Japan

SoftBank’s emotion-sensing robot Pepper goes on sale in Japan on June 20

SoftBank’s emotion-sensing robot Pepper goes on sale in Japan on June 20

SoftBank, one of Japan's three largest telecom companies, has just announced that Pepper, its "emotionally intelligent" robot, will finally begin limited sales on June 20th. The launch will be limited to just 1,000 units sold within Japan only, with robot priced at roughly $9,000, including several fees paid over a 3-year period. First unveiled last June, Pepper is said to be capable of understanding emotions including joy, sadness, and anger, as well as analyzing expressions, gestures, and voice tones.

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Line launches music streaming service in Japan

Line launches music streaming service in Japan

Line Crop has offered messaging apps in Japan and other markets for a long time and the app has been well received by users around the world. This week Line has announced a new product launch in Japan that gives it a jump on competition in the music streaming industry within the country called Line Music. Japan is the second largest market for music in the world.

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Japan’s Takram develops paper-based input for projected display

Japan’s Takram develops paper-based input for projected display

The idea of collaborating with coworkers in person while using a tablet the size of a table-top has always sounded cool — it was Microsoft's first vision for the Surface, after all — but it's still likely to be a long ways off. However, Japanese design firm Takram has come up with an idea for an interactive digital table that is just as cool, but even more elegant in execution. It's completely based on paper, or rather "On the Fly Paper," and it developed for Intel's Japanese Collaboration Center.

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Japan may place emergency toilets and water in elevators

Japan may place emergency toilets and water in elevators

Japan is frequently hit by earthquakes and while they don’t typically cause major destruction, the frequent earthquakes do often leave people trapped in elevators. Recently an earthquake left dozens of people trapped for over an hour after a magnitude 7.8 quake hit the country on Saturday leaving people stuck in lifts inside buildings. Most of the elevators in building stopped at the closest floor and the doors opened to let passengers out.

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Casio to host retro smartwatch museum exhibition

Casio to host retro smartwatch museum exhibition

Smartwatches and wearables in general may finally be a "thing" today, but that might not have even been possible were it not for the one true originator. That's right, Casio. The Toshio Kashio Memorial Foundation, named after Toshio Kashio, who founded the Casio in 1957 with his brothers, is going to hold an exhibit on the company's watches from 30 and 40 years ago, then considered high-tech with features like calculators and calendars. Think of it as a museum exhibit on "classic smartwatches."

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Japanese robot could replace your moving company, shoves like a human

Japanese robot could replace your moving company, shoves like a human

In a robot, strength is important, but sometimes it's more important how the strength is directed. If you've ever had to move a refrigerator, you know that the best course of action involves pushing or pulling the object instead of lifting up, directly. The latest human-like robot developed by the University of Tokyo's JSK Laboratory takes that logic and expands on it, pushing, pulling, and scooting washing machine and large objects. The robot uses impressive posture and crouches, bracing itself so well that if it were human, it would be protecting its back from lifting strain.

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Nintendo’s 8GB Wii U Basic set to be discontinued in Japan

Nintendo’s 8GB Wii U Basic set to be discontinued in Japan

Things have been somewhat quiet for Nintendo in the Wii U market lately, what with several of the system's big games delayed until later this fall, and it being unclear what the company might show off at E3 this year. Now, that doesn't mean the console is in dire straits at this point, but Nintendo has revealed that it's killing off one of the Wii U models in Japan, which may be a sign of what's to come for other regions.

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HTC J Butterfly: HTC’s most powerful phone you can’t have

HTC J Butterfly: HTC’s most powerful phone you can’t have

HTC reveals the HTC J Butterfly, a large-screened smartphone destined for carriers inside Japan. This smartphone works with many of the same specifications at the HTC One M9, but here works with a 5.2-inch WQHD display (that's 1440 x 2560), also known as 2K. This device also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor under the hood alongside 3GB of RAM, more than enough to get you through your biggest and best apps and games. In Japan, of course. Not the United States as such.

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Drones banned from Tokyo’s public parks

Drones banned from Tokyo’s public parks

While the acceptance of privately owned drones is rapidly expanding here in the US, in some countries, such as Japan, they are only beginning to get consumers' attention. Unfortunately for budding drone enthusiasts in Tokyo, there is a new roadblock to enjoying their hobby. The Japanese capital's municipal government recently issued a ban on drones being used at all public parks. The prohibition on UAVs follows a recent political protest incident, where a drone was landed on the roof of the Japanese Prime Minister's residence.

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New smartphone uses iris scanning to replace passwords in Japan

New smartphone uses iris scanning to replace passwords in Japan

Biometrics have changed the way we use smartphones, but they haven't really revolutionized it, yet. Being able to unlock your smartphone with a fingerprint is convenient, but it has become so commonplace that the feature doesn't stand out anymore. One of the latest smartphones due to hit Japan this summer sets itself apart from the crowd by allowing users to unlock, sign in to apps, and go shopping using only their eyes. That's right, the iris-scanning technology that was once relegated to sci-fi movies and the higher echelons of government security can now be held in the palm of your hands.

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