Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Japan

The Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo is Nissan's glimpse at the supercar of the future

“Cor, I’d like to take that for a spin.” It's what most of us think when looking at concept cars, but the chances of that ever happening are usually less than slim. The Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo is an exception to the rule – at least, it's a virtual exception. That’s because next month, the just revealed supercar concept becomes available for download for Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo 6 video game for the Playstation console.  Read More

Pepper is a personal robot that can gauge human emotions for more natural human/robot inte...

One thing that allows human beings to live together is their ability to read one another’s emotions before the frying pans start to fly. If personal robots are to join the household, they’ll have to learn how to deal with emotions as well. Pepper is a semi-humanoid robot designed to do just that, with the ability to gauge human emotions and alter its behavior accordingly as a way to better fit into family life.  Read More

The Walking Bicycle, which combines walking and cycling into one activity, is available in...

If you enjoy the simple pleasure of walking but wish it got you from A to B as quickly as cycling then the Walking Bicycle may be your dream machine. The Walking Bicycle combines the two activities into one electric-assisted whole, allowing you to propel yourself forward at speed simply by putting one foot in front of the other.  Read More

Julian Sharpe, President of Survival Capsule LCC

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the tsunami that followed count as one of the worst disasters of the 21st century. When it struck off the southern coast of Japan with a force of magnitude 9, it was the most powerful ever to hit Japan, and the tsunami with a maximum height of 40.5 m (133 ft) resulted in 15,885 deaths, 6,148 injured, and 2,623 people missing. In anticipation of a similar disaster, Survival Capsules LCC of Mukilteo, Washington has developed a steel and aircraft-grade aluminum sphere designed to protect against both fire and flood. Gizmag paid a visit to the company to learn more about it.  Read More

Toshiba's factory will be isolated from the outside air and have tightly controlled air an...

Looking to take a bite out of the Japanese food market, electronics giant Toshiba has announced plans to construct a vegetable production factory in the city of Yokosuka. The factory will use tightly controlled air and lighting systems to optimize conditions for pesticide-free, indoor plant growth.  Read More

Pocari Sweat plans to land the first commercial sports drink on the Moon in the form of a ...

Lunar exploration may be an exciting adventure in the conquest of space, but what if you get thirsty? Pocari Sweat is a Japanese sports drink that’s popular in Asia and the Middle East, and as part of its marketing strategy it plans to deliver a can of its product to the lunar surface next year.  Read More

The Futro S720, one of 10 new Fujitsu business systems

Japan’s IT show of the year has just kicked off in Tokyo with a full complement of Japan’s principal computer hardware and software companies exhibiting their latest wares. Coinciding with IT Week, Fujitsu has launched a new range of enhanced desktops, notebooks, and tablets aimed squarely at the enterprise market.  Read More

Is space-based solar power the answer to our energy needs? JAXA envisions solar satellites...

Space-based solar power seems like an idea from a Star Trek script, but given the uncertain future of its power generation industry, Japan stands to gain as much as anyone by exploring this potential source of renewable energy. The disaster at Fukushima, limited access to fossil fuels and advances in technology has, at least in the eyes of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), added further weight to the notion of a space-based solar power system. The agency is developing a complex roadmap involving a 1 GW extraterrestrial solar farm, a microwave beam and a man-made island in the Tokyo harbor which could be used collect solar energy in space and supply power to Earth by 2040.  Read More

One ideal location for the SAFE+ Shelter is within an existing parking space outside a hos...

The events of March 11, 2011 are still very much in the minds of the Japanese people and it's no surprise that we've seen a number of tsunami safety pod designs emerge in the years since. This example from the Tajima Motor Company, the Tsunami Floating Shelter SAFE+, aims to provide a last resort option for emergency workers who have left it too late to escape. The company plans to produce 1000 units in 2014, with the aim of doubling that to 2000 in 2015.  Read More

The Kawasaki 650 Ninja and the Ninja

Held at the end of March each year, the annual Tokyo Motorcycle show is a "hands on handlebars and bums on saddles" kind of event which, as well as being a world showcase for the latest innovations from local manufacturers, aims to function as a shop window and proving ground for the millions of motorcyclists in Japan. So while Honda's 750cc NM4 Vultus was the star of the show, there were plenty of other new and interesting machines for crowds to get astride and even ride. Here's a look at some of the highlights.  Read More

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