What if samurai had owned cell phones?
That's the concept behind Softbank's five new Japan Texture cases for the iPhone 3GS/3G. The gorgeously lacquered cases, handcrafted with gold dust highlights, are intended to blend traditional Japanese aesthetics with modern IT tools.
Great warriors like Oda Nobunaga vied for supremacy around the time of Japan's Warring States period (1467-1568). They were ruthless military commanders who commanded absolute loyalty from their legions of samurai.
Today, they can be bling in your pocket. Softbank is selling the cases for the paltry sum of $1,000 apiece.
Samurai were very … Read more
Being incredibly hung over can sometimes mean you're still hammered from the night before. Add a Netbook with a picture of a cheery mammal on it, and you really begin to ask yourself: am I still dreaming?
But we're almost certainly not. The Netbook you see before you is from Japan (where else?) and is manufactured by Bandai Namco. It's a Netbook with the usual specs, bar one. See if you can spot it:
Atom CPU 1GB of RAM Windows XP Bear on the chassis
Yes that's right: there's a bear on the chassis. Specifically, … Read more
Remember those uber-cool 3D projections in flicks like "Star Wars?" The University of Tokyo has turned this movie fantasy into a reality with its latest holographic projector prototype.
For added realism, it utilizes a pair of Nintendo Wiimotes for hand movement tracking and a technology known as (ready for it...) Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display. This essentially adds tactile feedback to the hovering image via ultrasonic waves (the projected images float about 12 inches away from the display surface).
I warned you that this day would come. Accept your robot overlords.
(Note: I'll be back on the tech stuff soon, I promise.)
Follow me on Twitter @daveofdoom.
Japan loves its baroque, impractical machines, with Honda's zillion-dollar humanoid robot Asimo being the acme example.
These machines are more works of art than tools. That's also true of Himawari, a robot sunflower now on display at Robosquare in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan.
Designed by Akira Nakayasu of Kyushu University, the Himawari prototype is a machine plant that imitates heliotropism, the diurnal movement of flowers tracking the sun as it moves across the … Read more
The rumors of the impending arrival of a new PlayStation 3 are growing more fierce as new hints seem to turn up almost daily in the blogsphere. The latest discovery to pop up is what appears to be an internal document from 7-Eleven--which sells games in Japan--that suggests Sony may be about to discontinue the 80GB PS3 in its home country.
According to a report by a Japanese blog that Kotaku turned into English, 7-Eleven will no longer be taking "pre-orders" for black, white and silver 80GB PS3 after Sunday, August 9. (The document this information is based … Read more
Japanese uber-gadget maker Thanko continues its drive to turn the entire universe into a USB gadget after giving us our last fix with its e-cigarettes.
The retailer, based in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics mecca, has launched a USB dental microscope that can turn your teeth into glorious 640?480 images or 1280?1024 video.
The 12-inch wand-shaped device has 6 LED lights and a 1/4 inch CMOS camera with 40x magnification. A shutter-release button is built into the underside. The device connects to a Windows XP or Vista PC with USB 1.1 or 2.0 and is available … Read more
China's telecommunications market is on track to generate $187 billion by 2014, fueled by mobile uptake in its rural areas and by 3G technology, according to Pyramid Research.
The latest annual report from the analyst firm estimated that the country's telecoms market generated $110 billion last year, "making it the second largest telecommunications services market in the Asia-Pacific region after Japan."
Pyramid estimates that the Chinese market will surpass Japan by 2014, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 8.8 percent between this year and then.
Daniel Yu, Pyramid Research analyst said: "China, … Read more
Feeling lonely eating dinner all by yourself? Are you a vegetarian who loves the idea of barbecue but just can't pull the trigger on meat?
Fortunately you can log-on to Japanese site Air Yakiniku and enjoy a virtual barbecue. You can even download a template to make a real apron that helps prevent spillage of virtual meat juice (or perhaps to capture drool as you crave meat but eat whatever you have in real life.)