After an hour and a half spent wandering through the dauntingly huge SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center, we were very nearly ready to call it quits and go collapse into a heaping pile of pulled pork somewhere — but then we rounded a corner and came face-to-face with a Japanese Read More
What is reality, anyway? Nothing more than a bunch of sights, smells, feelings, maybe an interpersonal relationship or two. And what is a girlfriend but a person who sleeps next to you in bed who you can spoon and nudge occasionally, whether she is made of flesh and blood or synthetic material?
Now, lonely people can have their own “real” “girlfriends” thanks to a new app from–where else?–Japan. It allows users to see, touch and even smell a three-dimensional, virtual version of animated Japanese pop star Hatsune Miku, RocketNews24 reports. Read More
A Japenese tech company’s answer to Google Glass has a lot of rad abilities, like translating written text and recognizing faces.
But it’s hard to focus on anything but the clunky, Star Trek-y look of NTT Docomo’s Intelligent Glass. Frankly, it makes Google Glass wearers look positively chic. Read More
Do you have a startling lack of middle-aged men in your life? Did your dad stop passive aggressively communicating his disappointment to you via email? Did creepy guys on the subway with wedding rings stuffed onto their sausage fingers stop sniffing your hair? Did your boss and your boss’s boss and his boss’s boss all magically get replaced by women? Japan has the solution for you. Read More
There’s a Japanese social group founded on Facebook whose members gather once a week to clean public restrooms with their bare hands as a spiritual cleansing ritual. Good morning!
As the AP reported this week, the group is called Benjyo Soujer, which loosely translates to “Bathroom Soldier” in English. A team of 35 men, women, and children, the group meets every Sunday morning at 6 a.m., gears up with cleaning supplies, and spends around an hour and a half scrubbing some nasty Tokyo toilets. Read More
We here at Betabeat will be the first ones to admit that we’re addicted to the Internet. Nothing induces more fear into our brittle bones than being asked to log off for the day. But since we’re adults we can make the rules, unlike some Internet-addicted children in Japan who might be strong-armed into a low-level form of rehab. Read More
People in Japan are so well-connected to their cell phones that they’re either walking into inanimate objects or toppling off of transit platforms. Perhaps, even both at the same time. The Japanese government is so concerned for clumsy technophiles’ safety that it’s launching a public campaign to remind them they should perhaps be aware of their surroundings so they don’t injure themselves. Read More
Hey, you pranksters. Have you ever wanted to use your smartphone to hack a toilet, freaking out whoever is enjoying their after-coffee ritual by causing the seat to open and close and water to spray all over their sensitive areas? We’re about to make your Friday: according to information security company Trustwave Holdings, the fancy Japanese toilet Satis is easily hackable using just your cell phone. Read More
The one thing still lacking in the American iPhone case market? Edibility.
Luckily, Japan’s got you covered. For $64 you can buy the “Survival Senbei Rice Cracker iPhone 5 Case,” which is shaped like an ordinary iPhone case, but handmade of brown rice and salt by someone suspiciously named “‘Mariko’” (quotation marks included). Read More