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Wireless

Apple secures Japanese iPhone naming rights - 3G release all but certain now
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Read the full story Japan | Wireless 08:50 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: 3g aiphone apple iphone

A seemingly insignificant press release from a Japanese company we’ve never even heard of has suddenly set tongues wagging about everyone’s favorite rumor – the fabled 3G iPhone.

Japanese phone armada sets sail Westward, but does it have a map?
Monday, March 24, 2008
Read the full story Wireless 09:33 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: android crap docomo

The myth that Japanese mobile phones are the best in the world is typically perpetuated by overseas observers obsessed with the cutting-edge services on offer there and confusing those with what are typically very dull handsets.

World’s first holographic RFID tag to stop Vuitton knock-offs
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Read the full story Household | Wireless 10:21 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: counterfeit hitachi ic rfid toppan

RFID and holograms are two of our favorite technologies, so it’s a joy to see them form a double act and get together in one pretty little security device. The result is the world’s first hologram-toting IC tag, which arrives in Japan next month courtesy of Hitachi and the printing experts at Toppan.

Brethalyzer phone keeps watchful eye on Japan’s truck drivers
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Read the full story Japan | Transportation | Wireless | WTF? 04:55 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: alcohol brethalyzer docomo foma

Big tech companies like NTT DoCoMo come up with dozens of unusual applications for their gear every year, but most tend to end up consigned to glossy brochures that describe some anodyne ‘perfect’ future. One bizzaro contraption that is apparently out in the wild is Big D’s FOMA-based Videophone Alcohol Check System - as the above photo shows, it’s in use on at least one truck round these parts.

Mobile digital TV: What the West can learn from tiny TVs in Japanese pockets
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Read the full story Film, TV, manga & anime | Video | Wireless 12:02 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: 1-seg sharp

Regular readers will have noticed a fair sprinkling of the odd term ‘1-seg’ in news items over the last year or so, with all referring to Japanese products in some way. From Sony’s PSP and video Walkman to car sat-nav systems and mobile phones, this strangely named digital TV standard is popping up everywhere in the Far East, but what exactly is it?

Two new LiMo phones to challenge Android
Read the full story Wireless 10:07 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: 705i 905i docomo

We’ve already digested everything there is to know about Android, the Google-led open operating system for mobile phones and a little about LiMo, the other open-source challenger, but we’ll bet you didn’t know there are two spanking new LiMo phones on the market.

DoCoMo using RFID cellphones to open doors, boot PCs and plenty more
Friday, February 01, 2008
Read the full story Wireless 05:28 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: docomo felica kaismart osaifu-keitai rfid

After years of waiting, DoCoMo has finally made good on its promise to deliver an office security system based on the RFID chips in its cellphones.

Samsung patronizes half world with rubbish ‘female’ phones
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Read the full story Wireless | WTF? 08:50 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: patronizing samsung

Hey ladies – are our normal, well-specced phones too much for your pretty little heads? Thought so – you should try our new handsets made just for you. They’re rubbish, but y’know – they’re sparkly.

Study shows Japanese children are addicted to phones
Monday, January 14, 2008
Read the full story Household | Internet | Japan | Wireless 08:18 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: docomo kids

The latest research on the mobile phone habits of Japanese children may be music to the ears of phone providers, but the depth to which the gadgets have penetrated the lives of the young there is bound to set alarm bells ringing elsewhere.

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.

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.

Bone conduction goes wireless with Bluetooth headset
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Read the full story Audio | Peripherals | Wireless 08:46 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: bluetooth bone conduction docomo sound leaf plus

We’ve seen a few bone-conduction devices before, including a cellphone, a sports headband and an industrial safety helmet, but this is definitely the first we’ve come across that sends the good vibes by Bluetooth.

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.

Disney drive for hearts and minds reaches mobile marketplace
Monday, November 12, 2007
Read the full story Toys | Wireless 09:48 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: disney mvno softbank

A story like this just cries out for a headline about Mickey Mouse phone companies, but we won’t go down that road – instead we’ll point out that Disney’s new cellphone venture is bound to go down a treat when it launches in Japan next year.

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.

Roll-up solar panels power disaster rescue kit

The latest piece of disaster recovery equipment to come out of Japan is an ingenious feat of engineering featuring one of the most unusual applications of solar technology that we’ve seen.

Overrated Japanese phones: only a mother could love ‘em
Friday, November 02, 2007
Read the full story Wireless 06:07 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: 905i comment docomo hype motorola nokia

I don’t know if I’m noticing it because I work in the field, but the last year or so seems to have seen an inordinate amount of coverage by the Western media of Japanese cellphones like the new 905i series from DoCoMo that was unveiled here in Tokyo yesterday.

