3 cool devices showcased at 1st Wearable Expo in Tokyo



See the original story in Japanese.

A wearable device event called the 1st Wearable Expo was held in Tokyo last week. This is the first of its kind, excluding Wearable Tech Expo Tokyo that took place in 2014. Here we list several cool devices highlighted at the event.

Anicall tells you what your pet is thinking


Anicall tells you behavioral patterns and feeling of your pet, leveraging a combination of a wearable device designed for animals and cloud-based analytics based on artificial intelligence. So it allows you to hear silent voice from your loving companion. While pet owners will typically use the device on their dog or cat, it can be applied to other animals as well.

A dog and a cat in the booth for demo looked so tired from responding to visitors, so they were taking a break and I couldn’t see the demo when I visited there. In a view of visualizing a pet’s intention, we have seen a solution like Bow-lingual, a computer-based dog-to-human language translation device developed by Japanese toy company Takara in 2002. The Anicall will contribute to better communication with man’s best friend.

A doggy wearing an Anicall device.
This kitty also wears it but looks a little tired from demoing.

Yamaha invents stretchable displacement sensor


Japan’s Yamaha, a musical instrument maker, exhibited a strethable displacement sensor. It can be embedded in a textile or knitted fabric and incorporated into gloves for wrists, elbows, and ankles. Yamaha is developing applications in collaboration with partnering SMEs.

The company exhibited the technology by outfitting a pianist with sensor-embedded gloves.

Generally, cameras and high-speed sensors are used to capture gestures, but in case the user cannot make big gestures or there is no space available, these stretchable gesture sensors may be utilized.

This technology could be used for online crowdsourced translations to Braille to help the visually and hearing impaired.



Power generating jogging suit can eliminate batteries from wearable devices

Photo by Takushoku University

Takushoku University’s Maeyama Lab, Munekata, and Cornes Technologies have jointly developed Hatsuden Wear, a power generating jogging suit that uses piezoelectric elements in the joints. It does not generate a large current but is sufficient to power a wearable device in order to transfer data via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), so this suit will create continuous power, as long as the person wearing it keeps moving.

Battery weight is a key issue in the design of wearable devices. If batteries can be replaced with this power generating technology, wearable devices will take a big step forward in evolution.

Edited by Kurt Hanson
Proofread by “Tex” Pomeroy