Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!

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

This week Sony’s purchasing part of Nintendo’s supply chain (a factory that makes things with 4-letter acronyms), a Japanese artist teamed up with Nike to make artistic HyperColor spandex (deep cut!), and Honda’s giving away 3D modeling data for their concept cars - print your own!

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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 – January 31, 2014 ::

• Sony’s Buying the Factory that Makes eDRAM for Nintendo’s Wii U
We’re pretty geeky around here, but even we’re not entirely sure what eDRAM is or does. Well, we kinda get it… but also kinda not. Anyone with inside info, let us know down below. Speaking of things with mysterious and questionable utility, as we mentioned here a few weeks back and then on the JT Tech Show podcast, the Wii U has turned into a bit of a noose for Nintendo, and it seems they’re pretty much ambivalent about Sony snatching up and retooling their supplier’s facility - probably because A. they’ve got plenty of Wii Us on hand, and B. they don’t need to make any more Wii Us. For their part, Sony’s going to assimilate the facility into their image sensor empire. Seems the kit that makes eDRAM also knows its way around CMOS image sensors (another acronym we’re not going to Google).

• Japanese Artists Uses Tech to Make Avant Garde Spandex for Nike
Apparently, somebody decided that the problem with spandex is that it doesn’t do a very good job visually highlighting the fact that our buttcheeks produce a whole lotta heat when we exercise. Nike got right on that: they provided Japanese artist Yuko Kanatami with 3D athlete scans, and then she used a process called subliminal programming to get the designs just right… it might also have been called ‘digital sublimation.’ Ehhh, same thing, right? Whatever these people are up to, the JTFF do love it some 1st World Problems!

• 3D Print Your Very Own Honda
There’s that old story about that guy who once ate a car… little by little, broke it up into small pieces, made tea, whatever - eventually, dude had eaten a car (it’s true!). Well, 3D printing a full-sized car would be like the opposite of that: massive amounts of post-regurgitation assembly required (makes sense, right?). Icky analogies aside, we don’t have to wait until full-sized auto printing ramps up to get our automotive 3D print on: Honda’s giving away 3D modeling data for an array of their concept cars dating back to 1994, and for anyone who’s got a 3D printer - have at it! Five models are available now, and more are probably on the way. As part of their ‘Art of Manufacturing’ PR campaign, to encourage and inspire designers of the now and future, Honda’s encouraging customization and experimentation, which is pretty cool.

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

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Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.