Bike Recharge

I recently told you guys about the breakthrough Japan had with the wireless energy transfer that they were able to do via microwaves. Today I found a real life application of this technology and it is simply jaw dropping. Bellnix Co Ltd and a research group led by Yasuyoshi Kaneko, professor at the School of Engineering, Saitama University, have co-developed an electric bicycle whose battery can be wirelessly charged. They conducted a verification test at the East Exit of JR Musashi Urawa Station in Saitama City from Feb 17 to 27. In general, an electric bicycle is charged by detaching its battery pack and connecting it to a charger.

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This process can be eliminated by using a wireless power transmission technology. Such a function could be fully utilized by rental bicycles. While an increasing number of electric bicycles are used as rental bicycles in recent years especially in urban areas and tourist resorts, it is not easy to maintain rechargeable batteries and chargers. With a wireless power transmission technology, it becomes possible to charge an electric bicycle without detaching its battery pack just by placing the bicycle on a parking device. The new bicycle can be fully charged in five and a half hours and can travel about 55 km. As a result, the user or business operator does not have to detach a battery pack and set it on a charger. Also, it is possible to realize an unmanned station. Users can rent a bicycle just by bringing a registered smart card close to a “register” and return it by placing it on a parking device. The rental fee is ¥103. It is truly revolutionary, what this invention could mean to humanity in the future. If used the right way, we can usher in a new age of technology and battery life which would overall improve the performance of energy based machinery.

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Wireless Energy

I am quite excited to tell you guys about this Japanese innovation because it might as well a scene from the future. Power or energy has always been transmitting through a cord or something tangible. Japanese scientists made a breakthrough with regards to transferring energy with no material medium and that means so many great things for us in the future. For now though, I will tell you guys about this alley opening breakthrough. Japanese scientists have succeeded in transmitting energy wirelessly, in a key step that could one day make solar power generation in space a possibility, an official said Thursday.

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Researchers used microwaves to deliver 1.8 kilowatts of power—enough to run an electric kettle—through the air with pinpoint accuracy to a receiver 55 meters away. While the distance was not huge, the technology could pave the way for mankind to eventually tap the vast amount of solar energy available in space and use it here on Earth, a spokesman for The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said. “This was the first time anyone has managed to send a high output of nearly two kilowatts of electric power via microwaves to a small target, using a delicate directivity control device,” he said. JAXA has been working on devising Space Solar Power Systems for years, the spokesman said. Solar power generation in space has many advantages over its Earth-based cousin, notably the permanent availability of energy, regardless of weather or time of day. This could very well shift the fossil fuel world that we live in and make it the green and environmentally friendly world that we so often dream about. This gives us a way out of destroying our world and I hope that everyone sees this situation in the same light. IT’S A GOOD THING PEOPLE so let’s support it and make it worth something for now and for the generations to follow.

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Nintendo Moves

Nintendo has always been one of the top companies in the world of gaming. They always try to innovate and due to this desire of getting better, they made some moves that might just do that for them. After years of scoffing at the threat from smartphones, Nintendo Co is doing an about face and entering an alliance with Japanese mobile game company DeNA Co to develop games for mobile devices. The announcement Tuesday means that Nintendo’s trademark game characters such as Super Mario and Pokemon could finally feature on smartphones and tablets. Such characters have been fiercely protected by Nintendo, appearing only on Nintendo platforms such as the Wii home console and 3DS mobile machines.

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Both sides said they will build a global membership service for various devices including personal computers, smartphones and Nintendo machines. The service is set to launch in the fall of 2015. They said the mobile games won’t be mere adaptations of the games already out for the Nintendo machines but developed especially for the smartphone experience. The alliance will be combining Nintendo’s intellectual property and game development skills with DeNA’s expertise in mobile games, the announcement said. Under the alliance, Kyoto-based Nintendo will acquire about 15 million DeNA shares or a 10 percent stake. In return, DeNA will acquire about 1.759 million Nintendo shares, or 1.24 percent of the company. Both acquisitions are worth 22 billion yen ($182 million). The payment is due April 2, they said. If they are successful in doing this, it opens so many more avenues for them to venture in. I’m excited for them and looking forward to whatever fruits they create from this move because I know for a fact that mediocrity is never acceptable for them. I’m telling you guys, watch out for this company because they’re on the run and coming at the gaming world strong.

