Japan’s Tokyo University researcher Tsuyoshi Sekitani and team have created e-skin. Carbon nanotubes are combined with an iconic liquid and then added to rubber. The result is that it can feel heat and pressure the same as human skin. Applications include being used in steering wheels to determine body temperature to see if the driver should operate his/her vehicle, as a mattress cover for those who are bedridden to gauge body pressure, and of course the obvious, robot skin.
Read More | Space Daily
For those who really need steady cameras, Sony will be releasing its new ultra-compact CyberShot DSC-T77 that has a 10M CCD sensor with 4X optical zoom, Smile Shutter technology, and a 3-inch, 230,000 colors LCD screen. Available in black, silver, green, pink or brown, the Cam is only 13.9mm thick. Once again, this one will first come out in Japan September 15 with a price of ¥38,000 (~$345.00,) although we suspect it will be on its way Stateside in time for the holidays.
Read More | Aving
Next time you head to Japan, you may just see evidence of Big Brother. NEC has been working on a plasma display screen that houses a camera. It can identify a person’s age and sex for specific ads. You hold up your cellphone to the 50-inch display and a QR code with URL will send you additional product information. Since we think this is a little too much information for us, we would rather do our shopping in the privacy of our own computer. Yeah, like that’s safe.
Read More | Times of India
We don’t know why we obsess on vending machines, but we assume Japan does since they seem to have a large assortment of them. Their latest is a fresh veggie type they call Extravaganza that dispenses bok choy and bean sprouts with the push of a button. With all the E. coli scares going on in the States, we doubt they will ever make it here. Besides, it just doesn’t have the same feeling as going to an outdoor market and purchasing fresh local vegetables.
Read More | <3 Yen
In a kind of belated April Fool’s joke, a vending machine was constructed in Japan that holds a full-size Smart Car. Located in the Smart Vendor in Shibuya station, you get to choose between a Coupe and Cabrio and deposit your $20,000.00 in the slot. While we realize this probably an incredible effective marketing ploy, we were thinking that we might go for the real thing since it wouldn’t involve smarmy automobile salespeople looking for commission.
Read More | C Scout
If there’s one thing we like about Japan, it’s how their wicked cool technology meshes with their interesting pop culture preferences. We think the Pimpin Ain’t Easy watch from TokyoFlash fits into that category. In fact, just about every TokyoFlash watch meets that criteria. They go out of their way to come up with some of the most interesting ways of telling time that we’ve seen. In this episode, we give you the rundown on the Pimpin Ain’t Easy watch. It features 72 LED lights, which make it nice and bright. The time is read by reading the hours on the left hand side, and the minutes on the right. It takes a little getting used to, but it’s definitely an attention-grabber.
Sanrio drags out another Hello Kitty creation with its new laptop. The Epson Endeavor NH2100 has a 15.4-inch TFT WXGA display, Intel’s Celeron 540(1.86GHz) CPU, Windows Vista Home Premium, 1GB RAM, 80GB ATA/5400rpm HDD, DVD-ROM/CD-RW, and IEEE 802.11b/g wireless LAN and Ethernet connectivity. Choose one of the two model designs and expect to pay 147,000 yen ($1,410.00) towards the end of the month in Japan. We wonder if Paris Hilton will want one after reading that she had a Hello Kitty Doll designed with her likeness.
We like the triangular look of Kenwood’s AS-IP300 iPod Speaker. It works with all models of the Apple player and charges while playing your tunes in 3D sound. The device features a stereo mini-jack AUX input and comes with a rechargeable remote and adapter, batteries, and AC cord. At a size of 380 x 157 x 221mm and a weight of 1.2 kg, the speaker is available in black or white at a price of $199.95 in Japan.
Read More | AudioCubes
Ever get ticked off at the airport because of a delayed or canceled flight and have to crash there (no pun intended)? There is hope for travelers with the Pod Hotel. $89.00 buys you 7 x 12 feet of sleep space with climate control, an iPod docking station, wireless internet, and LCD TV with no remote. The down side is that you have to share bathrooms, you cannot smoke in them, and there is not much moving around space. Originating in Japan as far back as 1979, they are now available in London and Amsterdam, having been built early this year, as well as one in New York City that was built last year. There are now plans for expansion which sounds to us like a great idea for a budding entrepreneur.
Read More | the Pod Hotel
It’s not often that we find a bot that is useless, silly, and not made by WowWee, but the Push-kun can be placed in all those categories. Created by Osaka’s Robot Force, the robot tells jokes, plays drumrolls for itself, and performs other odd antics. If nothing else, he is a fine way to spend a couple of minutes watching. Push-kin was so impressive that he performed in the Baka RoboCup, which seeks out the most amusing and/or trivial robotics. While the quadruped didn’t win, we knew we just had to share, even if he only speaks Japanese. RF’s OniRoppo is also in the video.
Read More | Pink Tentacle