Japanese Report Claims Apple Planning ‘Gold’ iPhone X Color Option, With a Refreshed 9.7-inch iPad to Launch in Q3 2018

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Apple plans to introduce a new gold iPhone X color option in an effort to boost sales of the Face ID equipped smartphone, while a new revamped 9.7-inch iPad is set to drop in the third quarter of 2018, according to tech blog Mac Otakara.

Apple offered the iPhone X only in Silver and Space Gray at launch, so the prevailing rationale behind a new color is that it could perhaps lure new upgraders during a typically sluggish mid-season.

Image via Benjamin Geskin

As for the 9.7-inch iPad refresh, the Japanese-language tech blog reckons the sixth-generation device will go on sale in the third quarter.

Mac Otakara doesn’t provide any clues as to the sources of its information, but the iPhone X rumor tallies with another one that emerged just last week, courtesy of Benjamin Geskin. Responding to online chat about a possible new colorway, the parts leaker shared pictures of an alleged “Blush Gold” iPhone X.

With regards to the 9.7-inch iPad claim, it’s unclear if Mac Otakara is referring to an imminent low-cost 9.7-inch iPad refresh, which may include support for the Apple Pencil, or another model entirely. In December, for example, DigiTimes claimed Apple was planning to release its most affordable 9.7-inch iPad yet in late 2018.

However, Bloomberg claims the low-cost iPad refresh device will be announced at Apple’s first event of the year on Tuesday, March 27, which the company has indicated will have an educational focus. Given the theme, the launch of new iPhone colors at this event seems unlikely, though not impossible.

In March of last year, Apple introduced a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and it’s possible the company could be planning to do the same thing this year, with a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and perhaps X.

Click here for the MacRumors roundup of everything to expect at Apple’s “Let’s Take a Field Trip” educational event on March 27.

Related Roundups: iPad, iPhone X

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Gallery: Apple promotes upcoming Shinjuku store and Japanese retail expansion with vivid imagery, neon signage

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After revealing the location of a new retail store in Tokyo earlier this week, Apple is now promoting the grand opening of Apple Shinjuku with a new neon-themed video, signage, and promotional imagery on the company’s Japanese website.

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Apple to open ‘several’ new Japanese stores in 5 years, remodel existing locations

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Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts this week said the company plans a major Japanese investment that will see the opening of new retail outlets and an extensive renovation of existing locations over the next five years.
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The Morning After: Facebook exploited, useless Japanese gadgets

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Good morning there! A new week starts, and we're headed to GDC: the biggest game development event out there. At the same time, we're embarrassing ourselves with chindogu, as seen above. Also: You've heard of Fortnite right? Where did it come from? A…
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Postmodern dining with the Japanese art of useless gadgets

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The Japanese word "chindogu" covers a delightful range of terrible gadgets. It's about vaguely genius concepts, ruined either in their execution or ambition. If you've seen the baby-floor-mop onesie or the upside-down umbrella for capturing rainwater…
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Japanese Researchers Unveil Tiny, Floating, “Firefly” Light Called Luciola

Named “Luciola” after a genus of fireflies, a remarkable new light is about the size of a lighting bug and floats over waves of ultrasound. Weighing in at a minuscule 16.2 mg, each light glows red just brightly enough to read by. The ultrasonic waves that Luciola emits through 285 microspeakers are at a frequency inaudible to the human ear, allowing the light to levitate in total silence.

Japanese researchers of the Kawahara Universal Information Network Project have been working on Luciola for two years, circuit design specialist Makoto Takamiya said in an interview with Reuters. This remarkable invention is beautiful to behold but also magnificent in its capabilities. While initially, the bot may seem primarily whimsical, Luciola has the potential to be applied to everything from projection mapping to internet-of-things technologies.

“Ultimately, my hope is that such tiny objects will have smartphone capabilities and be built to float about helping us in our everyday lives in smarter ways,” Takamiya told Reuters.

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The research team believes that it will be possible to equip Luciola with temperature and movement sensors. This could allow the lights to deliver messages (traveling by ultrasonic wave, of course), work together to make moving displays, and even detect the presence of humans (something that could be applied within moving displays).

Further modifications to Luciola could give it even more capabilities, although they will take time. The researchers aim to have the tiny bot ready to bring to market in the next five to 10 years.

Hopefully, Takamiya is right, and Luciola will float into our lives, improving existing devices while expanding the horizon of what’s technologically possible — one ultrasonic wave at a time.

The post Japanese Researchers Unveil Tiny, Floating, “Firefly” Light Called Luciola appeared first on Futurism.

