Japan

Robear robot to take care of Japan’s elderly population

Robear robot to take care of Japan’s elderly population

Japan is known for its love of robots. Japanese inventors have been following a trend of creating a robot for every occasion. One of the newest Japanese robots is the Robear, developed by Riken, a Japanese research group. Just like the name implies, Robear is a robot bear. This bear won't steal your picnic basket. It's been especially designed to take care of the elderly and give them back some of their independence. The growing elderly population has been a rising concern in Japan due to their recent population decline.

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Final Fantasy Record Keeper: retro pixel fun for mobile

Final Fantasy Record Keeper: retro pixel fun for mobile

There's a new Final Fantasy coming to mobile devices, and this time it's not just about bringing back a classic. This will be Final Fantasy Record Keeper, a game that mashes up awesome elements from the Final Fantasy universe into one retro-styled pixelated adventure. The keeper of the histories of Final Fantasy - that's you - and you're tasked with keeping the realm safe. This game isn't about cashing in on the past - it's about keeping it in good condition - and in-app purchases, of course.

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Hotel builds giant Godzilla, puts guests in a room near him

Hotel builds giant Godzilla, puts guests in a room near him

If you've ever visited Shinjuku and thought to yourself that Godzilla would fit right in with all those towering buildings, you were right, and in the near future you'll be able to find him there -- from the shoulders up, at least. This is thanks to Hotel Gracery, a hotel above Toho Cinema (hence the mythical monster focus), which is building a large Godzilla statue -- a bust, basically -- to complement a couple of Godzilla-themed rooms. You wake up, and there outside the window is Godzilla.

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Apple’s rumored deal with JDI could bring us everything we’re hoping for

Apple’s rumored deal with JDI could bring us everything we’re hoping for

Apple loves to have a tight supply chain -- one they can control, which will yield the parts they want. They tried in earnest to get Sapphire glass up and running with a partnership with GT Advanced, which ended up a disaster. Now they’re reportedly turning to a much more solid partner for display technology. Though you may not have heard of Japan Display Inc (JDI), you’ve likely seen their work. Though the report is fairly benign, it has a lot of interesting angles (pun intended). The deal will reportedly see Apple dump just shy of $2 billion into a new plant.

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KISS’ black buns return to Japan with gooey center

KISS’ black buns return to Japan with gooey center

Remember that time we reviewed a black-bunned burger? Prepare yourself for something that may just be even more of a departure from what you'd normally call "appetizing." This is the KISS Steamed Bun, seen here courtesy of Japan's own Circle K Sunkus chain of convenience stores. They're also known as "Spicy Chili Tomatoman by KISS". They're black on the outside and "hot and spicy" on the inside. The Circle K Sunkus brand promises that these buns and their centers will be "hotter than hell" - per the KISS song and album.

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IBM, SoftBank team up to tech Watson Japanese

IBM, SoftBank team up to tech Watson Japanese

IBM’s Watson knows quite a bit — enough to compete on Jeopardy. A brilliant database of info, Watson isn’t so great at other languages. To help with learning Japanese, IBM has enlisted the help of SoftBank to train Watson in Japanese. The aim of this partnership is to bring Watson to a new enterprise space; beyond that, IBM and SoftBank either don’t specifically know what they will do with Watson, or just aren’t saying. What they do know is that Watson needs to learn the native tongue before anything else.

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Japan’s Henn-na hotel will greet you with human-like robots

Japan’s Henn-na hotel will greet you with human-like robots

Here's another one for the "only in Japan" books. A rather "forward-looking" hotel will be opening in Nagasaki later this July with a touch of high-tech fanciness you only read about in books or see in movies. But aside from the usual amenities you might imagine, there are some features that you can't, or rather, wouldn't want to imagine. In addition to the human staff that the hotel will be employing, it will also make use of 10 robots, three of which will stand, or sit, behind the check-in counter.

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This Evangelion short looks terribly realistic

This Evangelion short looks terribly realistic

This week the folks behind the Evangelion CG short collection have created a masterpiece. We're at that point, apparently, where even small-time productions like what you're about to see are able to be produced with such fantastic flare that they look real. Think about what it looked like when you first saw the young Flynn in TRON, completely made up with computer graphics. Now imagine what we'll see when it comes time to release the next Pacific Rim. Now watch this CG short and be amazed.

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Henn na: Japan’s first robot hotel

Henn na: Japan’s first robot hotel

Located within Huis Ten Bosch theme park, Henn na Hotel will be staffed by robots. Not entirely by robots - not at first - but at least in past by what the company calls "Actroids". These actroids come from the Kokoro, the animatronics division of Sanrio (better known for their brand Hello Kitty!) The actroid has been developed over the course of the past 11 years, having first been developed by Osaka University in 2003. These androids will greet you, carry your luggage, and make you a lovely cup of coffee.

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Netflix says it’ll be available in Japan in Fall 2015

Netflix says it’ll be available in Japan in Fall 2015

Netflix is a force to be reckoned with, and there's no sign of that slowing down. The video streaming service is making a massive push for original content, the likes of which it has largely found success with (so far), and at the same time it is also working to expand its audience. Netflix revealed in the recent past that it'll be arriving in Australia and New Zealand next month (though there's debate about how effective that will be), and likewise the service arrived in France last year. Now it has set focus on Japan.

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