Disaster App

We live in a very technological world nowadays. People will more likely be online than outside playing and people will most probably be on their phones rather than doing anything else. With this being the present situation, I believe that what DOCOMO developed is truly beneficial and this is what they did. TT DOCOMO has developed a prototype multilingual app for its Early Warning “Area Mail” service that will enable emergency warnings of impending earthquakes or tsunamis in five foreign languages. The app will allow people in Japan who do not speak Japanese to receive warnings, both written and verbal, in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish or Portuguese. With what I stated in the beginning, this would be the perfect application to have in times of sudden urgency.

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The Early Warning “Area Mail” service, which was originally launched in February 2012, distributes earthquake early warnings and tsunami warnings issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency, and also local disaster and evacuation information (in Japanese only) issued by national and regional public institutions. The service is designed to function reliably even when mobile networks become congested with heavy traffic. In the case of an impending earthquake, for example, an early warning will be issued to people in the predicted area, causing users’ smartphones to begin making a distinctive alarm-like sound followed by a voice readout saying “Earthquake” in the preset language. Simultaneously, the phone will display an Area Mail message that reads “Earthquake Warning: Strong shaking is expected soon. Stay calm and seek shelter nearby.” When this becomes available in my region, I will definitely get it because I am one of those people who think that it’s better to be safe than sorry. With this app, I can never be sorry because I’ll always be ahead when it comes to vital information. Hope it goes on the market soon!

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The Fish Hero

I have always loved the Japanese cuisine. I think this is because I love seafood in general and the Japanese meals usually are made up of these delicious critters from the sea. One of my favorite seafood dishes that they serve is the sashimi which is practically raw fish cut into thin slices. These sashimi are usually made with the use of salmon and tuna fish. In my recent readings, I found out that in November of 2014, they actually placed the Pacific bluefin tuna, which is what they use to make the tuna sashimi, on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Red List of Threatened Species. This was very sad news for me because it could have very well meant the limitation on the availability of this tuna being used for my favorite food in the world.

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Luckily, Japan never fails to make ways to keep everybody moving in the right direction. Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology fish specialist Goro Yoshizaki has come up with a new, outrageous sounding plan. After years of research with other fish, he will start using mackerel as surrogate parents for bluefin tuna. It gets kind of technical, so let’s keep it simple. The basic idea is that the scientists will take baby mackerel and inject their reproductive organs with the reproductive cells of the bluefin tuna. As the mackerel mature, the females will produce tuna eggs and the males will produce tuna sperm, instead of mackerel eggs and mackerel sperm. Then, after the normal reproductive affair, little tuna will be born. I always loved science and seeing it used in such genius ways makes me love it all the more. For me, it signifies how science should be used by all humans, which is not to be directed to war but to creating ways to sustain and enrich the lives and living situations here in our world.

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Ebola Counter

I honestly thought that the Ebola issues have settled in and the proper actions have been taken to tend to those who have it and to protect those who haven’t. As I read up on Japanese innovations, I found out that they are still making moves with regards to an answer for this virus. I’m pretty impressed with what Japan was able to create because they used cameras to aid this problem. NEC Corp has announced the delivery of infrared thermography cameras, via the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to support countermeasures against Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Africa, delivering 4 units to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, and 5 units to the Republic of Ghana. The infrared thermographs provided by NEC will be installed in locations such as international airports and border checkpoints in both countries, as a means of measuring many person’s body surface temperatures at one time without making physical contact, and screening feverish individuals. They are scheduled to begin operation from the beginning of February.

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 “By using infrared thermography, it is possible to carry out screenings of feverish individuals safely, and in real-time, without making physical contact with the subject. In the future, NEC will continue to promote infrared thermography within Africa and globally as a means to suppress the Ebola epidemic, and contribute to the prevention of its spread,” said Hironobu Kurosaki, General Manager, Global Business Unit, NEC Corporation. This is obviously a technological creation that can help greatly with the lessening of the contaminated and can also make it all the more easier to detect those who are infected. Japan never ceases to amaze me with these types of innovations. With one brilliant creation like this, they instantly contributed help to both ends who are in need. Kudos to NEC Corp for this marvelous step towards health and innovation. May their invention be recognized by more organization who are in power regarding this issue so that the benefits may be maximized by all.

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The Grid

Electricity is a vital thing, as we all know. Given that this has become a necessity, it would make perfect sense to use a system that is less likely to fail and cut off all distribution of electricity around. This has been hard to do with suspended grid connections so underground wires became quite popular in newer constructions but for places with suspended grid as the already made structure for power, it would be hard to make the place an underground grid model. With this being said, Japan has apparently come up with solutions to this problem for suspended grid connections. The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has announced that it will review the operation of the feed-in tariff (FIT) policy with the aim of solving the problem of the suspension of grid connection applications. The applications were made by power producers running renewable energy-based power generation facilities in Japan and suspended by power companies including Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc.

