LATEST TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS IN JAPAN
Technology has entered our life’s daily routine. We owe most of the technical brilliance around us from Japan which has given us products ranging from xerox machines, cameras, automobiles, medical equipment, Artificial Intelligence (AI) interventions and many more.
Let’s look at 5 latest technical innovations in Japan that offer peek into their future technology.
1. Society 5.0
Society 5.0 is an ambitious Japanese social structure. It envisages a super-smart society in Japan where technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), big data and robotics will seamlessly sync with all social segments and industry. The purpose behind this planning is to usher an information revolution which will be able to solve individual problems of people and offer instant solutions.
All citizens of Japan are supposed to be part of Society 5.0. People staying in remote areas will be able to avail of goods and services through autonomous vehicles and drones. Customers interested to buy their garments can access design, color, and style online and get it delivered by drone. Refrigerators in the nursing home will monitor the freshness of food and stock in order to cut down on wastage. Doctors will remotely consult their patients from a distance while robots will monitor and manage the operation theatres. These are some of the many exciting features that are being explored.
2. Mechatronics Solution for Older Citizens
Mechatronics is a discipline that came into existence in Japan, which combines branches of mechanical engineering with electronics engineering. Various inventions within the last 2 decades also brought humanity closer to some pathbreaking robotics solution for lifestyle.
Very recently, many start-ups in Japan have come out with exclusive lifestyle solutions for elders. Being a country with a steeply declining population, Japan has the highest proportion of elder citizens to cross the age of 100. According to figures from the Japanese government, there are more than 70,000 older citizens to have crossed the age of 100 by 2018 and might touch a million much before the next decade.
A new generation of entrepreneurs is aggressively researching and investing in robotic solutions to cater to this need. There have been a lot of latest robotic inventions that look after older citizens and monitor their health. Functional autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) come with state-of-the-art navigation sensory and perception systems that revolve around the intended patients and record change in their temperature and health. These are also aligned with other varieties of housekeeping robots who clean the house and keep it tidy. Relatives and doctors of such citizens could access their data on a 24-hour real-time basis.
3. Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare Services
As per the February 2019 edition of The Japan Times, medical diagnostic services using artificial intelligence is getting introduced in Japan. Healthcare Asia reported in December 2018 that Japan is building 10 hospitals based on Artificial Intelligence by 2020. The emphasis soon is to create, develop and promote new generation technology solutions for healthcare and pharma.
In the last decade, Japan has pioneered various AI-based interventions like exoskeletons and automation assisted surgeries, which have greatly supported various patients who lost their limbs due to accidents. Japan has ambitious projects to use AI to advance regenerative medicines. Regenerative medicine is a special branch of translational research in molecular biology and tissue engineering which majorly deals with the process of replacing, engineering or regenerating animal or human organs, tissues or cells, and establishing normal body functions.
4. Technical cultivation technology that beats the weather
It all started by a person with zero farming experience, who experimented by freezing banana seeds to -60 C temperature.
Mr. Setsuzo Tanaka required 40 years of trials and errors to discover revolutionary technology based on agriculture. He found it amazing that tropical fruit like banana survived the Ice Age, where temperatures averaged -60 C. Mr. Tanaka tried freezing banana seeds initially by using liquid nitrogen and deep-freezing technologies, but he never got the desired outcome. Later he discovered a solution where he could preserve the seeds and freeze them in sub-60-degree temperature for six months before replanting them. After nine months of harvesting, he observed that the seeds gave saplings after being plowed and produced bananas during the winter season! The bananas resisted cold weather and gave sweeter taste and retained all its natural properties. Mr. Tanaka also found out that even the banana peels were eatable, as they were pesticides and chemical-free. They were known as Mongee bananas, which in local language means ‘Awesome’ bananas.
This process was roughly termed as ‘freeze-thaw awakening method’ and is found applicable for other plants and fruits variant.
5. Commercial technologies for everyday life
Japan’s future supermarkets will have an intelligent basket that will read the bar code of product a customer chooses. On submitting the products at the automated counter, payment gateway opens automatically, and products get packed.
CaloRieco, a Japanese lifestyle organization, developed a machine which counts calorie of food through its infrared scanner. Robot nannies are being developed which can manage small children and act as creche when parents are not around. Japan is exploring numerous technological inventions for the everyday life of people, which has also attracted a lot of interest from start-up companies. It will be exciting to see how many new technologies are developed by these companies which will benefit the citizens of Japan and the rest of the world in the near future.