What if you could wear a chair?

Highlights of history

Japan’s innovative portable devices include the Archelis, a “standing” chair designed for surgeons.

Tokyo’s first Wearable Expo debuted in 2015 and was the largest in the world.

Japan’s wearable tech market is expected to grow from 530,000 in 2013 to 13.1 million units in 2017.


What do Discman, Tamagotchi and Game Boy have in common?

They are all landmark Japanese inventions from the 80s and 90s, symbols of an era in which the Asian nation was a world leader in technological innovation.

But with the advent of Silicon Valley and American technology giants like Google and Apple, Japan has seen less era-defining technology over the past two decades.

That, says Professor Masahiko Tsukamoto, from Kobe University’s Graduate School of Engineering, is changing thanks to a new generation of young entrepreneurs, an upturn in international collaborations and new partnerships with university researchers.

Japan’s focus this time is not on smartphones or games, but on laptops, smart glasses and dog communication devices.

In short, crazy, portable technology.

In 2013, Japan sold 530,000 units of portable technology devices, according to the Yano Research Institute.

That number is expected to jump to 13.1 million units in 2017.

Perhaps the best indication of the boom in this industry was the introduction of Tokyo’s first Wearable Expo in 2015 – at the launch, it was the largest wearable tech trade show in the world with 103 exhibitors.

It has included electronic kimonos, cat communication devices and electronic gloves to record a pianist’s finger work.

At the next exhibition, from 18 to 20 January 2017, the organizers expect more than 200 exhibitors and 19,000 visitors.

“With better functionality, lighter components and smaller design, it’s no longer a fantasy to carry devices,” says show director Yuhi Maezono. “Wearables is gathering attention as the next big growth market.”

Inupathy is a dog harness that is expected to be launched at the end of this year, which will allow pet owners to communicate with their dogs.

In addition to a heart monitor, the harness has noise-reducing technology that can isolate the animal’s heartbeat and track its responses to stimuli, such as food, games, people, and toys.

With these data, the harness assesses a dog’s mood and changes color to inform the owners.

Equipped with six LED lights, the collar lights up blue to show calm, red for excitement and shows a rainbow theme for happiness.

Joji Yamaguchi, CEO of Inupathy, was inspired by his Corgi, Akane, who was a nervous puppy. To better understand the dog’s anxiety, the biologist developed Inupati to monitor his heart rate.

“I always felt like I could not understand Akane very well, and I wanted to get closer to him,” Yamaguchi says.

“Buddhism and ancient Japanese religion say that all animals, plants and even stones have spirit inside. It is stressful when you can not solve problems that disturb them.”

Yamaguchi expects that portable wellness tracking will also have applications for humans.

“Personalizing artificial intelligence will be a game-changer,” Yamaguchi says.

“For example, if you show a certain behavior before you start to feel depressed, it is extremely valuable for an individual to predict your depression based on that behavior. An AI that works personally for you will eventually do this. possible. ”

Archelis – a portable chair launched in Japan this year – is also creating a buzz internationally.

A collaboration between Nitto Form Factory, Chiba University, Japan Polymer Technology and Hiroaki Nishimura Design, in Japan, it was originally intended for surgeons who need to rest their legs during long surgeries.

The chair allows its carrier to effectively sit down and get up at the same time.

Archelis stole.

“The Archelis concept is very simple, just like the simplicity of Columbus’ eggs,” says Dr. Hiroshi Kawahira, the surgeon behind the concept. “Prolonged surgery can result in back pain, neck pain and knee pain – especially for surgeons who are elderly.”

Archelis is made of 3D printed panels and requires no electrical components or batteries.

The innovation lies in the efficient design: flexible carbon panels wrap around the buttocks, legs and feet to provide support and minimize the pressure on the joints.

The system stabilizes the ankles and knees so that the pressure from standing upright is evenly distributed over the shins and thighs.

Although the wearer appears to be standing, they are actually resting their backs and legs while working on their feet.

Other wearables are on the smaller side.

BIRD, which measures about 3 inches long, is basically a modern thimble that turns your fingertip into a magic wand.

BIRD can control up to 10 units at a time.

Using algorithms to decode a user’s intent, the device also has precise sensors that track direction, speed and movement.

The technology enables users to transform any surface into a smart display, as well as interact with other smart devices.

When walking around the home, users can project a laptop screen onto a wall, turn on a coffee machine, read on any surface, and make online purchases with a single swipe or swipe.

The developers – Israel-based MUV Interactive and Japan-based Silicon Technology – expect BIRD to be embraced by the education and business sector, thanks to its ability to create collaborative presentations.

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