Emerging Technology: Three New Innovations To Be On The Lookout For in 2013
Akihito Tsukioka, founder of Digitized Information, Inc., in Tokyo, Japan, is Chair of the committee for final judging of the annual report awards and other literature categories, website awards categories, app awards categories, video awards categories, and live event awards categories of The 2012 International Business Awards. (Sign up here to receive information on how to enter The 2013 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition, opening in January.) We recently caught up with him in his busy DigInfo TV office in Tokyo.
What do you think are most exciting ideas/innovations that have been posted on DigInfo TV in the past year?
In my opinion, the three most exciting new ideas I have seen recently, and which may well be available soon, are:
- The Ubi-Camera, which takes photos composed by framing them with your hands. A research group at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences in Japan is developing this prototype miniature camera. When you draw a picture or take a photo, you sometimes form a rectangle with your hands to decide the composition. With this camera, you can take a photo using the exact same motion. The camera contains a range sensor, and the framing is determined by the distance between the camera and the photographers face. With the current system, which is still in development, the lens has a fixed focal length, and zooming is done digitally on a PC.
- The True 3D display technology, developed by Burton, which uses a laser to create luminous points of light at desired locations in air or underwater. This system is an evolved version of technology co-developed by AIST and Keio University, first announced in 2006. It works by focusing laser light to produce plasma excitation from the oxygen and nitrogen in the air. The researchers state that this is the world's first technology to show pictures without the constraint of a screen. Most current 3D devices project pictures onto a 2D screen, and make the pictures appear 3D through an optical illusion. But this device actually shows images in mid-air, so a feature of this system is that it enables 3D objects to be viewed naturally.
- A research group at the Tokyo University of Science, led by Associate Professor Shinichi Komaba, has confirmed that hard carbon obtained by pyrolyzing sucrose, the main constituent of sugar, is an effective anode material for sodium ion batteries. Currently, most rechargeable batteries are lithium ion batteries. Japan imports its entire supply of lithium, a rare metal, so lithium ion batteries are expensive. Sodium ion batteries are intended to overcome lithium's disadvantages of high price and scarcity. The supply of sodium is unlimited. Also, sodium ion batteries can be made using iron, aluminum, and sodium, rather than cobalt or copper as before. What's more, results show that using carbon made from sugar as the anode can increase battery capacity. So high-performance batteries may be achievable using cheaper, more abundant materials. The Komaba Group has achieved a storage capacity that is 20% higher than that of conventional hard carbon. It's expected that many researchers will work on making sodium ion batteries commercially viable. The Komaba Group anticipates it may take about five years to achieve a practical version.
What is your favorite app?
Dropbox, a free service that stores info across computers, mobile phones, tablets, whatever.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
The awareness that I will discover something new with each new day.
About Akihito Tsukioka:
Akihito Tsukioka has been in the translation business for over 25 years. He also has experience in public relations and communications. Akihito founded Digitized Information, Inc. in 1986. The company provides its customers with tailor-made video production and translation services. Its website, http://www.diginfo.tv/, receives 70,000 views per day on YouTube.
Mr. Tsukioka received a master's degree in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and is based in Tokyo, Japan.
About Digitized Information, Inc:
Digitized Information is a Tokyo-based video production/translation company providing videos of the latest cutting-edge technology and products from Japan in both English and Japanese. Established in 1986, the company employs a small team of video production staff in Japan, and works with a number of translators in various time zones.