TOKYO--Japan has vending machines that can talk to you, sell you everything from bags of rice to porn magazines to bouquets of flowers, and recharge your phone. But a new breed of automated seller has smarts, too--these machines can detect your age and gender and offer drink suggestions accordingly.
The latest wave of copyright litigation against illegal file sharing was ignited by indie filmmakers, including the producers of "The Hurt Locker."
Getting into the action now are creators of such titles as "Tokyo Teens" and "Pornstar Superheroes." Three adult-film producers will soon begin sending subpoenas to Internet service providers, or ISPs, across the United States in an effort to learn the identities of people they claim shared their movies without permission over the Internet, Kenneth Ford, the attorney representing the filmmakers, said today.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of … Read more
It seemed obvious when the Nintendo DSi first debuted: offering classic Game Boy titles from Nintendo's decades-long back library would be a perfect fit and a no-brainer parallel to the Virtual Console on the Wii.
But it never happened. Now the upcoming Nintendo 3DS, which won't be released in the U.S. until 2011, will rectify this with a Virtual Console of its own, according to a Nintendo announcement released early this morning. That's great news, but there are a few more surprises that the 3DS unveiled--some of which we had been expecting in the Nintendo DSi, … Read more
If you're a kid growing up in Japan, chances are you dig comic books and trains. In the western Tokyo city of Akishima, you can indulge in both by reading manga in a vintage bullet train that's now a kids' library.
As seen in the video below, kids can also play engineer in the train driver's compartment. The library is popular … Read more
Better Place, the electric-car services company, has installed a battery-switching station for electric taxis in Tokyo, part of a test to demonstrate the viability of swapping out rather than rapid charging.
Three crossover taxis have been converted to run on an electric powertrain using batteries from A123 Systems, Better Place said Monday. The 90-day test is using an automated battery-swapping station developed by Better Place and demonstrated last year in Yokohama, Japan.
Vehicles drive up an elevated ramp, and a machine removes a depleted battery and slides in a fresh one in under five minutes. Better Place asserts that this … Read more
IBM is embarking on a research project to design mobile gadgets that are easier to use for people who have disabilities or aren't fully literate.
As part of the project, announced Wednesday, Big Blue will collaborate with India's National Institute of Design and the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology.
The goal is to develop a common interface for mobile devices that will make them easier to use. As digital information becomes more vital, IBM said, it believes the Internet needs to be more accessible to a wider range of people, including those … Read more
We figured that Toyota would be trotting out its FT-86 concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon--after all, it is its home turf. However, the FT-86 G Sport concept that was also displayed features a very cool tech twist, and we're not talking about the wild body work.
The FT-86 G Sport concept is equipped with a feature called "GPS-track day" that is designed to interface with the upcoming PlayStation 3 game Gran Turismo 5. Here's how it works: You take your FT-86 to a track--say the Nurburgring or Mazda Laguna Seca--and have a good time running … Read more
Gesture-recognition interfaces for cell phones are closer to reality with technology from the University of Tokyo that lets you operate your phone or mobile device without laying a finger on it.
Researchers at the Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory have created a "vision-based input interface for mobile devices" through which users can type words by pointing in the air. There's no dialing demo in the video below, though that would presumably be just as simple.
Unlike gestural interfaces such as MIT's SixthSense, the system does not require special colored finger markings to track gestures.
A single high-speed camera … Read more
Yesterday I posted up a clip produced by Edmunds.com's Inside Line series that ran down bite-size highlights of a few of the new cars being paraded at the still-in-effect Tokyo Auto Show. Of course, there are many more vehicles making their debuts at this automotive fest, including this sports car--it's the newest edition of the bad-ass Lotus Scura. And ladies and gentlemen, this may be the most intimidating Scura ever produced.
Check it out--matte black paint, black stripes, black wheels--it screams darkness and evil; the headlights even seem to stare at you with a sinister gaze. The … Read more
Although the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show just kicked open its doors for the public this last weekend, industry insiders got a head start on sampling the bevy of automobiles that are debuting. One of these lucky insiders included Alistair Weaver of Inside Line fame, courtesy of Edumunds.com. Here, Alistair gives us all a teaser on the many new vehicles presented at the Tokyo Motor Show, and this is merely the tip of the iceberg.
In this video clip, Inside Line cherry shows a few more cars worthy of Web airtime. While the show seems to be short on American … Read more