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Research

Sharp multi-touch screen puts iPhone to shame
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Events | R&D 04:24 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: ceatec iphone lcd sharp touchscreen

Apple’s Multi-touch technology, as seen in the iPhone and iPod touch, are pretty good, but don’t you think they’re just a little bit, well, yesterday? If you don’t already, you will when you see what Sharp has in store.

Japanese trains beaming RFID info to passengers on the go

Those funky little RFID chips embedded in almost all new Japanese phones just learned another trick to add to a growing repertoire that already includes e-cash, train and bus tickets and e-credit cards, with the introduction of a handy new technology from Mitsubishi.

Toshiba’s Cell-packing SpursEngine impressive in the flesh

Toshiba has been showing off its new, powerful SpursEngine processor at the CEATEC 2007 electronics show just outside Tokyo and we were there to take a look.

Toyota's hydrogen car covers new ground — 550 miles of it
Monday, October 01, 2007
Read the full story Household | R&D | Transportation 06:49 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: fuel cells highlander hydrogen toyota

Toyota Japan has word of a major breakthrough for one of its hydrogen-powered research cars that is sure to get plenty of column inches there.

Slam-dunk as Japanese leaping robot grabs big air
Friday, September 28, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Robots 09:07 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: jumping mowgli tokyo university

Robots are capable of many things these days, but jumping like a frog generally isn’t one of the first that comes to mind, however a machine in development [Subscription link] in Japan is the first bipedal ‘bot capable of doing just that.

Magnetic coil developed to wirelessly power artificial retina
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Read the full story R&D 09:21 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: eyes magnetic induction medical prototypes retinas tohoku university

A Japanese research team has made an important breakthrough in the wireless transmission of electricity that could allow blind people to see again without the need for a retina transplant.

Sharp funds green gadget course at Japanese university
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Read the full story Japan | R&D 06:08 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: education environment sharp

With an increasing emphasis on ecological matters when it comes to both creating and disposing of modern consumer technology, it’s logical to see high-tech firms get involved in education, which is exactly what’s happening with Sharp in Japan.

Sanyo phone runs for 10 days on AA battery
Monday, August 27, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Wireless 08:48 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: batteries eneloop sanyo willcom

Some of us dinosaurs may just remember a few early mobile phones that were capable on running on regular batteries – they were mostly very low-spec handsets with rechargeable cells that could be swapped out in a pinch for a few minutes of talk time at most.

Panasonic Pixi elevates drunk photography to artform
Friday, August 24, 2007
Read the full story Digital cameras & camcorders | R&D | Wireless | WTF? 06:05 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: crap mixi panasonic pixi

We see a lot of prototype and concept devices here but few are as obviously pointless as the Pixi, an add-on for mobile phones devised by Panasonic of Japan working with two British design companies.

Sony Bio Battery powers gadgets on grape juice and sports drinks
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Read the full story Audio | R&D 07:29 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: batteries fuel cells sony

Sony Japan has just posted a short video and press release detailing its latest fuel cell - a device that uses not ethanol or methanol this time, but glucose extracted from grape juice and sports drinks.

Researchers use tooth power to control gadgets
Monday, August 13, 2007
Read the full story Household | R&D 09:06 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: disability switches teeth

Compulsive tooth grinders might want to look away now if they don’t wish to be reminded of their headache-inducing torment, for Osaka University in Japan has come up with a human-machine interface that is controlled by grinding the molars together.

NEC and Hitachi develop water-cooled HDD
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Read the full story Desktop PCs | R&D | Storage 05:17 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: cooling hard drives hitachi nec

It might seem odd that when the world’s first liquid-cooled hard drive is developed the companies behind it should trumpet it as being quieter, rather than more efficient or faster, but that’s the motivation behind the new device from NEC and Hitachi of Japan.

Panasonic electric car does 100km/h on 192 double AAs
Monday, August 06, 2007
Read the full story Household | Japan | R&D | Transportation 09:29 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: batteries electric cars oxyride panasonic

We’re really hoping that if Panasonic is planning to market its new Oxyride electric car at Christmastime it manages to include a few packs of batteries in the box to keep the kids happy past lunchtime.

Nissan concept car bristling with Big-Brother technology
Friday, August 03, 2007
Read the full story Japan | R&D | Transportation 08:52 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: drunk-driving nissan safety

As we’ve seen before, Nissan Japan is actively developing and employing technologies to increase the safety of their vehicles, with a particular emphasis on combating drunk driving and minimizing the impact of accidents.

