Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week, well, they say dancing around screaming “I TOLD YOU SO!” isn’t very polite, but we will because SCHAFT Robotics' co-founder publicly declared J-startup culture moribund and is building his own investment fund, Nintendo pwned some patent trolls, and maybe, just maybe, SONY LIVES!

• • •

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 – January 10, 2014 ::

• SCHAFT Robotics Co-Founder Founds a Startup Fund
And. That. Is. Awesome. Anyone reading an article called “Japanese Technology from the Future Friday” is probably aware of SCHAFT Robotics’ dominating win in last month’s DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials. With an impressive legacy sitting underneath SCHAFT, a lot of insiders expected the team to do very well, but no one expected the powerful, comprehensive beatdown they tossed the rest of the world’s finest humanoid platforms. But here’s the thing: the bulk of the funding for SCHAFT’s unique, proprietary robot and software development - yeah, that didn’t come from Japan. Because, although it is improving and there are promising signs, it’s clear that Japan’s startup culture remains developmentally disabled. Not only did SCHAFT’s initial funding come from the U.S. government, about two weeks before the DRC Trials, they were bought up by Google. One could also ask Takahito Iguchi, founder of Google Glass competitor Telepathy, about his high-profile venture's $5 million investment from… oh yeah, also from Americans. Anyway, you old guys in Japan with all the money, maybe time to wake up? Or… you know, don’t. Guys like SCHAFT’s Takashi Kato and a legion of foreign investors will be happy to come snatch up Japan’s best and brightest for you.
[SCHAFT CO-FOUNDER’S J-STARTUP VENTURE - BLOOMBERG]

• Nintendo Destroys Patent Trolls and then Buys Their Stuff (HA!)
Patent trolls are the most unwelcome and hideous smear of epiphytic snotmold ever hippo-flopped out upon the tech world. They deserve merciless destruction, and finally, some heroes over at Nintendo have dished some out. Not only did they win the suit and appeal brought by IA Labs, makers of nottadamnthing, after IA Labs didn’t pay damages awarded Nintendo, their stuff was put up for sale - and Nintendo bought their patent portfolio. This really is a victory for humanity.
[NINTENDO BUYS TROLL’S PATENTS - GAMESPOT]

• Like Us, The Verge Says Sony Might be Creeping Back to Relevance
As we mentioned in a recent JT Tech Show podcast. And hey, with their bold new Core lifelogging initiative, making with the amazing short-throw 4K projectors, sellin’ and innovatin’ in the PS4 ecosystem, and managing to stuff all the guts from their huge flagship smartphone into a much smaller, competes-with-iPhone package, 
we’ve all got a point. Perhaps Sony, at long last, has finally realized that focusing on squirting out 47 VAIO models every year and refusing to abandon the nobody-wants-it PSP might actually be just as dumb as it sounds. Good. Go, Sony, GO! (but don't think we've forgotten about the robots - forgiveness for that sin is a long wait for a train not coming).
[MAYBE SONY’S GETTING ITS GROOVE BACK - THE VERGE]

That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.

• • •

Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.

Source: 

Related Articles

Reno J. Tibke - September 07, 2013

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's Seiko’s 100-year wristwatch anniversary celebrated with huge sales in India, Japanese & American cancer killers hook up, and Japan and Qatar are going to get all kindsa cozy with the desalination, wastewater treatment, stadium

Reno J. Tibke - September 28, 2013

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's Panasonic unloading its healthcare division to some Americans, and the world’s fastest mobile 4G, LTE, multi-carrier routers, made in China by this huge company you’ve likely never heard of, are now available on the archipelago - t

Reno J. Tibke - September 13, 2013

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's a Japan-led team’s Earthquake-hunting boat setting off to drill into the place where earthquakes come from (

Reno J. Tibke - February 15, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s Sony's, Hitachi's, and Toshiba's once-failing, leftover screen-making divisions coagulated into an actual business ready for IPO, Canon reminds us that it's not all DSLRs and gigantic copiers, and Rakuten, one of Japan's only standout international tech players, throws down cash for Viber!

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - September 06, 2014

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week Americans are a few steps closer to experiencing the kind of high-speed rail travel that Japan’s ALREADY HAD FOR LIKE 50 YEARS, and a Tsukuba-based company says they’ve made a considerable breakthrough in adding touchy-feely to the looky-looky of virtual and augmented reality systems.

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - August 16, 2014

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week the earth shook, babies cried, and the very logic of existence was thrown into doubt: an American anime is being exported to Japan, and since the Obon holiday equals a very slow tech week, the ultimately circular cultural force of animated images is all we’re talking about!

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - February 22, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s the JTFF shaming anti-nuclear activists.

• • •

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s Mt. Gox biting the bankruptcy bullet (plus bonus geeky news on that), Hulu Japan is selling itself to Japan, and Panasonic and Tesla Motors might build a battery mega-factory (whilst everyone still avoids mentioning that most electricity for electric cars still comes from fossil fuels).

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's weird that Japanese people still love CDs, Japan’s trying to help Myanmar by ironically exporting more energy technology, and some really profound developments in reproductive technology, for which the JTFF finally gets to use the word “sperm.”

• • •

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com
This week it’s Sony flirting with yet another game of catch-up, Panasonic is taking their smartphone game to India, and tiny cracks have been found in some of the wings Mitsubishi Heavy Industries makes for the 787 Dreamliner, which is not a game at all.
JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's robots, robots, and more robots. iREX robots have hijacked the JTFF - but true to form, the 60 images in this gallery represent the news that was in fact going down here in Japan today. We'll have more to say about iREX next week, but for now: Photos. Of. Robots! We hope you enjoy (we definitely, totally, absolutely did).

Reno J. Tibke - March 15, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s the (what was thought to have been) pioneering stem cell research of RIKEN’s Dr. Haruko Obokata & friends coming under serious scrutiny that could lead to disavowal, and a recounting of the much more enjoyable tale of how SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son got Steve Jobs to give him iPhone exclusivity in Japan.

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - October 19, 2013

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s Japan & the U.K. agreeing to do even more military stuff together, further discussion on the revealed-to-the-world-via-mobile-video issue of corporal punishment in Japan, and an inexplicable announcement from Honda about the sound of its new racecar engine.

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - October 26, 2013

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s the JTFF being embarrassed for the BBC publishing some wildly innappropriate and overgeneralized coverage of technology & culture in Japan; specifically the "otaku" phenomenon, and clinging to it as a major reason for Japan’s declining population and all the stay at home singles, because seriously, what else could it be? Wow Japan, you so crayyzy!

Pages