Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!

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

This week it’s octopedal Japanese electronics conglomerate OMRON getting its facial recognition/tracking tentacles into Amazon’s forthcoming smartphone, and some University of Tokyo researchers are experimenting with delivering electricity with a Roomba, you know, like you do.

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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 – June 6, 2014 ::

• OMRON’s ‘Okao’ Vision Tech Going into Amazon’s Smartphone. That Means ‘Face,’ by the Way. Just Sayin.
Tech rumors, rumors, rumors blah blah blah the JTFF is not a huge fan of rumors, but, when some late-breaking rumorey news involves the J-tech, well, we’re obliged. So, it’s confirmed that Amazon will launch a product on June 18, and given that their teaser trailer - which we as a species are now doing for physical products - has a Benetton rainbow of product fluffers looking down into their hand a la smartphone use whilst moving their heads side-to-side in what appears to be a "Gee-whiz Mr. Bezos, I’m looking at a 3D image!" ...kinda way, it’s assumed that the device will like, you know, do that sort of stuff. How so? Well, Amazon has snatched up some facial recognition & tracking tech from Japanese electronics conglom OMRON. Go watch the rainbow of human flavors after the jump. The video is begging for a split-screen parody.
[OMRON’S OKAO TECH SOFTWARE ALL UP IN AMAZON 3D PHONE THINGY]

[RELATED]
Smartphones at AkihabaraNews

• University of Tokyo Researchers Deliver Electricity with a Roomba
...which is exactly the kind of headline that keeps us doing what we do here in Tokyo. While it remains just an example of what could be done, it’s an interesting cord-cutting concept. What if, while you’re at work or cooking dinner or bathing or napping or sitting on the porch smoking clove cigarettes, pounding scotch, and yelling at neighborhood kids passing by, a diligent robot was bouncing around to your various cordless appliances and giving them juice? A half-cocked solution without a real problem, to be sure, but it is something quite original, and some sort of implementation could be pretty sexy. Oh, also, inadvertently insulting the struggling Japanese robo-vacuum industry, they used the Roomba, Japan’s by-really-far best selling automatic cleaning robot. How and why and when did American firm iRobot’s giant puck come to dominate the market? We’ve mentioned it.
[UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO RESEARCHERS DELIVER ELECTRICITY WITH A ROOMBA - IEEE SPECTRUM]

[RELATED]
The Must-Read Most Fascinating but Least Cool Robotics Story

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

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Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.

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Calbee just released DORAEMON potato chips which will be sold for a limited time only until early May.

They are basic salt flavor potato chips that come with 2 DORAEMON illustrated cards in each bag. There are a total of 72 different cards including "Normal cards" with funny DORAEMON, valuable "Color cards with original drawings", and "Famous scene cards" displaying a whole page from the comic book on the card.

If you are a big fan of DORAEMON, happy snacking and good luck collecting all 72 cards!

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Japanese love their cigarettes and are never without them and a lighter.  And recently, a cute singing lighter has arrived on the scene.  It is chargeable through your computer's USB port, giving hours of lighter fluid-free cigarette lighting.  Wind and rain? There's no flame so there's no problem!

Sing a long with Jii!  Fill your lungs with smoke and your heart with song!

 

Panasonic is going to release the LUMIX DMC-LX100, the world's first compact digital point-and-shoot camera with a 4/3-inch sensor built-in, for about 103,000 yen on November 13.
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Sony has changed up the form factor a bit, JVC and Ricoh have gone for full-on assault drop Space Marine armour (for the glory of the imperium of man!), and Panasonic went with the duo of innovative mounting option and first-to-the-market 4k for theirs. In the end though, they all did basically the same thing: capturing the action. The one Japanese electronics behemoth that was noticeably absent from the fray was CASIO… until now.
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The steadily plodding iterations of iRobot’s Roomba and its legion of copycats are old hat, and the collective We aren’t really impressed anymore. While the 360 Eye performs the same task, it stands out, and just kinda has that new robot smell. The talking points/broad strokes/things to know are:
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Panasonic is currently displaying the new LUMIX CM1, a digital camera with 1-inch sensor and Android 4.4, at Photokina 2014 in Cologne, Germany.

LUMIX CM1 is scheduled to be released for about EUR 899 at the end of this year in Germany first, and then it will be released worldwide at the beginning of 2015.

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