The Japanese love to karaoke. It could probably even be considered as the national pastime. This love for singing in public (to the usual detriment of the ears of people within listening distance) could only mean that the Japanese will try to develop gadgets that would take karaoke to different platforms.
Take for example the portable karaoke handset that was developed by Logictec. The device, which could be attached to MP3 players like the iPod is the answer to karaoke lovers who just cannot wait to go to karaoke clubs to get their groove on. By attaching the device to the earphone plug of a digital music player you can now sing along with the music in the player. An added bonus is the built in FM radio transmitter that would beam the signal to a nearby radio, effectively widening the range in bad singers can irritate people.
Posted March 20th, 2008 by admin+ | Comments (3)
Flat screen TVs are probably the most sought after electronic equipment in the world today. Everyone wants to jump into the digital age and dump their oh-so-primitive CRT TVs for the space and electricity saving plasma or LCD displays. With digital broadcasting already in place in many countries (or about to be implemented in some) now is a great time to get those TVs.
But Japan’s Toshiba is upping the ante in terms of technological competition. The company is now going to use the Sony Playstation 3′s much vaunted Cell processor in their TVs. The addition of the chip is expected to bring more visual and graphical bang to Toshiba’s TVs. The company has already released prototypes of its TVs with the Cell processor attached to it and it has extended the capabilities of HD TVs by incorporating new features like multiple windowed channels that are shown all at once. This allows you to choose the channel much like flicking through thumbnails on your computer. Standard broadcasts are also enhanced to near HD quality. It also offers a much improved interface that is commonly found in media center computers.
No word yet on when these TVs will be made available to consumers.
Posted March 14th, 2008 by admin+ | Comment (0)
One of the quirky establishments that are part of contemporary Japanese culture are the so called love hotels. These small hotels are used as a clandestine meeting place for lovers and those who have a secret relationship. But over the years, love hotels have begun to diversify and are now trying to market themselves not as a secret rendezvous for illicit affairs but as a place where people can have fun.
One surprising trend is that these hotels are now beginning to cater to women. Different facilities and services are being incorporated the specifically target what women want. Among the new services include the addition of luxurious baths, amenities that cater and pamper women, mimicking the feel of a resort, and entertainment options like DVD players and widescreen TVs. One other service/facility that seems to be a hit among women are sex toys. More and more Japanese women are becoming enamored with sex toys and they usually incorporate it when they have sex with their lovers. There are even some love hotels that provide uniforms for costume play.
Love hotels are definitely one more landmark that a tourist should visit when in Japan.
Posted March 8th, 2008 by admin+ | Comments (4)
In Katsuhiro Otomo’s anime Roujin – Z, caring for the elderly has become such an issue that a robotic bed system was developed in order to take care of them.
Now, in what looks like another case of life imitating art, the Japanese are beginning to use the help of robots in caring for the elderly and the sick.
These robots may not look as sleek as the humanoid like drones developed by Honda or even as technologically advanced as the bed system in Otomo’s Roujin Z, but nevertheless, this system is helping in giving care to the elderly in their own unique way.
The robot, a product made by the Business Design Laboratory Co., is called Yorisoi ifbot and it can “talk” to its users. The 604,800 yen priced device’s main purpose is to help entertain children but it has gained a lot of demand from senior citizens and families who take care of a senior family member.
The robot cannot only respond to greetings by the owner, it can also ask riddles or sing songs as a way of stimulating the brain functions of the elderly.
Another robot that is in the market is the Chapit, developed by Ray Tron, Inc. This robot actually helps the elderly in operating various equipment inside their homes. The robot eliminates the confusion that the elderly feel when trying to operate so many different devices at home.
Posted March 4th, 2008 by admin+ | Comment (0)