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The Internet

In this day and age, the internet is practically a necessity. Some humans would now be lost if their smart phones did not have a good connection to the internet. Many of the gadget and technologies of today won’t be able to perform at the highest level with the connection to the internet. All social media forms would cease to work or matter without the power of the internet. It’s true, the times have definitely changed. Throughout the years, the internet connection has progressed in service by improving in the amount of data that they can relay from source to gadget and vice versa. I remember when I was a kid who would have to dial up the connect of the internet and prevent anyone from using the landline phone.

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Those days are long gone because internet connections work on different servers now and Japan is about to bring something new in the game once again that might make internet all the more better for everybody. NTT Docomo, a personalized mobile solutions provider for smarter living, announced today that it will begin offering “docomo Hikari,” a superfast optical-fiber broadband service, combined with “docomo Hikari Pack” bundled discounts with mobile subscribers. The launch date is targeted at March 1. The optical-fiber service, which includes Internet access, will offer individuals and companies unlimited Internet connection at speeds of up to 1Gbps. Customers will not have to contract with a separate Internet service provider (ISP) since they can simply select from among many available ISPs. Customers also can subscribe to just the optical fiber broadband service. By integrating ISP, wired and wireless services, Docomo’s one-stop service will simplify the subscription process and customer support. Customers who sign up for the optical-fiber service will be eligible for docomo Hikari Pack discounts with the existing mobile basic monthly charges, called “Kake-hodai Plan” and “Data Plan.” A wide range of discounts based on Docomo mobile users’ data quotas will be available, with especially attractive offers for those with higher data quotas.

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New Driver Necessity

One of the biggest worries I have when driving at night is fighting of the sleepiness. I have done many remedies to avoid getting drowsy during driving late at night which include taking naps and sometimes even sleeping for a good hour or two just to make sure that I am not tired. There are times when my remedies work and there are times when I still succumb to the heaviness of my eyes on the road. I am not a reckless driver, just so everybody knows. When I am sure that my body cannot handle the long drive at night, I wouldn’t risk it. Despite this, there are times when my body fools me into thinking that it’s wide awake and immediately betrays me when I am on the road already. Luckily, Japan has started their innovation magic towards this issue and they have come up with a gadget or app that might end this danger once and for all. Fujitsu Ltd has developed a wearable sensor that measures the pulse wave of a driver, decides whether the driver is drowsy and alerts the driver. The main unit of FEELythm, which weighs about 90g, is hung from a neck, and a clip-like sensor is attached to an earlobe to measure pulse wave.

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The sensor is equipped with an LED lamp (infrared region), and pulse wave data is obtained from a light that has passed the earlobe. This method enables to measure pulse wave more accurately than methods using a wrist (whose movements can become noise), reflected light, etc, Fujitsu said. Measurement results are transmitted to a smartphone, etc via Bluetooth Low Energy. And an algorithm developed by Fujitsu is used for frequency analysis to detect the driver’s drowsiness. When the drowsiness becomes stronger, the parasympathetic nerve becomes predominant, reducing the frequency fluctuation of pulse wave, the company said. When the sensor detects drowsiness, the main unit vibrates, or the smartphone plays a voice message. Truth be told, I need this badly and I hope that it comes out on the market soon!

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The Actualization

I have talked about the conceptualization, the construction, and the many other aspects involved in the creation of this technological advancement and now I am very proud to report to you guys that it has become a structure of reality. The structure I speak about is the first very commercial hydrogen station for the refueling of the soon to be released hydrogen engine power cars. The station is found in Ebina City in the Kanagawa Prefecture and I am so excited for this. For those who do not know, Japan has been in the creation of a new type of engine that runs on hydrogen gas and emits water as the replacement for smoke that is suppose to be the by product of combustion in cars.

