From gamers to dogs, Japan forges ahead in smart clothing
Nikkei -- Aug 02
A virtual-reality jacket that replicates the sense of touch, a belt that predicts when a pregnant mother will go into labor, and even a vest that monitors the health of your precious pooch: these are just some of the products emerging in Japan's fast-growing market for smart clothing.

Teijin has developed a jacket that can simulate the sense of touch in virtual reality. Its Synesthesia Wear tracks a user's movements, and attached modules vibrate in different ways depending on how the user interacts with the VR space, adding another layer of realism to the experience.

The jacket also does away with the plug-in connections that made Teijin's previous version of the technology difficult to market. It is made from a specially designed fabric that conducts electricity and communications signals, letting users place the battery and haptic modules wherever they choose.

Teijin sees applications for the technology not only in gaming, but also medical areas such as physical therapy, where the jacket could collect data on the user while stimulating motor function.

Nisshinbo Textile, a subsidiary of Nisshinbo Holdings, is working on a smart pregnancy belt that can predict a few days in advance when the wearer is likely to go into labor by monitoring the baby's heartbeat with a small microphone. It will encourage the user to seek medical care if any abnormalities are detected.

The company plans to market the belt as regular apparel rather than medical equipment, selling it through retail stores and online. It looks to keep the price below $100.

News source: Nikkei
Aug 10
Despite uncertainties from COVID-19, top Japanese corporations plan to invest 15.8% more in information technology in fiscal 2020 to keep up the wave of digitization across industries. (Nikkei)
Aug 07
Official figures indicate that Japanese households may be recovering from the economic impact of COVID-19. Spending was down in June, but by a much smaller margin than the month before. (NHK)
Aug 07
Japan's powerful business lobby, the Keidanren, is dominated by energy-intensive sectors that represent less than 10 percent of the economy, resulting in national policies that favour coal and hindering attempts to combat climate change, a new study said. (aljazeera.com)
Aug 07
Toyota’s profit plunged 74% in the last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic sank vehicle sales to about half of what the top Japanese automaker sold the previous year. (krmg.com)
Aug 06
The average summer bonus at major Japanese companies this year dropped 2.17 percent from a year earlier to ¥901,147, a Japan Business Federation survey showed Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Aug 06
Uber Technologies has begun to offer a food delivery subscription in Japan that replaces per-order fees, tapping into the growing demand from consumers holed up at home from the coronavirus. (Nikkei)
Aug 05
Japan’s decision to offer an initial group of 87 companies subsidies totalling US$653 million to expand production at home and in Southeast Asia has sparked debate whether the world’s third largest economy is trying to gradually decouple from China. (scmp.com)
Aug 05
About 60 percent of people in the nation who developed cold-like symptoms during the first wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic, between February and May, went to work despite a request by the government for them not to do so, a recent survey has found. (Japan Times)
Aug 05
McDonald's Holdings (Japan) has staged a dramatic comeback in the five years since a crisis triggered by food-safety scandals, breaking sales records and thriving on takeout demand in the middle of a pandemic. (Nikkei)
Aug 04
Nippon Steel decided on Tuesday to immediately appeal a South Korean court ruling that took effect the same day that allows for the seizure of company assets as compensation for wartime labor during Japanese colonial rule. (Nikkei)
Aug 04
A survey by credit research firm Teikoku Databank shows 400 businesses in Japan have gone under due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
Aug 04
Mitsubishi Motors expects to post a net loss of over 3 billion dollars this fiscal year. But the CEO tells NHK he plans to rebuild the company's business with a focus on Southeast Asia. (NHK)
Aug 04
Japan Airlines has posted a big net loss for the April-June quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the global aviation industry. (NHK)
Aug 04
A major Japanese food chain, Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, on Monday opened a restaurant in India, the home of curry dishes. (NHK)
Aug 04
Japanese retail group Seven i Holdings plans to expand its web of U.S. convenience stores to 20,000 following the $21 billion deal to buy American counterpart Speedway, it was learned Monday. (Nikkei)
Aug 03
A Japanese government-linked organization will help local companies export made-in-Japan refined crafts including stationery, furniture and accessories through online business meetings with overseas buyers amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Today)
Aug 03
Major Japanese automakers are returning domestic factories to normal production levels. The companies say global demand for automobiles is on the mend. (NHK)
Aug 03
Tea shops, tea houses, tea bars or tea cafes. Whatever name they go by, spaces specializing in tea are popping up all over Japan and drawing a heavily female clientele, offering beverages with fruity aromas and Instagram-worthy colors. (Nikkei)
Aug 03
At a symposium with entrepreneurs in July, Chinese President Xi Jinping praised the founder of Japanese electronics company Panasonic as a visionary alongside the likes of Thomas Edison. (Nikkei)
Aug 02
A virtual-reality jacket that replicates the sense of touch, a belt that predicts when a pregnant mother will go into labor, and even a vest that monitors the health of your precious pooch: these are just some of the products emerging in Japan's fast-growing market for smart clothing. (Nikkei)