Tech

Speech translation app

Sumitomo Rubber improves its Chinese communication

TOKYO -- Sumitomo Rubber Industries in January introduced a Japanese-Chinese speech translation app for smartphones. The major tire maker is encouraging closer communication between its Japanese and local workers in production bases in China and othe...

  • Japan successfully launches intelligence satellite

    TANEGASHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Japan successfully launched Thursday morning a rocket carrying a backup optical satellite for the government's intelligence gathering program. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Lt...

  • Switch spotlight

    Citizen Electronics creation clears way for skinnier smartphones

    TOKYO -- Citizen Electronics has developed one of the world's thinnest switches for use in smartphones and wearable devices. A push-button switch such as those used to adjust smartphone sound volume, the product is among the slimmest mass-produce...

  • Phosphorus recycling

    Japanese companies find new ways to extract valuable commodity

    TOKYO -- Worldwide demand for phosphorus is growing despite its limited supply, so Japanese companies such as Hitachi Zosen, are finding ways to recycle the valuable commodity from sewage and animal droppings for reuse in fertilizers and lithium-ion ...

  • Infrastructure technology

    Mitsubishi Heavy takes step toward long-distance wireless power

    TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' wireless power transmission system is expected to have a broad range of applications, from transportation to offshore wind turbines. It may even make space-based solar power generation possible. The Japanese ...

  • HondaJet set for takeoff

    Carmaker shatters tech taboos to give dream wings

    TOKYO -- After decades of painstaking preparation on the ground, the HondaJet is finally poised for commercial takeoff, with the first plane slated to be delivered this year. The project has drawn considerable attention, as it marks Honda Motor's...

  • High-resolution microscopes

    New laser system allows for prolonged examination of living cells

    TOKYO -- A new super high-resolution microscope that uses two lasers has been developed by a research team led by professor Takayoshi Kobayashi at Tokyo's University of Electro-Communications. The new microscope makes it possible to observe ...

  • ST Engineering

    Singapore's new weapon against Indonesian haze (see video)

    SINGAPORE -- To combat this city-state's annual haze problem, Innosparks, a subsidiary of a government-linked defense and engineering company, has created a mouth-and-nose mask that offers better ventilation and comfort. Named the AIR+ Smart Mask...

  • Fight against communicable diseases

    Monkey, dog, duck cells used to culture flu vaccine faster

    TOKYO -- Flu seasons come and go, but what keeps public health experts up at night is the threat of a novel and extremely virulent form of influenza A, aka bird flu, becoming a global pandemic and killing tens of thousands of people. In Japan, st...

  • Phil Keys

    Japan-California climate deal points to big business opportunities

    An agreement to tackle climate change together is a chance to foster economic growth, but not enough people know it was signed, says Phil Keys.

  • High-tech farming

    LEDs light up commercial plant growing

    TOKYO -- Commercial plant growers are increasingly using advanced light-emitting diode technology to help boost the efficiency of their operations. Nippon Valqua Industries, for instance, has developed a product that enhances illumination intensity u...

  • Let the research be funded

    Japan no longer distinguishing between military- and civilian-use technologies

    TOKYO -- In a significant development, though with no fanfare, some Japanese universities and public research institutions have begun exploring dual-use technologies. Robotics, biotech and other technologies that have both military and civilian a...

  • New wrinkle in wearables

    Data-capturing clothes could enable remote surgery -- and aid your golf swing

    TOKYO -- Picture an urban hospital in the not-so-distant future -- say, 2020. A surgeon puts on scrubs and gloves made from a special material. A monitor in front of the doctor displays a patient on an island hundreds of kilometers away. Beside the p...

  • Researchers create stem cell-derived retina tissue to treat disorders

    KOBE (Kyodo) -- A Japanese team of researchers has developed a method to create three-dimensional retinal tissue from human embryonic stem cells, according to their study published Thursday in an electronic edition of British science journal Nature C...

  • LEDs do the talking

    Japanese parts trader Kaga to sell equipment for visible light communication

    TOKYO -- Kaga Electronics, a Japanese trading company that deals in electronic components, is preparing to get into the market for visible light communication. This technology involves the use of LEDs to transmit data. The company intends to star...

  • Marine technology

    Japan to develop remote-controlled underwater probe

    TOKYO -- Two Japanese government bodies are working to develop technology for a remote-controlled probe capable of conducting surveys for underwater resources. The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the National Institute o...

  • Semiconductor industry

    Plasma cutting brings finesse to chip production

    Change is coming to the streets. Where once people cut with blades and lasers, now some have started using plasma. But these are not the mean streets of a future urban landscape. They are the streets on semiconductor wafers, which is what the ind...

  • Japan's OPM Laboratory

    Trying to change the world of manufacturing with 3-D metal printers

    TOKYO -- OPM Laboratory, a Kyoto-based venture company founded in 2004 that produces metal molds using 3-D printers, is starting to draw the attention of some of the world's biggest companies. Company CEO Kazuho Morimoto is a pioneer of 3-D ...

  • Video

    Creating artificial spider silk

    Researchers in northern Japan are using genetically modified microbes to make artificial spider silk, with hopes that the material can be used in a wide variety of applications.See other videos here.

  • Eco-friendly tires

    Manufacturers get a grip on green standards

    TOKYO -- Although crude's slide on the market has pushed gas prices lower in recent months, drivers still appreciate better mileage. To get the most out of a tank of gas, fuel-efficient tires can be as important as a well-tuned engine. Eco-friend...