Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Article from Trendy - March 2009

Article from Trendy - March 2009

A balanced diet is the base of a good lifestyle. In Japan many television programs focus on food and cooking, explaining the benefits of different food groups and explaining healthy cooking tips. For those that live in big cities though, the reality is that eating out and rushing from meals to meetings starts to become the norm and healthy eating may get left behind.

In the latest edition of Trendy Magazine, an article to help with this discusses how a Professor at Tokyo University (Prof. Aizawa) has developed a software program that can automatically analyzes the food you are about to eat by taking a photograph of it and checking it against the basic food groups. The application can be used from a mobile phone allowing you instant feedback.

The application can also keep a log of the food and save it in a diary for you to check your week or monthly balance. It is expected to be available this month, February 2009.

Professor Kiyoharu Aizawa conducts his research out of the Aizawa Laboratory at Tokyo University.

In Aizawa laboratory, we are working mainly on image and video processing technologies for the next-generation information society.

Here is the link to their home page.


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Sharp Plasmacluster logo

Sharp Plasmacluster logo

Having initially posted about this machine I bought, I see a lot of people searching for information about Sharp’s Ion plasmacluster and thought it would be useful to add some more information about this.

Original Post
The original post I did can be found here at shibuya246.com

According to the pamphlet, Plasmacluster technology emits positive and negative ions into the air, and thereby deactivates impurities. They are designed to combat dust, allergens, pollen and other air borne particles such as tobacco smoke, cold viruses etc.

My experience
I bought the machine because hearing that influenza was going to be widespread this year, I really wanted to make sure I did not catch it and so far I have not had a cold. I have used the machine non-stop since I bought it and found it easy to use, fairly quiet and of great value.

The machine I bought covers about a 6-8 tatami mat area. Outside of Japan I am not sure what size that translates to, but it is an average size Japanese room and probably an average size western hotel room. The space of 1 tatami mat was meant to be the space required for one person to sleep lying down. Without digressing too much here is a link to Wikipedia talking about Tatami

Sharp installing units in own offices
Recently Sharp announced that they would be installing 10,000 of their industrial plasmacluster machines in their Sharp offices and factories.

The above articles discuss the larger industrial units where Sharp says:

Plasmacluster Ion generators use Sharp’s proprietary Plasmacluster Ion technology to decompose and deactivate harmful airborne substances such as mold fungus, viruses, and allergens. These generators are designed to thoroughly deactivate harmful airborne substances in large areas, such as offices and conference rooms.

Although the technology for the smaller units is the same, just they dont cover as large an area.

Technology Explanation
Here is an easy to understand article about the technology with some pictures to aid the explanation:

Sharp announce Bird Flu tests
In a conference focussed on plasma cluster technology,the ability to handle “bird flu” was discussed.


IG-A100 Plasmacluster

IG-A100 Plasmacluster

Other Info
Here is a blog post about the conference finding

and some other links to check

Follow up
If anyone has any specific questions that you want to leave as a comment, I will try and get the answers and follow up.

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img_0261-11If your wallet is anything like mine then you probabaly have a lot of members cards to various places. It would be nice if all of these points could be accomodated on one card with an IC chip.

Leaving that aside, LABI, Yamada Denki’s large scale electronic stores have a new idea based on the old theme of member point cards. They have installed machines at their store so that when you visit the store you can swipe your card and get an automatic 10 points credited to your account. If you buy something you get further points depending on how much you spend, AND then before you leave the store you can swipe your card again for another 10 points. They also have a slot machine style game playing when you swipe your card for the chance to win more points.

10 free points might not be much, but if you live close by and can visit everyday you could rack up 3,650 points in a year. If everyone started doing that I am sure LABI would have trouble honoring the points earned.

It is nice to see a promotion that doesn’t require you to spend money first. Whoever said “there is no such thing as a free lunch” obviously hadn’t visited LABI.

Yamada Denki point machines in LABI store

Yamada Denki point machines in LABI store

Here is a link to a map on how to get to Shibuya LABI

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Just when you think you have seen everything in Japan along comes another gadget or gizmo that proves you wrong. For those of you who have not seen this before it looks very strange at first but then when you think of the applications for it, like walking up stairs, then it definately is in the strange category. I am sure the other uses of it as in the example for the car industry where workers have to bend down for long hours, are more practical.

I found this article when scanning through the latest issue of the magazine Dime.

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This machine is hot and was just released in Japan last month.

I recently purchased a Plasmacluster Ion machine from Sharp. According to the maker the machine “emits positive and negative ions into the air, thus deactivating impurities.”  This is different to a humidifier which just releases steam into the air. Sharp have a number of patents for the technology this machine is based on. They have also released hybrid machines that act as plasmacluster and humidifiers, but I was told by staff at BicCamera that the machine IG-A100 Plasmacluster was the full model whilst the hybrid machines were more like an introductory model. The IG-A100 machine gives out 25,000 Ion clusters per cm cubed. It cleans the room from dust mites, virus particles and mold spores. This is different to conventional air filters or air purification machines.

IG-A100 Plasmacluster

IG-A100 Plasmacluster

According to the Sharp website the machine “Plasmacluster Technology splits water molecules into positively and negatively charged ions, which spread throughout the room, surrounding airborne particles. This system effectively treats the air the way nature cleans the environment near waterfalls or just after a thunderstorm to help keep the air healthier and cleaner smelling.”

Anyway, the result is a very pleasant environment which smells fresh and clean. Here is a picture of my machine in my apartment.

and some links to Sharp’s site talking about the technology




Above is Sharp’s logo for the Plasmacluster Ion product range. They use this on their hybrid machines also, but be sure to check the Ion count the machine is putting out. that seems to be the key to the effectiveness of the machine.

I did an update to this post that can be found here

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