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The agency will introduce new rules for the reduction of the total amount of electricity generated by those facilities. METI will take four measures to reduce output. Specifically, it will (1) limit not only the output of large-scale power generation facilities but also the output of residential systems, (2) control output by the hour instead of the day, (3) make it a requirement to add a remote-control function to PV inverters and (4) expand the use of the “designated power producer system,” which enables to increase the period of output reduction to 30 days or more. I’m quite excited for the results of this model because if it proves to be successful, I’m sure that this method would be applied immediately to situations that call for this method to be used in. Everything has to be more efficient nowadays and if this can make it so, then I’m sure that it will make everybody happy.

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New Perspective

Months ago, I remember writing about how robots in Japan then were starting to look too much like real humans. Now, a couple of months later, I discover that robots are now able to express themselves with gestures, intonations, and facial expressions. It truly is a fast evolving world we are in right now and works like these do nothing but provide a testament for this progression. “Hello, my name is Chihira Aico. I am 32 years old, although, technically, I was born in September 2014. Look how expressive I am!” she said. Robots like Toshiba’s are becoming so eerily realistic they could be mistaken at first glance for a human. She sings, smiles, raises her hands and has lifelike facial expressions controlled by 15 tiny pneumatic actuators. These robots are increasingly being developed as personal assistants, companions, hosts and aides for medical situations. 

image“We made her like a human being because true communication is also based on facial expressions and gestures,” said Toshiba’s Taihei Yamaguchi. Never did I imagine that a scene from movies would come to life but because of this invention, it isn’t crazy to think of the possibilities anymore. Yamaguchi said a robot like Chihira Aico could serve as a kind of hostess for the 2020 Olympic Games but the design is aimed for health care, where robots can assist in monitoring and diagnoses. I never thought that a day like that would come but I accept it with open arms because I love the technological changes that are happening in our world today. I really believe that we are going in the correct direction and focus with regards to the tech we actually put time and effort to develop. Kudos to all these great minds and inventors that have seen this vision of opportunity and has worked towards it since then. 

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Propulsion System

You know that a product is good when the people in the areas where the products are being sold are willing to buy it despite a high price. You know a product is great when you can say it is a nation preferred thing. With these parameters being said, I think it’s on another level when even other countries are interested in the products that you make. I don’t really know, but if I were a developer of technology for a country, buying out a product from another country would be the last option because there is a sense of pride on the line. Japan, as I have said in the past, is known to be excellent in many things. Majority would, however, name their robotics and technology to be the best known by the world. I am not sure if that makes buying their technology less shameful but I am sure that if a country was willing to be technology from Japan, they would not be wasting their money. This is exactly what happened in the recent case between Australia and Japan. Japan is a leader in lithium battery technology and its next generation of Soryu submarines will be the world’s first to be powered by such a propulsion system.

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Those vessels are expected to be tested and commissioned around the end of the decade. Australia wants the new Japanese propulsion system for its next generation of submarines, government officials with direct knowledge of the matter said, bolstering Tokyo’s position as the likely builder of the multibillion-dollar fleet. It’s actually a no brainer why Australia would want to get a hold of this kind of technology. This would give way to many possible inventions that would greatly ease naval transportation problems. Also, since Australia is surrounded by bodies of water, any technology that can utilize this natural resource is probably sought after by their government and scientists all the time. I believe that their making the right choice in doing so because of Japan’s world class quality when it comes to technology and futuristic designs. I am excited to the changes that the next naval ships and boats will look like due to this innovation in their design.

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Smart Chaser

Technology obviously contributes to the different things we have in our world today. We continue to advance in each branch of technology that we create and right not, we look like there isn’t a ceiling for the inventions that are coming and are yet to come. Sumitoro Electric’s recent innovation is a testament to the progression of all branches of technology. I say this because surveillance used to be manual done by detectives. It progressed to the usage of cameras eventually and then and there, people were already thinking that they have hit the ceiling for surveillance technology. Great minds don’t stop and this produced the newest innovation when it comes to the surveillance technologies. Sumitomo Electric has developed a network camera-enabled device called the “Smart Chaser”. It belongs to the line of technology that they call the Video Content Analysis Units. This Smart Chaser is able to immediately and automatically detect a person from a surveillance camera image using advanced image recognition technology.

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The fact that it does it without a human to guide it in anyway is amazing enough but I guess the creators of this gadget were really driven towards innovation because they even added the feature of having settings for what time of detection parameters the Smart Chaser should watch out for given a certain surveillance objective. This can be done by setting the camera installation conditions and the alarm criteria in the browser window and then connecting the device to a fixed surveillance camera. The alarm criteria are the parameters I talk about and examples of this criteria are intrusion and loitering. I believe that this feature makes this gadget truly something of the future because it is already able to understand what intruding and loitering is. I would have never thought such a feat could be done by such a network camera enabled device but here it is now, certainly proving me wrong. Along with these feats is the detection frame which attaches itself to the detected person. This makes viewing the monitored image much easier because the frame makes it easier to track the suspicious things that the device may be alarming you about. I don’t own anything worth protecting enough to equip a surveillance device anywhere but the moment I do get something worth protecting like that, I will surely remember and probably buy this product for myself.

