Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
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]
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]
That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.
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Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.