Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
This week it's a new force-reactive, wireless, two way touching that's so fast it seems instantaneous, and Kirobo, the cute little space robot that only speaks Japanese, finally came out of ISS storage to talk with astronaut Koichi Wakata.
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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 – December 20, 2013 ::
• Instantaneous, Wireless, Two-Way Force-Feedback
A professor from Keio University in Tokyo has developed a two-way touching device that’s so wirelessly fast that it translates nuanced sensations in what we would perceive as real time. Of course he envisions myriad practical uses (construction, robotics, recording touch-based fabrication procedures, etc.), but it goes without saying - though we’re totally saying - that other, ummm, industries would have a strong interest in such technology. Come on now, you know what we mean. That guy who invented force-reactive robotic buttcheeks, for example, should be all over this tech, you know, so to speak (and yes, he’s from Japan, and yes, we’ve touched on the issue, so to speak).
[INSTANT TOUCH DEVICE THINGY - SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST]
• Kirobo the Monolingual Robot Talks with Koichi the Astronaut
...and only with Koichi the astronaut, because Kirobo don’t habla inglés. Sure, we’re glad there are now two robots in the ISS (Canadarm, don’t get pun-intended bent out of shape, you’re OUTSIDE the ISS), but it just seems like, you know, since JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata’s the only Japanese speaker, and Japanese speakers account for only about 1.8% of humanity, and because it’s the International Space Station, one would think that Toyota, for its part in the venture (natural Language software), could have tossed some English onto Kirobo. But an autonomously talking robot in space is still pretty cool.
[KIROBO IS FINALLY TALKING BUT ONLY IN JAPANESE - CHINA POST]
That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.
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Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.