Tokyo researchers create a digital court for the digital age

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THE “DIGITAL COURT” WOULD USE SMART CONTRACTS TO RESOLVE DISPUTES

Researchers from the University of Tokyo have developed a blockchain-powered mechanism for settling legal disputes.

Researchers have developed a “digital court” mechanism using blockchain-powered smart contracts.

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How Uber is getting flying cars off the ground

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It wants to fly you around cities as in the Jetsons, but there are still roadblocks to overcome before UberAir can take flight.

It’s 6 p.m. in Tokyo and my flying car is late. Three years late.

Back to the Future promised me flying cars (and hoverboards) by 2015. Yet here I am in 2018, standing in one of the world’s most high-tech cities and I have to walk. I don’t even get to do it in self-lacing shoes.

I’m in Tokyo for Uber Elevate, Uber’s third conference outlining its plans to get flying cars off the silver screen and into our skies in as little as two years. It’s a lofty ambition, but Uber has partnered with some big names in aviation and picked up its share of NASA alumni to help it get there.

The goal? UberAir. A future transport network in which air travel is as easy and on-demand as Uber rides are now. As simple as “push a button, get a flight.”

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Tokyo’s urban train stations turned into farms in an effort to ‘green the city’

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When you think of Tokyo you you think of smog and skyscrapers, and people, lots of people – you don’t really think of green spaces.  But in an effort to ‘green the city’, officials have given up the space on the roof train stations to make community gardens.

 

 

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Mineral House – Multi-Faceted Micro Home in Tokyo

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Mineral House

This striking micro home in Japan is an amazing example of efficient design for small-space living. Designed by Tokyo-based Atelier Tekuto, the faceted three-story home is located on a small corner lot near the center of Tokyo. Abstractly titled “Reflection of Mineral”, the home is a study in small spaces, simple finishes, and daylighting through the use of transparent and opaque surfaces that suffuse the interior with light. (Pics)

 

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Touchscreen Vending Machines Go Mainstream in Japan

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Touchscreen vending machine.

Japan has a love affair with vending machines. You can get anything, from hot coffee to hot noodles to fresh fruit to cigarettes, from the ubiquitous machines. So it’s only natural that they’d jump on the touchscreen vending machine bandwagon first. (Pics)

 

 

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I-Fairy: Robot with Flashing Eyes Conducts Wedding in Tokyo

Japan Robot Wedding

I-Fairy, a four-foot tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails, wearing a wreath of flowers, directs a wedding ceremony.

Almost everyone stood when the bride walked down the aisle in her white gown, but not the wedding conductor, because she was bolted to her chair.  The nuptials at this ceremony were led by “I-Fairy,” a 4-foot (1.5-meter) tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails. Sunday’s wedding was the first time a marriage had been led by a robot, according to manufacturer Kokoro Co.

 

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Tokyo University’s Touchless Pointing System Could Wipe Out Smudgy Screens

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No Touchy, No Smudgy
Touchscreens are wondrous things, but nobody likes smudges, and attempts to magically prevent oil from sticking haven’t always found success. The proper solution might not be in fancy screen coatings but rather in removing the touchability together. Tokyo University has developed a system that uses a high-res camera to identify where a finger is in 3D space, so moving around and even air-clicking is detected. Multitouch seems to be right out at this point, and while the video after the break shows some rather deft looking typing on a dinky virtual keyboard, we’re not entirely convinced that this is the most enjoyable or ergonomic way to interact with a cellphone…
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Honda’s New Personal Mobility Device

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The latest fashion statement in geek mobility

Honda’s new “personal mobility” device looks like a unicycle, but all you need to do to zip around on it — sideways as well as forward and back — is lean your weight into the direction you want to go.
The U3-X — available for a test-run for reporters in Tokyo on Thursday — was designed to be small, safe and unobtrusive enough to mingle with pedestrians, according to Honda Motor.
The single wheel on the U3-X — U stands for “unicycle” and “universal” — is made up of many tiny motor-controlled wheels, packed inside the bigger wheel, allowing the device to swerve in any direction.
It stands upright on its own. Sit on it as though it’s a stool, and shift your weight to drive. The thing maintains its own balance as it scoots along at a speed of up to 3.7 miles per hour.
Honda President Takanobu Ito said the machine was still “a proposal,” and the company has no sales plans, pricing or firm ideas on where or how it will be used.
Honda declined to give details of the U3-X’s technology, but said it weighs less than 22 pounds, runs on a full charge for an hour and has a lithium-ion battery.
“I may want to use it in my home,” Ito mused. “It’d be easier to get around so I might really use it if my legs grow weaker.”
The U3-X takes a bit of getting used to. It was a bit too big for this 5-foot tall reporter, making it hard to sit on and control it well.
Although Honda said the machine is meant for the elderly, it’s unclear whether they would be coordinated enough to control the device.
Honda makes the Asimo walking child-shaped robot. The latest device uses some of the technology of balance and movement developed in the Asimo, Ito said.
Last year, Honda showed a gadget, which can support a wearer’s bodyweight, made of mechanical frames attached to a pair of shoes. Honda said it may be used by auto workers.
Japanese rival Toyota Motor has shown machines that help people get around, including the Winglet, similar to the Segway, a scooter-like device that people ride standing up. Toyota also has displayed I-Real, a motorized armchair-on-wheels.
Japan is one of the most rapidly aging societies in the world, and concerns are growing about helping the elderly get around.
“Honda engineers are always thinking about people’s dreams and wishes about mobility. We will continue to work hard to be a leader in that area,” Ito said.

Honda’s new “personal mobility” device looks like a unicycle, but all you need to do to zip around on it — sideways as well as forward and back — is lean your weight into the direction you want to go.

The U3-X — available for a test-run for reporters in Tokyo on Thursday — was designed to be small, safe and unobtrusive enough to mingle with pedestrians, according to Honda Motor. (Video & Pics)

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HRP-4C Fashion Model Robot Just In Time For Tokyo Fashion Week

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Just in time for Fashion Week In Tokyo, Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has unveiled the HRP-4C fashion model robot. As you can see in this video, the robot has a series of motors situated throughout its 5-foot tall, 95-pound body that give it a rather life-like appearance.

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