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Health Investments

Gaming companies have slowly been creating more games that make the users more active in a sense that more motion is needed to play the game. This shows me that they are now considering the health of their market which is smart because if they continue to create games that couch lock their users, then the life span of their market would drop and they won’t be able to sell it to anyone if that happens. Now in relation to the latest technology developed by gaming companies towards health and wellness, Nintendo has developed a device that measures a user’s fatigue and map their sleep. As a gamers myself, I can see how this invention can greatly benefit all the gamers out there. When you play a game, you really get into it and usually lose track of the amount of time you spend playing that said game.

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This obviously isn’t good because unless its summer vacation, the next day would probably require the gamer to wake up early hence creating a lack of sleep which bring about multiple health conditions and multiple sicknesses. According to an image Iwata shared at a media conference, the device will be about the size of a hand and can be placed on a user’s bedside table. It will use non-contact radio frequency sensors to track sleep, with the data collected used to help users cultivate healthy sleeping habits. I guess Nintendo has been making the right moves because they released this sleep tracker a day after Nintendo reported an unexpected quarterly profit after hit games gave a boost to sales of its Wii U Console. This truly is the start of many health and wellness add-ons to console products. I hope they continue to develop technologies like this because it gives a good example for other to follow. It promotes selflessness in a sense that they get the money while giving more than what their customers paid for and that is the health that their product will be able to promote and instill with their routines. Great minds surely think of the greatest innovations and I believe this will open up new avenues for this type of technology.

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New Sources

I’m looking forward to all the new projects for the development of a new hybrid storage battery system with the use of a solar and wind plants. Energy is becoming a scarce resource because all our energy sources for now aren’t sustainable and are quite limited because they aren’t reusable. This has been a problem for years now and thanks to innovations in technology, more and more solutions are being thought of and made to exist in reality. An example of this is Chugoku Electric Power Co’s Project for Verification of Technologies with Hybrid Storage Battery System. Chugoku Electric will newly install mega (large-scale) solar power plants and wind power generation facilities (total output: about 8MW) in the islands and adjust the output fluctuations of renewable energy-based power generation facilities with a “hybrid storage battery system” that uses NAS (sodium-sulfur) batteries and lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable batteries.

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It is a three-year project beginning in fiscal 2015. Solar and wind power generation facilities cause two kinds of output fluctuations: “fast, small fluctuation (short-period fluctuation),” which is caused by an increasing amount of cloud, etc, and “slow, large fluctuation (long-period fluctuation, surplus electricity),” which is caused by changes in the position of the sun, etc. I believe that the combination of both sources will be highly beneficial for the mass production of energy also because of how they accounted for things like the changes in the position of the sun which is the main source of energy to be gather for the power portion of this project. Chugoku Electric is planning to set up two 1.5MW solar plants, one 2MW solar plant, 500kW of residential solar systems and one 2MW wind plant. As of now, there are currently about 3MW of renewable energy-based power generation facilities (wind, residential solar and hydroelectric systems) in operation in the islands. With the new additions to energy sources, the total output will be about 11MW. The hybrid storage battery system uses 4.2MW of NAS batteries and 2MW of Li-ion batteries. This is the first project that uses a hybrid storage battery system for controlling a power network in Japan which is why I think it’s one of the more innovative moves by Japan this year.

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That Floating Solar Plant in Hyogo

I’ve written about this specific green technology when it was just being designed and constructed. Today I’m writing about it because it’s starting it’s operation and some values were given about what it can do and the amount of energy that it can produce for everybody. So Energy Bank Japan installed a floating solar power plant on an agricultural reservoir. It obviously creates renewable energy and the estimated output capacity is at 850 kW with an annual power production of 1000000 kWh of electricity per year. Now the article also states that that amount of energy can sustain 275 households which is good but not great. I mean for the amount of land it took to create the plant that provides for 275, I don’t believe it’s worth it. As I thought about it some more, I realized that the only way to maximize efficiency when it comes to these things is when everything involved with energy production and consumption is integrated in the over all planning and flow of these processes.

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What I mean by this is to incorporate the amount of energy used by everyday appliances to increase the households served by the renewable energy source. It is important to do so to maximize the spaces used to make such renewable energy sources. We can keep making renewable energy sources but there will come a time that we will run out of space to create it on. To truly create a long term and sustainable set up where renewable energy is the go to source, people have to realized and appreciate innovations that allow less energy consumption and the same or even better performance. A good example of these kinds of innovations is the creation of the LED light. The LED light uses about 20 times less the energy as compared to a regular bulb. That’s obviously a significant difference and if you place it into the scale of a whole nation or the whole world working that way, it is not impossible to imagine a world that runs purely on renewable energy sources. It’s a beautiful idea and what’s even more beautiful is that it is truly attainable. We, as a race, must simply join in on the mission vision and get to work towards that goal.

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