Japan startups strut their stuff in Dubai
UAE, Japan have always had excellent bilateral relations with each other
A driving assistance system, an android robot that helps you be in two places at once and several smart home devices were some of the highlights presented by several Japanese startups in Dubai recently.
Participating under the umbrella of the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro), the Japanese companies showcased their latest inventions and products at Gitex Technology Week. Masami Ando, managing director for the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region at Jetro, said that he was delighted with the wide range of Japanese companies participating, and the diverse range of products that they has brought to this year's exhibition.
"The UAE and Japan have always had excellent bilateral relations with each other, and we are delighted with the opportunity to present our expertise in the technology sector," he told Khaleej Times.
Ando also said that the technology sector would continue to play an important role in the coming years, and that investors in the Mena region would find a number of opportunities to collaborate with Japanese companies in that field.
Ryuta Mino, founder and CEO of Pyrenee Inc, was showcasing Pyrenee Drive - a driving assistance device that improves the driving experience, while helping drivers avoid accidents. The device in question is placed on a car's dashboard, and is quick and easy to use. The system constantly monitors the situation on the road with its stereo cameras, helping drivers avoid accidents by alerting them of any potential collisions with pedestrians and other drivers via on-screen notifications and sounds. Mino revealed that over 70 per cent of traffic accidents are caused by drivers being slow to perceive hazards, so swiftly alerting drivers of dangers is highly effective for accident prevention.
Users can also view and control their music, phone calls, and navigation apps right on the Pyrenee Drive's transparent screen, simply by connecting their smartphone to the device. Traffic accidents caused by smartphone use while driving are on the rise around the world, but with this functionality drivers can use their phones on the road both practically and safely.
Takayoshi Ishii, CEO of Teleporter, another startup at the exhibition, was presenting his custom-made android robots that make it possible for people to be in two places at once. "A person with one of his robots can be at a business meeting in London, while the robot takes over their regular duties in Tokyo," said Ishii.
The robots are carefully designed and produced using the latest 3D scanning and printing technology. The PC is located inside the body and a camera is played in the robot's eye. The whole system is connected to the Internet, and can be controlled by HMD or a tablet.
While busy officials and business travellers might be the demographic most tempted to acquire the robots to help with their schedules and daily activities, the robots can also be used by people who are ill and require constant care, as well as patients that are confined to their homes but still want to continue working. For interested buyers, the robots can cost up to $260,000, depending on the buyer's preferences and customisations.
Another Japanese company taking part at the event, was Cerevo Inc, which focuses on creating networked devices for consumer and professional users. Cerevo's products have been recognised globally for their unique connected solutions. Hiroumi Mitani, senior VP of sales and marketing at Cerevo, highlighted some of the company's projects including Tipron - a home robot that can automatically project an 80 inch screen from a distance of three metres. Tipron's projector unit can adjust roll, pitch and yaw, and features keystone correction so you can project distortion free images and videos to any place on a wall or ceiling. The built in speaker allows you to watch videos without the need for any additional hardware.
Another product that the company was highlighting at the event was Hackey - a Wi-Fi connected key switch. This configurable switch allows you to simply and easily control web-based services by just turning the key. Mitani also spoke about another project called BlueNinja, which is a small Internet of Things (IoT) module using Toshiba's low energy SoC `TZ1001` as the main SoC and includes a nine axis sensor and a pressure sensor. By connecting a lithium ion battery, IoT gadgets like an activity tracker can easily be made.
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