Stuffed robot which watches families

The appearance of robots is important. In particular, when they are used by children and elderly people, the cute appearance rouses their attachment. NTT DoCoMo, IWAYA, Vitec and MOOREdoll released the communication robot with the appearance such as the stuffed toy "Cocokuma".

The target users are people who live apart from their family. Cocokuma holds buttons in both hands one by one and when users push the button of the left hand of the stuffed toy and talk to this, they can send a voice message to the smartphone of the family living apart. In addition, users can hear the voice message that families sent from smartphone application by pushing the button in the right hand of this.

Furthermore, this has a sensor and speaks the topic of weather and season when users get closer to this. Families of users can confirm the safety of users by checking the use situation of this through smartphone application. The size is 210mm x 200mm x 280mm and weight is about 760g. The price is 37,584yen(in tax) and The service fee is 1,980yen/month.


This lantern emits light with water and salt

It is difficult to get lights in emergency. Particularly, it is life-threatening at the time of a disaster. For such an unexpected situation, HITACHI MAXELL released LED lantern "MIZUSION" which emits light only with water and salt.

This has the magnesium alloy called the power-bar, this becomes negative electrode, oxygen becomes positive electrode, salt water becomes electrolye ,they generate electricity and an LED light emit light. The usage is easy and only pours salt and water into the lantern. The illumination of the LED light is 2,000 luxes and it's available for continuously lighting about 80 hours. Because we can use this repeatedly by changing power-bar, we can utilize this in not only the emergency but also the outdoor leisure. The size is 95mm x 215mm x 95mm and weight is about 350g. The price is 3,218yen(in tax).


Japanese local city enlivens lonely dinner in VR

Minamiawaji-shi (南あわじ市), a city in the southern part of Awaji Island in Hyōgo Prefecture released interesting VR contents. It enlivens lonely mealtimes by VR.

Modern people are busy and people living alone increase. They eat alone, but it is not good for mental health. Therefore Minamiawaji-shi reproduces the scenery of the country mealtimes in VR.

The title of this contents is "Verchan Reality", well, it's "Verchan", not Virtual. "Bāchan" means grandmother or old woman in Japanese slang, ”Verchan” is the coined word that parodied it.
When they look in mobile VR goggles, the 360-degree video of the mealtime of the country opens there, and lonely mealtimes become the mealtime of the lively country.

This is one of the projects of Japan's Hometown tax(ふるさと納税). Minamiawaji-shi presents mobile VR goggles "Hacosco" to the people who paid tax to them. Of course this is half something like joke, but it's cool that a Japanese local city uses VR for a joke. Besides, for a tax payment system!


MR-like brainstorming application "Brastory"

Mixed Reality(MR) attracts attention in the Japanese tech industry as same as virtual reality. User interface design company Up arrows released the brainstorming application "Brastory" that users can experience MR easily.

When users run the application, dry-erase board where some stickies were put on appears on the real scenery. Furthermore, users can change screen size and positions of stickies, choose stickies of own favorite colors, write comment in them and put them on dry-erase board. In other words, this is an MR version of bulletin-board-system, but creative user interface may draw creative ideas from users. We can use this application from Android mobiles and Web browser. The downloading from Google Play is free.


The sandals which can walk the virtual worlds

A lot of VR Head Mount Display were released in CES 2017, but hardware developer Cerevo released different VR gadgets. They are world's first VR shoes and VR gloves equipped with feel sensors "Taclim".

These have eight tactile devices(gloves 1 X 2, shoes 3 X 2) developed by co-operation of Cerevo and Nidec Seimitsu Corporation, and they feed back the feel to users to video and sound of the VR space. For example, they can reproduce difference in feel when users walked desert, grassy plains, and the waterside. They can reproduce even difference in kinds of the shoes which VR characters wear. In addition, these function as input devices because these have 9-axis sensor that reflects the motion of users in VR space.

Cerevo is going to release two kinds of Bluetooth Edition and Sub-giga Edition which supports the Japan's 920MHz(USA 815MHz/Euro 868MHz). The charge method is Micro USB and it is available for two hours by 3-hour charge. They sell these for 100,000 ~ 50,000yen in this autumn and provide the development environment of this to developers as Unity plug-in.