Sony puts Cell processor in next-gen supercomputer
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Read the full story Desktop PCs | Gaming | R&D 09:37 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: cell ibm processors sony toshiba

There has been plenty of talk about the power of the Cell processor at the heart of Sony’s PlayStation 3 since the chip project began in 2000, but precious little in the way of end results until today, when Sony announced a prototype computer board using the powerhouse processor.

Nano tech lends big sound to small speakers
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Read the full story Audio | R&D 09:36 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: nano tech panasonic speakers

We all know how feeble tiny speakers can sound, especially those of the kind used on certain mobile products, so it’s heartening to hear of a new technique from Panasonic that claims to get high-fidelity bass notes from compact speakers.

Japan plans car equivalent of Windows to dominate automotive market

It’s not always obvious because we don’t directly interface with it, but even the cars we drive have their own software these days, which is why a group of Japanese companies are putting their heads together to create the equivalent of Windows to dominate the automotive arena.

Real transformer robot: two legs good, eight legs better
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Robots 08:48 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: halluc insectoid research

Robotics fans who are also entomologists should get a kick out of the latest high-tech machine from Japan – a shiny multi-legged robot that can walk like an insect.

New Hitachi search engine can analyze images and videos based on content
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Read the full story Desktop PCs | Internet | Mobile computing | R&D | Software | Video 03:03 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: google hitachi images search engines

Internet searches for more obscure topics can sometimes feel like the old needle-and-haystack conundrum - if what you want is out there at all, finding it can be a stretch, even for Google. Images and video present an even greater challenge - unless they’re tagged or labeled accurately, it’s often a matter of wading through thousands of possible matches.

Iris-scanning biometric phone lock available now to Japanese networks
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Read the full story Digital cameras & camcorders | R&D | Wireless 10:15 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: biometrics oki symbian windows mobile

Biometric security techniques, such as face or iris recognition, are not particularly new, but have tended to be limited to official business or novelty products until now. That seems sure to change with the commercial debut this month of a mobile phone lock from Oki Japan that is opened simply by looking at it.

Normal-size phones set for fuel cells and touchscreens
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Read the full story Events | R&D | Wireless 08:50 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: fuel cells lcd methanol thin toshiba touchscreen wireless japan

The Wireless Japan exhibition near Tokyo this week has seen plenty of demonstrations of existing and future technologies, but there’s one that we’re still not sure how to categorize – fuel cells.

Japanese Super 3G to hit 300Mbps ahead of 4G switchover
Friday, July 13, 2007
Read the full story Internet | R&D | Wireless 09:29 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: 3g 4g docomo hsdpa hsupa mimo

As if the mobile phones with 3.6Mbps internet connections that are relatively common in Japan weren’t enough, NTT DoCoMo has announced that it is working on technology to up that almost tenfold by 2009.

Video now showing on a hologram near you

The security hologram stickers that grace our credit cards and other sensitive items could be about to get a radical makeover if Japan’s Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) and Sony PCL have their way. The two firms have just succeeded in creating a printed hologram that contains enough different images to mimic smooth-moving video.

Networked drinks machines keeping the peace
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Read the full story GPS | Japan | R&D | Wireless | WTF? 08:51 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: osaka security vending machines

The largest city in western Japan has just seen the start of an unusual security trial that uses IC tags, GPS and drinks vending machines to make the streets a little safer.

Sony’s geeky backside exposed in Tokyo R&D extravaganza
Friday, June 08, 2007
Read the full story Events | GPS | Internet | R&D | Storage | Wireless 08:12 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: chatscape collaboration mapping placeengine sony

We all know Sony for its games hardware, TVs, cameras and other audio-visual products, but it’s not such common knowledge that the company has a bleeding-edge research laboratory dedicated to exploring the technology of tomorrow just for the heck of it.

Internet umbrella gets mapping and snapping
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Read the full story GPS | R&D | Wireless | WTF? 09:22 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: google earth internet ubiquitous computing umbrellas

Among the oddest things we’ve seen in our tech travels round Japan is the internet umbrella built by two Tokyo students, Takashi Matsumoto and Sho Hashimoto. The device, which is currently hard to avoid in the Japanese media, combines several existing technologies to create a Blade Runner-style vision of a connected future.

