Gatebox virtual home robot wants you to be her ‘master’

Alexa, the voice inside your Amazon Echo or Dot, is very helpful and always accommodating. So are Siri, Cortana, and the various other artificially intelligent assistants available today. But none can seemingly compare with the experience provided by Azuma Hikari, — her name, appropriately, means “light” —  the holographic character who lives inside the Gatebox, Japan’s sort-of-but-not-really answer to the Amazon Echo.

Falling in love with an intelligent computer operating system may become a thing of the present with the new Gatebox virtual home robot. The introductory video demonstrates how Gatebox works: Continue reading “Gatebox virtual home robot wants you to be her ‘master’”

Sharp’s Corner R features a stunning bezel-less display

Japanese tech giant Sharp, the electronics company that was purchased by contract manufacturer Foxconn for $6.2 billion last February, has unveiled a new smartphone which uses a design that could be said to be a real stunner, clutching an entirely bezel-less display.

Corner R concept phone

Continue reading “Sharp’s Corner R features a stunning bezel-less display”

Pokéball fireworks explode during japanese fireworks display

Japan has been hosting fireworks festivals since the 1700s, when they would be fired into the sky to ward off evil spirits. Today, the tradition continues, mostly in July and August.

Over time, groups of pyrotechnical experts would compete for the most impressive display, which led to a great deal of artistry that, again, has carried over to today. Naturally, since Pokémon has been a Japanese pop culture phenomenon for the past 20 years, the franchise has worked its way into the festivities. We can’t exactly expect people to paint a Charizard in the night sky using only colorful explosives, but the Japanese sure have figured out how to make a Pokéball:

Continue reading “Pokéball fireworks explode during japanese fireworks display”

Pokémon Go finally launched in Japan while a New Yorker has caught’em al.

Augmented reality smartphone game Pokémon GO finally launched in Japan on, the country of the character’s birth and the last big market where the possible release date had generated a huge buzz. The game, which allows players to catch and collect Pokemons in real-world locations through the mobile phone camera, is now available for download in the Japanese iTunes and Google Play stores, EFE news reported.

Pokémon GO has been an instant hit and gained a huge success since it was launched and is now available in more than 35 countries. Except for China where the release is not scheduled due to issues with authorities, Japan was the last remaining major market to launch the application.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated launch, the Japanese government had launched a campaign promoting safe play of this smartphone game after multiple incidents of injury or trespassing by people playing the game have been reported in several countries.

The developer of the app, the company Niantic, posted a simple announcement on its Japanese website saying “Pokémon GO is now available for download in Japan.” Shares of Nintendo, the company that sponsors the whole series of Pokémon games, jumped as much as 6.85 percent at the Tokyo Stock Exchange after the news, although shortly after, the rise began to slow down.

The Kyoto-based company has doubled the value of its shares and its market capitalization since the game was first launched in the US, Australia and New Zealand on July 6. Similarly, the Japanese subsidiary of McDonald’s, which announced on July 20 a collaborative project with the Pokémon GO app saw its share soaring to their highest level in the last 15 years.


Meanwhile, a New Yorker has become the U.S.’s first Pokémon Go master after he caught all the monsters listed in the country’s Pokédex.

On Thursday, Reddit user ftb_hodor posted a screen cap of his phone, showing that he has completed his Pokédex of 142 Pokémon.

The feat was made possible by the Level 31 Pokémon trainer’s utmost dedication. He apparently spent two weeks — at least 50 hours a week — hatching 303 eggs and covering over 95 miles on foot.

During this time, he collected a total of 4,269 Pokémon.

Ftb_hodor claimed that the furthest he had to travel to play the game was to New Jersey. He credited four PokéStops located directly across from Central Park for helping him complete his hunt.

According to Vox, there are in fact a total of 151 catchable Pokémon in the augmented reality game — nine of which are either extremely rare or region-locked.

Three of the Pokémon still missing from ftb_hodor’s Pokédex are region exclusives: Mr. Mime (Europe), Kangaskhan (Australia) and Farfetch’d (Asia). The rest are Articuno, Ditto, Mew, Mewtwo, Moltres and Zapdos, who have all not been sighted since the game first launched in early July.

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