-definition video. JVC’s stand at the Japanese electronics show is dominated by a boxy-looking camera that can shoot video at four times the resolution of standard HD TV.

FED TVs join OLED, SED, LCD and PDP in alphabetti spaghetti display soup

We’ve seen plenty of next-generation flat televisions at this week’s CEATEC show in Japan, but a technology we haven’t heard of in a while is the field emission display, or FED.



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