Medical robot mimics obscure conditions, keeps students on toes
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Robots | WTF? 04:20 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: medical robots wigs

That fine-looking android you see in the photo above may look a little rough and ready but don’t be fooled by appearances – it’s actually the world’s first fully symptomatic medical-condition simulator.

Japanese quantum computer breakthrough heralds end of weak, fleshy humanity
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Read the full story Japan | R&D | WTF? 01:44 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: quantum computer qubits subatomic particles

070504_Quantum_mechanics_tn.jpg

Quantum computers that manipulate subatomic particles to perform lightning-fast calculations came closer to reality recently when a Japanese team demonstrated that it had created a quantum circuit that could control the building blocks of atoms.

Fujitsu’s color e-paper comes to the market at last, but at a price
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Read the full story Displays | R&D 02:28 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: e-paper flepia fujitsu windows ce

070423_Fujitsu_FLEPia_tn.jpg

Fans of electronic paper who have cash to spare should be getting pretty excited right about now. That’s because Fujitsu has just announced that the world’s first color e-paper electronic book is available from October … at a price.

Flashy four-color e-paper watch makes titanium look cheap
Friday, April 20, 2007
Read the full story Displays | R&D 02:23 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: e-paper seiko watches

070419_Seiko_e-paper_watch_tn.jpg

The latest Japanese application for electronic paper looks nothing like as futuristic as some of the others we’ve seen, but it certainly has a price-tag that reflects the technology it uses.

Sony hooks up with Italian masters to tease us with luxurious fantasy products
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Read the full story Events | Home theater | R&D 01:45 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: craftsmanship italy sony

070418_Sony_Lombardia_tn.jpg

European readers with an eye for design and a free afternoon might like to know about the latest Sony Design event being held in Milan, Italy, this week that combines technology with old-fashioned Italian craftsmanship.

Japan’s pedestrians to show up on in-car sat-nav systems
Read the full story GPS | Japan | R&D | Transportation 01:41 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: nissan safety

070418_Tokyo_street_tn.jpg

Nissan, which is apparently on a mission to push cars into a new era in Japan, this week announced the latest stage in ongoing research into using technology to reduce traffic accidents, particularly those involving pedestrians.

Nissan and NEC to clean up electric car market with more powerful Li-ion cells

070418_Li-Ion-batteries_tn.jpg

Two of Japan’s largest companies are joining forces to help clean up a little of the pollution that Tokyo is famous for by improving the viability of electric cars.

Japan’s gym gear learns to speak Bluetooth
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Read the full story Household | R&D | Wireless 02:27 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: citizen healthcare hitachi mitsubishi sharp tanita

070416_Bluetooth_gym_tn.jpg

Those of us happy to lead a quiet, perhaps even sedentary, life could be in for a jolt, as gym-going fitness freaks are about to get an even larger stick with which to beat us…

Citibank Singapore debuts biometric fingerprint payment system
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Read the full story R&D 01:06 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: biometrics

061122_Citibank_biometric_tn.jpg

Citibank Singapore is offering a new way for credit-card holders to make payments — using their fingerprints instead of credit cards.

Scottish school is first to use palm-vein biometrics
Friday, October 27, 2006
Read the full story R&D 09:06 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: biometrics

Fujitsu_Palm_tn.jpg

A Scottish school has turned to biometrics as part of a nationwide push to encourage children to eat healthier meals.

Biometric tagging of criminals raises hackles
Monday, August 28, 2006
Read the full story Japan | R&D 01:17 AM Steve Trautlein • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: biometrics

060827_prison_tn.JPG

As Japan’s mania for vein-authentication technology shows no signs of slacking off, the country’s first private-run prison has announced plans to keep tabs on its inmates by encoding their biometric info on IC cards.

World’s first battery-powered manned plane takes regular AAs
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Read the full story Japan | R&D | WTF? 07:39 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: aircraft batteries oxyride panasonic

060719_Panasonic_Oxyride_tn.jpg

 

Biometric acceptance grows as some favor chip implants
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Read the full story R&D 09:52 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: biometrics

060503_prints_tn.gif

The convenience of using biometrics for ID verification outweighs any concerns over lax security methods when using biometric-enabled smartcards, according to a new survey.

Biometrics hit Tokyo library
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Read the full story Japan | R&D 06:01 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: biometrics

Fujitsu_Palm_Vein_ATM.jpg

Japanese library users are set to make the rest of the world feel even more low-tech than usual when they start checking out books using palm-vein authentication technology.



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