Sony uses Wi-Fi to pinpoint noodle shops
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Read the full story GPS | Japan | Software | Wireless | WTF? 08:59 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: petamap placeengine ramen sony

Sony’s a strange company - on the one hand it appears every inch the industry giant striving to return to its former glory yet, on the other, it produces really bizarre products like its latest piece of software that uses Wi-Fi to locate noodle restaurants.

China to fall short in Olympic 3G mobile bid
Friday, October 26, 2007
Read the full story Events | Wireless 09:35 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: china olympics td-scdma

Despite China’s promise to have a 3G phone network in place by the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a bluster-filled announcement made yesterday only served to underline that commercial services will not be ready in time.

Japanese Java application uses cellphones to stop perverts
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Transportation | Wireless | WTF? 05:03 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: chikan groping trains

That fine organ the Mainichi Daily News has word on a cellphone Java application intended to help women discretely ward off the wandering hands (and, presumably, other parts) of the gropers that plague Japan’s trains.

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.

Try on new specs from the comfort of your cellphone
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Read the full story Household | Wireless 08:45 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: glasses virtual reality

Glasses and contact lenses are noticeably big business all over Asia, so it’s no surprise to see a Japanese optician combining sales of spectacles with the venerable mobile phone.

Bone-conduction cellphone eliminates ears
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Read the full story Wireless | WTF? 07:39 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: au bone conduction kddi pantech

Japan’s second most popular cellphone provider, KDDI, chose today in Tokyo to unveil the winter handset line-up due to hit its au-branded shops in the next few weeks.

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.

Cognitive radio group draws up 4G plans for Japan's smart phones
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Read the full story Japan | R&D | Wireless 09:49 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: 4g cognitive radio wi-fi wimax

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.

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?

Japanese trains beaming RFID info to passengers on the go
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Read the full story Events | R&D | Transportation | Wireless 04:17 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: ceatec mitsubishi rfid

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.

More efficient cellphone ads to monitor browsing habits
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Read the full story Internet | Wireless 07:34 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: advertising capitalism revenue science

This time next year, US cellphone users could be following in the footsteps of residents of Japan by ending up on the receiving end of personalized advertising delivered direct to their handsets.

Predictive text killing written word in Japan
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Wireless 02:16 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: dictionaries japanese kanji language writing

Cellphones have been blamed for a multitude of ills from unbearable train rides to brain tumors, but none can be as surprising as the Japanese government’s discovery that they are changing the way its citizens view their own complex writing system.

Decades-old wireless tech alive and kicking

It’s not often that a wireless technology from the 1980s makes the headlines, but that’s exactly what’s happening to the hardware behind Japan’s first-ever cellphone network.

Thanko branches out, does wireless media streamer
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Read the full story Video | Wireless 09:02 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: media thanko wireless

Thanko is one of those small Japanese electronics companies that comes up with the goods time after time and always at a price that makes even frivolous gadgets seem sensible. The latest piece of Thanko kit is surprisingly sensible, however, being a wireless audio-visual streamer.

HTC CEO to reveal shakeup plans for Japanese smartphone market
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Read the full story Events | Wireless 04:39 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: htc iphone smartphones

The Japanese cellphone market is pretty much a closed-membership club, in which most phones are sold by the networks and can never be unlocked - in other words, if the phone you want isn’t available from the carrier you choose, then you’re out of luck. Forget even thinking about importing something cool from abroad too.

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.

Why Motorola and co sweat buckets when earthquakes hit Japan
Friday, August 17, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Wireless 09:13 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: components motorola murata nokia

When it comes to global cellphone sales it’s no secret – but it is an eternal surprise – that Japanese handset makers have long been miserable flops.

Cellphone novel downloads outstrip paper books in Japan
Friday, August 10, 2007
Read the full story Internet | Japan | Wireless 09:34 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: novels publishing

When we reported last year on the rapid spread in Japan of novels designed to be read on cellphones we could hardly have guessed that they would be outselling print publications within a few months, but that’s exactly what has happened in the first half of 2007.

Explosive mixi SNS does a Facebook in Japan, draws 1 in 7 web users
Monday, July 30, 2007
Read the full story Internet | Japan | Wireless 09:36 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: facebook mixi networking sns

Unless you’ve been – in internet terms at least – hiding under a rock the last few months, you’ll be well aware of the amazing growth of Facebook, the social-networking site (SNS) that reaches people who never thought they’d fall for an SNS.

Google brings Gmail to mobile phones in Japan

As Google continues its bid for domination of the internet, particularly in the expanding mobile arena, we hear word from Japan of the US company offering a customized version of its Gmail email service to phone users there.

Japanese firms aiming to serve fresh manga to geeky iPhone owners
Friday, July 27, 2007
Read the full story Internet | Japan | Wireless 03:15 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: iphone manga monkey punch

As if Apple’s iPhone didn’t already have enough geek appeal, a Japanese company has announced a deal to bring manga comics to the tedious wonderphone later this year.

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.



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