Bonsai Lab - 3D printer made in Japan is available for ¥100,000

Bonsai Lab, Inc. has released the reasonably-priced compact 3D printer BS01 on April 1.

In December, 2013, 3D printer BS01 was sold for 3 weeks only at the cloud funding site "kibidango". It collected the targeted amount of money after just 2 days, and reached about ¥10,500,000 funding in 3 weeks, an amount about 5 times more than their targeted amount.

Panasonic - New VIERA TV with voice command control function

Panasonic is going to release 2 new LCD TV models from their VIERA series, 50-inch model "TH-50AS630" for ¥175,000 and 42-inch model "TH-42AS600" for ¥135,000.

Both of the 2 models have a voice-controlled touchpad remote control. Via Wi-Fi connection, you can control the remote control, such as searching TV shows or recorded shows and making a recording reservation. Even if you are not familiar with voice command control, control examples can be displayed to help you.

au by KDDI - Smartphone assembling kit that you can build by yourself

au by KDDI is going to release a weekly magazine for a smartphone assembling kit in collaboration with DeAGOSTINI Japan, a publisher that issues a weekly magazine specializing in collectable items.

Once you start subscribing to the weekly magazine, parts of the smartphone can be delivered to you once a week, and you will receive a few parts per week until all parts are received.

Google develops Japanese language input Magic Hand for Smart Devices

Google unveiled their newly developed gadget Google Nihongo Nyuryoku Magic Hand (Japanese language input magic hand) today. It was developed to help make using smart devices easier.

It is able to solve problems that arise from the use of a touch panel, such as the following:

- it is sometimes hard to control with hands with long nails or while wearing gloves or a bandage
- screens can sometimes get dirty with fingerprints
- screens can sometimes be poorly responsive

Japanese consumption tax increases to 8% today; 10% in October 2015

Today, Japanese consumption tax increased for the first time in 17 years in order to cover growing social security costs due to an aging population.

The tax rate was raised to 8% from 5%  which, it is estimated, will raise an extra JPY 5 trillion (USD 50 billion) in tax revenue for the government in 2014 and an extra JPY 8 trillion in tax revenue in 2015.

The increase is a counterpoint to the government's JPY 5.5 trillion (USD 55 billion) stimulus package last year.

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