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Of course, for the implementation of such a design to work to full effect, you must have stations placed around the area for refuel purposes. The planning of the implementation has been going on for quite a while now and I find the opening for the very first of these hydrogen stations to be a very big step towards the actualization of this scheme for the future.  At the station, hydrogen is sold at ¥1,000/kg (excluding tax). JX Nippon Oil & Energy set the price so that it becomes equivalent to the gasoline cost of a hybrid vehicle of the same class as the fuel cell vehicle (FCV) launched in December 2014, the company said. At the hydrogen station, Dr Drive Ebina Chuo Store, which was opened as a service station, it is possible not only to supply hydrogen to FCVs but also to wash vehicles and replace tires. The station is operated with an “off-site” method, which transports compressed hydrogen by using a hydrogen trailer, etc. It is equipped with a hydrogen compressor, pressure accumulator (carbon fiber-strengthened tank), freezing machine, filling machine and other equipment for supplying hydrogen. It is possible to fill five or six FCVs per hour. The filling pressure and time are 70MPa and about three minutes, respectively.

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New Storages

As our technology advances, certain things must advance with it for it to be truly efficient and effective. An example of this is the power capacities and requirements of certain gadgets and machines nowadays. We can continue to improve the performance of a machine but if we cannot sustain the energy source of these inventions then all advancements would go to waste. In line with this, I would like to talk about Hitachi’s and TEPCO’s hybrid large scale power system that is to be tested soon in Japan. Hitachi Ltd and Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co Ltd plan to connect a 1.5MW hybrid large-scale power storage system to the power grid of Izu Oshima island in January and start to test its functions such as peak shift adjustment and reduction of short-period fluctuation in fiscal 2015. The two companies made an agreement with Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc (TEPCO), whose service area covers the island. Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery is affiliated with Hitachi Chemical Co Ltd.

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Hitachi and Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery have been testing the hybrid large-scale power storage system since 2011 for the “Development of Safe, Low-cost Large-scale Hybrid Power Storage System Technologies” project, which is subsidized by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The system controls lead-acid batteries in conjunction with lithium-ion capacitors. By combining a “high input/output, long-life lead-acid battery,” which is suited for storing power for peak cut and peak shift adjustments, and “lithium-ion capacitor,” which is suited for reducing short-period fluctuations of voltage and frequency, the system optimally controls current input/output. It is aimed at reducing output fluctuation, utilizing surplus electricity and stabilizing frequency. This looks and seems very promising to be complete honest. I hope it isn’t all hype because I can already imagine the roads of technology this opens up for us in the future. To the inventors and scientists behind this, I applaud you and challenge you to continue down this innovation path!

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The Financial Statement

I have written a hand full of articles regarding Japan’s steps towards utilizing renewable energy for their beautiful country. Today I write about it once again because a couple of days ago, the Tokyo metropolitan government themselves released a report stating their goal to expand the use of renewable energy. This comes as no surprise to me but nonetheless, it is a big gesture for the government to release a report specifically stating their intent for the improvement of this sector for their nation. Written in this report, the goal is to increase the ratio of renewable energy-derived electricity to the power consumption in Tokyo to 20% by 2024. To achieve this goal, the committee proposes measures to promote the introduction of renewable energy in and outside Tokyo and make utility customers use renewable energy-derived electricity for the supply side and the promotion of energy saving, the use of solar heat/geothermal heat and the introduction of EMSes (energy management systems) and co-generation systems for the demand side.

