Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
This week it’s wrapping displays that just keep going around the edge of your phone, and a Japanese man, Takaaki Sasaki, the first in line at Tokyo’s Ginza Apple store, was all weepy today when he got the new iPad Air - but it’s not the usual creepily overenthusiastic fandorkboyism, it’s actually kind of touching.
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Welcome to Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
It’s already Friday west of the international dateline – here in Japan, it’s totally the future. The weekly JTFF is our somewhat Technosnarky coverage of 2-5 particularly important, specifically Japan-related tech stories. Get yourself hip to the micro & macro that went down while North America was sleeping – check in with Akihabara News every Friday morning and BOOM! Ahead of the game, you win.
:: JTFF – November 1, 2013 ::
• Awesome Hi-Def Wrap-Around Display is Awesome, but...
Earlier today, our friends at DigInfo outed this neat little piece of display tech from Japanese firm SEL (Semiconductor Energy Laboratory). Basically, using some crystalline screen magic on the c-axis (we know, right?), they’ve managed to make small to medium-sized screens wrap around the edge of devices - a smartphone, for example. Instead of the bezel, the screen just keeps on going. It’s super neato and pretty, and we definitely recommend jumping through to see the video. Adulation aside, however, it’s difficult to know whether or not this is awesome-useful or awesome-useless, i.e., it could be destined for the island of the misshapen and/or lost toys of technology (where it could pal around with Toyota’s Winglet, the Segway, and maybe even micro-projectors). Opinions?
[AWESOME WRAP-AROUND FLEXIBLE DISPLAY OF QUESTIONABLE UTILITY - DIGINFO]
• Tears Over Tech: iPad Air Debuts in Tokyo, First in Line Takaaki Sasaki Moved to Tears (for good reason)
And of course not just Tokyo, the new iPad debuted all over Japan and around the world, as well. This here is a pretty soft news story, but it does finish off with some good info about the launch. The hook, of course, is the question of why this grown-ass man is crying because he managed to be the first in line to buy an iPad Air. Well, of course the JTFF is just as tech-jaded as the average geek, and our initial assumption was some unflattering judgement about hyper-fanboy-otaku tech fetishization. But, we too had to take a moment to appreciate the rest of his story. It’s been reported that Sasaki was moved so because he’d been unemployed and shiftless and directionless for quite some time - until a year ago when he wrote a hit app that allows users to search the Japanese constitution (followed by a book). So, as a medium, the device and associated ecosystem really changed his life. Now, we're pretty sure the JTFF won’t sob when this here aging MacBook Pro gets replaced... but until that day, if by some nefariousness it were destroyed, no doubt there would be inconsolable blubbering. So yeah, within an appropriate context, crying over tech is understandable and acceptable.
[JAPANESE MAN GETS WEEPY WITH NEW IPAD, ISN’T A RAGING DORK - DAILY TELEGRAPH]
That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.
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Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.