Tag Archives: Technology

Japan’s underground bicycle garage is awesome

Walking around San Francisco, I often see parked bicycles with their front wheels missing — the result of all too common bike thefts.  That’s why Japan’s automatic underground garages are seriously awesome.  Not only does the ingenious urban technology save a ton of ground-level space, but it also keep your two-wheelers safe from predators.  You gotta watch how it works in the video below.  I love how the system just sucks in your bicycle and takes it into what looks like a sci-fi cave!

World’s first 3D printing photo booth creates mini replicas of people

If you ever wanted a mini version of yourself, now you can with just a click of a button! The world’s first 3D printing photo booth will be open for a limited time from Nov. 24 to Jan. 14 , 2013 at the Eye of Gyre exhibition in Tokyo, Japan.

The figurine sizes range from small (~4 in), medium (~6 in) and large (~8 in) for approximately $264, $403, and $528,  respectively. If you come in a group, you’ll even get a discount—great for those large Asian families.

Getting married soon? These would make great wedding toppers!

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Better than Weight Watchers: Japanese goggles that help shed pounds

Trust the Japanese to create these life-changing products — two types of goggles that will turn a plain biscuit into a decadent cookie of your dreams or an even bigger biscuit. The gadgets the University of Tokyo researchers invented uses augmented reality and some digital manipulation to trick the user’s senses into thinking the biscuit is bigger or tastier than it actually is.

Apparently, one goggle magnifies the size of the cookie to make it look bigger and people actually fall for it. In fact, participants in the study ate 10 percent less when biscuits looked 50 percent bigger than normal. Another goggle lets the user set a different flavor of their choice while munching on a plain biscuit, so you can fool yourself into thinking you’re eating a chocolate cookie.

All they need now to do is to come up with a machine that turns salads into pizzas or cheeseburgers.

(Thanks, Lu!)

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Stressed about life? Buddhify yourself with this app

Who knew mindless meditations can be elicited by a smartphone?An entrepreneur in Glasglow created an iPhone and Android app that’s meant to help busy people take a chill pill.

The app, which is called Buddhify, induces soothing meditation by offering 32 different audio recordings that have different instructions in male and female voices. It even has a two-player mode that gives people a chance to meditate together. Despite its name, the app isn’t just for Buddhist enthusiasts. It’s basically targeted towards anyone who wants some peace in their turbulent minds.

We’ve all been there — feeling that the day just beat you down and you’re frazzled beyond belief. Maybe Buddhify is just what we need during those stressful times. Either that or trainwreck reality shows a.k.a. Jersey Shore.

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Japanese gadget mimics french kiss, scores points with lonely men

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Why make out with a human when you can play tongue hockey with a kiss simulator? It’s just as fun and it removes the complications of feelings and all that icky stuff. Some scientists from the Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications in Japan (a.k.a. guys who haven’t had dates in a while) have developed a gadget just for the purpose of mimicking the feeling of kissing, says DigInfo.

The guy who demonstrates this product says, “If you take one device in your mouth and turn it with your tongue, the other device turns in the same way. If you turn it back the other way, then your partner’s turns back the same way, so your partner’s device turns whichever way your own device turns.”

So apparently, the device is able to memorize the kiss information of the user, which can be replayed for subsequent kissers. The demonstrator thinks this device will take off if a famous celebrity makes out with the device and has his or her kissing style recorded. Hmmm, is this all just an elaborate plan by desperate researchers who just want a taste of a Japanese sex symbol’s lips??

But enough talking. Let’s get to the kissing. Fast forward to 1:22 if you want to see a close up of the guy frenching with the tool. Actually, I can’t fathom why you would want to.

I hope that’s not his “kissing face,” because it looks a little creepy. There’s zero romance in it — his concentrated stare just makes him look like he’s taking a test.

LePad vies for tablet market share in China

Chances are it won’t be cheap as the $35 iPad from India, but man, Lenovo’s LePad is so shamelessly wannabe that I kinda wanna try it.  I mean, sounds so French and fancy, no?  LePad, oui oui!

The tablet comes out this week in China…I wonder if people will be pouncing on the LePad as they have for the iPad.  Apparently, Lenovo is planning to munch up over 30 percent of China’s tablet market over the next couple of years.

Even though the name reminds me of some kind of European Maxi Pad, I have to admit that I like the fact that the LePad will be powered by Google’s Android software.

Watch out, iPad…here comes LePad!

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Fobs do some really weird things with iPads (and Maxi Pads).  Read about the Japanese dude who made a wooden iPad, the super-fobby karaoke iPad app, and…instructions for how to turn Japanese Maxi Pads into house slippers. Whaaaat??

Japanese toilets can assess your poo

This futuristic toilet can check your blood pressure, take your temperature, analyze your urine sample and email the results straight to your doctor.  In addition, who wouldn’t want a toilet that plays your favorite song while you do your business?

Japan, the leader in toilet technology, never fails to impress me with their “smart” toilets.  When I lived in Japan, I loved the heated toilet seats in the winter, but ever since I moved from Japan, it looks like the toilet technology has significantly improved! I guess I’ll have to live with the traditional non-heated, manual flush toilets found in America. Check out the video demonstrating the wonders of the Japanese toilet!

Minority Report technology: This vending machine remembers you

This Japanese vending machine could have been from the sci-fi flick, Minority Report.  There’s a scene where Tom Cruise is bombarded by personalized advertising — infrared sensors recognize his identity by scanning his eyes, allowing companies to know things like his name and how many times he’s visited a store.

Similarly, this digital, uber high-tech vending machine has an embedded camera that identifies your gender and age, allowing the machine to suggest products typical of your demographic.  It even remembers your purchasing history, so it will tailor its ads to you every time you use it.

If you’re in Japan, go visit Tokyo’s Shinagawa Station to check out the brand new vending machine!  Five hundred more units will be installed around Tokyo over the next two years.

And if you haven’t watched Minority Report yet, here’s what I’m talking about.

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(Thanks Dunks!)

China’s bus of the future lets cars drive under it

If you can drive in China, you can drive anywhere — imagine LA traffic, only with super aggressive drivers sharing the road with loads and loads of bicycles.  And that’s why this innovative bus of the future is freakin fantastic.  In an effort to ease traffic congestion, the Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment company is developing the “3D Express Coach,” a ginormous (20 feet wide and 15 feet high) bus that has a built-in tunnel, allowing cars and other vehicles to drive under it.  And to make it even cooler, this super bus will be powered by a combination of solar energy and electricity.

The company will start building the first 115 miles of track in Beijing at the end of this year.  Apparently, it will take $73 million and only a year to build this amazing transportation system of the future.

I can’t wait to ride this!  Definitely on my list of things to do the when I visit my bro in Beijing.

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Cheap iPad imitation to go for $35 in India

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From the country of “cheap innovations” (see $2000 open-heart surgery and the $2500 compact Nano car), India has unveiled the prototype of an unbelievably affordable version of the iPad, which the Indian government plans to start producing next year. They are pricing it at $35 but hope to lower the price to $20 for students, and maybe even as low as $10. You can power the cheapo touchscreen tablet with solar energy, surf the web, use word processing and even chat via webcam.

Put me on the waiting list now please!

(Thanks, DTP!)

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