Posts Tagged ‘3D’

J-blip: Face Chocolates

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Workshop to make chocolate doppelgangers, using a 3D scanner and printer, at FabCafe. Photo courtesy of FabCafe

Does it look like me? Workshop to make chocolate doppelgangers at FabCafe. Photo courtesy of FabCafe

Valentine’s Day is big business in Japan. We’ve seen a lot of confectionery one-upmanship, but nothing quite like FabCafe’s jibunsei chocolates (self-styled chocolates).

A chocolate replica of your own face might look more kimoi (creepy) than oishii (delicious), but for the 15 people who participated in a two-day workshop the week before Valentine’s Day, the draw was the experience: getting to test out the 3D scanner and printer used to make the silicon molds. The workshop cost ¥6000, or about twice as much as an overpriced box of Godiva. To see more pictures of the process click on the gallery below.

FabCafe, a café-cum-workspace (with a laser cutter you can rent by the hour—or use to burn your own Valentine’s designs into macarons), is run by Loftwork, an “innovation consultancy;” it is also downstairs from 3D printer showroom Cube. “We were brainstorming together about how the 3D-printing technology could appeal to consumers, when we hit on the idea of Valentine’s Day chocolates,” explained Loftwork PR rep Kazue Nakata.

In Japan, Valentine’s Day is for women to give chocolate to men; men return the favor on White Day, March 14. FabCafe is planning similar workshops for men in March. They haven’t officially announced it yet, but keep your calendar open if you’ve always wondered what you or your man would look like as a Gummi Bear.

Check out FabCafe’s own report of the event (in Japanese) and more great photos here.

Glasses-free 3D bursting into focus soon

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Exciting things are happening in the world of 3D entertainment over the next few months as a range of glasses-free 3D products hit big and small screens.

Toshiba's Regza 12 GL1 Series

Coming first in the race to release a 3D glasses-free screen was DoCoMo, with their LYNX 3D SH-03C Android handset, released for sale on Dec. 3. Manufactured by Sharp, the 3.8-inch touchscreen has a 400 x 800 pixel resolution screen that is capable of displaying 3D images that can be seen without glasses. But SoftBank are not far behind. They’ll also be introducing a Sharp Android phone to the market: the Galapagos 003SH which will be on sale from Dec. 17. In terms of content, though, SoftBank, who’ll be offering a range of 3D games like Taiko Drum Master and Biohazard, seem to have got the edge on DoCoMo.

Those unwilling to trade away their iPhones for a 3D-capable handset need not despair: a neat little device called the Palm Top Theatre, clips onto your phone and transforms 2D images into 3D, again without the need for special specs.

TVs are not far behind cell phones, and as we went to post, Toshiba were scrambling to release their glasses-free Regza GL1 Series 3D TV this month. A call to their PR office revealed that they’re still planning to release the technology within the promised deadline. This is bad news for other 3D TV manufacturers, making their efforts look dated before they’ve even had a chance to get going.

The advent of Toshiba’s glasses-free TV comes just in time for the launch of Japan’s first-ever custom-made 3D TV drama. Made in collaboration with Fuji and Sony, “Tokyo Control” is a drama about air-traffic control. The program will be on air from 19 Jan.

Game lovers, of course, are all eagerly awaiting the release of Nintendo’s 3DS which, according to 3DS Buzz, goes on sale in Japan on Feb. 27. One of the games available to play in 3D will be Konami’s notorious “Love Plus” dating game (shown above). Passionate players will be able to, um, fondle their virtual girlfriends with their fingers instead of poking them with their plastic styluses.

Japan by the numbers (11.12.10)

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Japan by the numbers (07.23.10)

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Japan by the numbers (06.15.10)

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010


Japanese R&D brings 3D technology closer to home

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

3D_blue_1503D_red_150While most people look to Hollywood films and childrens’ features for the latest in 3D technology (selections from James Cameron’s “Avatar” will be premiered at TIFF this month), much of the coming onslaught of multidimensional entertainment is emerging here in Japan, and far the multiplex.

For starters, there is Fujifilm’s pricey new 3D compact camera and viewing system. Early reviews of the Finepix REAL 3D W1 have not been kind (or fair), but it would still behoove gadget hounds to read up before plonking down the estimated ¥100,000 for the gear required. Sony’s new HFR Comfort-3D is for pros capturing live-action events, and at 240 frames-per-second, that’s a lot of action. We’ll watch, too, because if Engadget is right, 3D tech may really be the killer app for sports.

If Sir Howard Stringer is correct, we’ll all be watching these sporting events on 3D TVs by next year. Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and every other major electronics producer either has or will have product ready by then, but a good place to look for the latest news will be at the CEATEC convention in Makuhari Messe next week, where many of the latest gear will be announced.

For gamers, the Playstation 3 will soon offer 3D capability to all of its existing games. The Xbox is likely to do the same. While not 3D in its conventional sense, I like how these games use voxel data and the now-ubiquitous tilt-shift photography method to give a sense of depth.

Perhaps the most significant application of 3D technology to affect our lives won’t come from entertainment but from the incorporation of haptic technology. Japanese scientists are now working on holograms that you can touch (or feel like you’re touching anyway), and everyone is talking about when our keyboards will be replaced with sci-fi e-Gloves that search and organize the Web more intuitively than our wireless mouse and track pad ever could. Yes, the future is here – you can almost reach out and give it a squeeze.

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