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Rick Martin

Sharp's e-reader prototypes sport 5.5-inch and 10.8-inch color LCD touchscreens

Sharp has announced that its Next-generation XMDF (ever-eXtending Mobile Document Format) standard will be a digital platform for e-book distribution with compatible reader devices to be launched as well, possibly within the year. While the XMDF format has been in use for years already, primarily within Japan, this new 'Next generation' prefix does make the format notable as a competitor in the ebook space. Previously just for text and still images, the refreshed XMDF standard now supports video and audio display as well.  Read More

THK's linear motion systems will absorb most of the shock of an earthquake

This technology might not be fully appreciated by readers located in earthquake-free locales, but if you've ever felt the ground move beneath your feet you'll be pleased with this technology. At Tokyo Big Sight last week Japanese company THK was demonstrating how their linear motion systems could dampen the shock of an earthquake. One of their systems, when placed underneath an object that you'd like to protect, will absorb most of the shock of an earthquake.  Read More

Akihabara livestream courtesy of the Cerevo Camera Live

Japan camera-maker Cerevo has started a 24-hour live Ustream feed from Akihabara, in cooperation with a company in the area, Aisan Electronic. Recently Cerevo has been capitalizing on the growing popularity of Ustream live-streaming in Japan since Softbank's investment in the web service. By creating their 'networked camera', the Cerevo Camera Live, which is especially tailored for live-streaming, the company rides the coattails of a public increasingly interested in broadcasting on the web.  Read More

Google opens up App development to everyone

When Google announced this past Monday that the company would be releasing App Inventor, an app development tool requiring zero programming knowledge, a number of questions arose around the tech sphere. Would this lead to an explosion of Android apps? And if so, how are we supposed to filter through all the 'crapps' that are sure to enter the marketplace (Attention, World, I invented a word: crap+apps=crapps). Does this mark a turning point where programmers start to become obsolete?  Read More

Original photo: somemixedstuff

After reports last week that a number of iTunes accounts had been hacked and used to purchase apps, ostensibly by developers targeting top-ranking positions in the App Store, Apple addressed the problem publicly... albeit in a somewhat low-key and reluctant tone reminiscent of antenna-gate.  Read More

The pen assembly machine from Keyence

On display at the Design Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions Expo in Tokyo, this pen assembly machine is an impressive example of robotic multi-tasking and dexterity – albeit perhaps not that practical. So if you happen to work on a pen assembly line, you might now be redundant thanks to this robot. Or maybe not...  Read More

Forum8 demos driving simulator at 3D and VR Expo

At the 3D and VR Expo in Tokyo, Japanese company Forum8 demonstrated the company's UC-win/Road Drive Simulator software. The software allows for custom maps and environments to be created according to your specifications. You can control the environment and location, the terrain and street layout. You can even adjust the traffic, weather conditions, and even time of day. The minute details in the graphics are impressive, even showing barely noticeable elements such as the signal lights on individual vehicles.  Read More

Air Hair: Virtual Reality haircut simulator

At the 3D and VR Expo in Tokyo last week, a team from the Tokyo Institute of Technology were demonstrating a virtual reality haircut simulator. With a real scissors mechanism and a physical dummy, the simulator would display the virtual hair on screen which falls to the ground as you trim it.  Read More

TOASTit teflon bags transform your toaster into a grill

Here's a clever product that's being sold by Oishi & Associaties in Japan. You know those sandwiches that you always wanted to stuff in your toaster but couldn't because your mom told you the cheese would drip and make a mess (or was as that just me?) The TOASTit bag is your workaround, letting you throw all kinds of crazy foods into your toaster without any concern for the mess afterwards.  Read More

iPad Stencils help draw mockup apps on paper

Here's a clever stencil kit that will help iPad developers sketch out their application ideas on paper. UI Stencils' iPad Stencil Kit features all the standard buttons and menu items that you would see on an iPad, and lets you trace them out on your paper with ease.  Read More

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