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With regards to the latter, specifically the promotion of energy saving, Japan has definitely done work on this on a rather massive scale as they continue to create solar power generations on bodies of water with the use of floatation devices.  This is all well and good but I believe that what they mentioned in the report about the promotion of the introduction of solar power generation facilities in Tokyo would be the next big step for them to take. In that portion, they cited four things that would make this reality. The first of the four is to install solar power generating systems in existing houses as renovations. The second is to have local help from districts, cities, towns, and villages. The third is the need to collaborate with local contractors and business operators to ensure that all construction plans would have this goal affect their plan making. Last but not the least, they would need to model businesses that would install solar power generations in parking lots, which I think is a simple yet potential amazing thought for the location of these power generations. Kudos to Japan and their government for formally initializing this goal for their citizens to be aware and for the world to be influenced.

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The Next Solar Step

I have talked about Japan and their technologies for quite a while now. If you have been reading and keeping yourself updated with my writings, you would know that Japan has recently taken many steps toward renewable energy sources for their countries. I believe that the most recent innovation they made towards this renewable energy source production are their floating solar chargers that they made to maximize their country’s space since the generators would be placed on water and easily removed if anything should be built over or under the said aquatic space. They have focused their efforts on creating the power with the technology and now they have taken a step to ready their society for this change that will inevitably happen. Once all their renewable energy infrastructure is in place, I’m sure that they will be able to produce sufficient power that would serve their country greatly. There is still however, the preparation for honing such an energy. In other words, they are preparing for the storage and usage of the coming energy.

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With this being said, Nomura Real Estate Development Co Ltd will start to sell houses that were built for sale and are equipped with a solar power generation system, storage battery, charging system for electric vehicles (EVs) and function to visualize energy with an HEMS (home energy management system) in Mitaka City, Tokyo. The installation of these kinds of systems would give the chance to optimize the energy use in each household. Along with this, they would also be contributing to the strengthening of their disaster protection protocols. The example given about this contribution is said to be set in an instance of power failure. During these times, one would expect that complete darkness would surround all areas by the time that night time comes. This obviously posed many hazards and problems and there isn’t much that can be done about it because all connections to power sources are probably severed or damaged. With the use of these household solar power generators, all houses would be able to have enough energy in their households to have light throughout the night. The best thing about it is that it recharges automatically the moment the sun comes up and that would mean any extension of power shortage would be more bearable because of the power given by this technology.

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LED for the Elderly and More

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It amazes me how Japan can constantly create new technologies that answer all sorts and variations of problems. Some problems shouldn’t even be fixed in my opinion but Japan finds it important to please the buyer in every way I guess. Union Tool Co. is the cutting tool manufacturer based in Japan that is responsible for making a system that monitors the elderly with the use of an LED lamp that is also equipped with a laser device. The system, “Laser Light,” can instantaneously detect abnormalities such as a tumble of the object person and monitor the state of breathing or sleeping by measuring the distance between the LED lamp attached to a ceiling and the object person. Different from monitoring systems equipped with a camera or biosensor, the new system can eliminate the discomfort and tension that are often caused by the feeling of “being watched” or “wearing a device.”. Now usually or maybe in the past, such concerns would never be considered by the inventors of a monitoring technology because it adds works for something that already does that it’s suppose to. The creation of such a monitoring device and system that can account for the comfort, feelings, and satisfaction of the person being monitored proves that in the progression of technology, more problems can be tackled with ease when compared to the innovations of the past.

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Nowadays, we can afford to provide an answer for the smaller concerns because all the technology needed to add the feature has probably been made and it’s all a matter of putting it all together and just installing the feature. This is great news because the satisfaction of the customers will surely sky rocket because of the comfort factor added in the decision making of this device. Union Tool expects that the Laser Light will be employed for elderly and nursing facilities, aiming to achieve sales of 300 million yen in the first year. I honestly would not be surprised if they exceed their expected income because comfort for the customers boosts their satisfaction by a lot and this boost will definitely affect whether or not they’ll be willing to spend of such a monitoring system over the already existing systems. This kind of monitoring should also be used on people who are accused for using women called comfort women for sex. I understand that majority of the events related to Japanese comfort women are in the field of war but one can never tell so I think that they should improve this technology not only to monitor the elderly but also those who are suspect to such hideous crimes.

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