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HoloLens adds mixed reality to a Japanese national treasure

One of the best ways to give centuries-old artifacts a modern touch is mixed reality. The technology allows you to add interesting elements to any object without actually touching or altering it in any way. Microsoft, for instance, has helped Tokyo-b…
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Panasonic’s Let’s Note laptops are pure Japanese business distilled into a brick

If you ever find yourself on a bullet train between, say, Tokyo and Osaka at 5.37pm on a Thursday afternoon, you’ll see a lot of dudes in suits with three things on the little fold-out table: a meticulously arranged bento box, a can of Suntory Premium Malts beer, and a Panasonic Let’s Note laptop.

Let’s Note laptops don’t look like much. Well, to be precise, they look like laptops from 2002. They have super boxy, inch-thick designs, squared-off screens, giant cooling vents, optical disc drives, VGA ports, and inexplicably circular trackpads. The line dates back to 1996, and hasn’t really changed much this millennium.

The range remains ubiquitous in Japan wherever there’s a need for portable computing, however, and Panasonic is putting a…

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Smart battery leader Moixa partners with Itochu for Japanese expansion

Smart battery leader Moixa partners with Itochu for Japanese expansion

UK smart battery company Moixa has agreed a partnership with Itochu, one of Japan’s largest trading houses. The deal includes a £5 million investment to push Moixa’s AI-enabled battery systems to the global market. 

Smart batteries from London-based Moixa can be installed in homes to store electricity when it’s at its cheapest. They are designed to give customers more control over their energy use, while protecting them from price hikes and power outages, and Moixa’s GridShare technology underpins a network of smart batteries that sells excess electricity back to the grid.

Itochu, meanwhile, is a sogo shosha (a Japanese general trading company), the second largest after Mitsubishi Corporation, and works in a wide range of markets, from textiles and  chemicals to information technology and real estate.

It already sells smart batteries, but Moixa’s GridShare technology has captured its interest. This is what enables Moixa customers to profit from their increased energy efficiency, since electricity stored during periods of low pricing or topped up by solar panels is sold back to the national grid, with a share of the profits going to each member of the network.

Read more: Japanese companies form alliance to accelerate smart factories

GridShare technology goes east

Itochu will have sold more than 6,000 units its ‘Smart Star’ home battery system by the end of March and plans to install GridShare as standard on its products by the summer of 2018.

Japan leads the way in terms of domestic energy storage. More than 125,000 smart systems were sold in 2016. Moixa and Itochu expect this number to exceed 500,000 in 2020. Japan also sits third in the global table of electric vehicle adoption. 

Koji Hasegawa, general manager of Itochu’s industrial chemicals department, said: “Moixa has pioneered battery management, and we are proud to be investing and working together to target the rapidly growing energy storage market in Japan.”

“Moixa’s GridShare will help our customers get more value for their home batteries and will offer solutions to help our partners manage Japan’s low-carbon transition.”

Read more: Brunel scientists develop flexible, wearable 3D-printed battery

Moixa’s ‘Virtual Power Plant’

The Moixa-Itochu partnership is a step towards developing Japan’s ‘Virtual Power Plant’. This forward-looking business model is based on making sure that distributed energy sources – including domestic solar panels and smart battery storage – are controlled in an integrated manner.

Moixa already has significant interest from stakeholders in Japan. Last year, it received investment from utility provider Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). It also has a partnership with Hitachi to develop a smart energy network in the Isles of Scilly.  

Moixa CEO Simon Daniel sees the Itochu partnership as the next step in his company’s global expansion. “Itochu is a major player in the global battery market and this partnership provides a real opportunity for us to expand our business in Japan and provide GridShare technology to many global battery companies,” he said.

“GridShare optimises the performance of home batteries by learning patterns of household energy use and solar generation, and adjusting to local weather and energy price signals. It can also help customers make more money by using their spare battery capacity to provide services that help utilities and electricity networks balance supply and demand.”

Read more: Metals shortages pose little risk to future battery production, MIT finds

The post Smart battery leader Moixa partners with Itochu for Japanese expansion appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Marvel’s editor-in-chief apologizes for pretending to be a Japanese man

Marvel’s current editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski apologized today for writing Marvel comic books in 2005 and 2006 while pretending to be a Japanese man named Akira Yoshida. “I’m truly sorry for the pain, anger, and disappointment I caused over my poor choice of pseudonym,” he told The Atlantic today.

Cebulski first started pitching to comic book companies as Yoshida in 2003, when he was already an editor at Marvel and thus not allowed to write comics there. When another Marvel editor, unaware of his real identity saw “Yoshida’s” work on comics like Conan and asked him for pitches, Cebulski nonetheless accepted — in character.

He would go on to script several Marvel miniseries that included numerous Japanese characters and themes. Marvel…

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