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InnoUvators | The Next Wave of Strange Science & Unusual Technology

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InnoUvators Around the Web

2021/12/22 Hiroshi Egusa was selected for the World’s Top 2% Scientists by Stanford University! (Japanese)
2021/10/22 Marina Fujiwara was selected for Forbes JAPAN's 30 Under 30!
2021/10/19 Yosuke Furusawa received the Startups & University Category Semi Grand Prix Award!

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Meet our InnoUvators

Find out More About Our Esteemed InnoUvators

The Voice Shower

2020 Disruptive Challenger, Tiger Lee

■The Voice Shower Created an installation that allows users to bathe in "voices". A speaker is built into a showerhead, where the user can shower in "voices" like they would a real shower. He examines how people feel and what effects they get from 'bathing in' or 'seeing' voices instead of 'hearing them', as one would typically do. Through this work, he proposes new ways of using the "voice" and its possibilities.     ■ Experimental Proof University brain wave experiments and expert opinion suggested that voice showers that have the voices of people we hold close relationships with can have healing effects and may even be useful for previously unsolvable medical treatments.

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Development of an "Fluidized Bed Interface" Using the Fluidized Bed Phenomenon to Liquefy Granular Material

2017 Disruptive Challenger, Yasushi Matoba

By introducing a pressurized fluid to a container filled with a particulate substance, the substance can be liquefied. This phenomenon is called a “fluidized bed" and has been used in many industrial fields for things such as incinerators, but has not been used in interface applications that humans directly get involved with. For example, by using sand as the powder/granular material and air as the fluid, and then projecting an image on the surface of the sand, you can create something that can walk on or swim through the sand at the flip of a switch. We study how to use various combinations of particulate and liquid substances to develop new, never-before-experienced interfaces that allow free control of solid and liquid phases.

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Yorishiro: Creating a New Form of Expression by Breathing Life into Clothing

2020 Disruptive Challenger, Shodai Kayama

A coat hanger-like device that breathes movement into clothing is currently being developed and implemented for use in society. This technology, with its formality, endearing charm, and quick movements can be used to bring out the hidden life that clothes already hold inside to create a new type of social robot or retail store display. Whether it’s commercial or private use, this product allows users to utilize their own creativity and uncover unique worldviews in their own everyday lives all while widening the bond between people and clothing.

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The Solar Powered Flower, "Hikaruka"

2020 Disruptive Challenger, Sonoe Hanazono

Similar to how plants undergo synthesis, the solar-powered plant generates electricity in its leaves, stores it in the roots and it glows at night when it blooms.  Attached to the leaves are solar panels which efficiently generate power through light. This works even indoors and can use both natural light from a window and even artificial light. An illuminance sensor is attached to a leaf, when the room darkens at night, the flower blooms and lights up. When morning comes and the sun shines in, the flower closes and the lights go out. In other words, it functions as a nightlight.  At the same time, as a plant-shaped robot, it is being developed so that people can enjoy a new form of communication that has never existed before. For example, like taking care of a real plant, humans can give the device a "shower of light" to give extra electricity. Even if there is little sunlight on rainy days, the flower can still be made to bloom.  In the future, the goal is to make the device more compact and foldable to deliver a bouquet of light to those areas without electricity. 

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Understanding Cinderella Technology's Visual Communication Among Women Using Selfie Image Analysis

2015 Disruptive Challenger, Yuka Kubo

In the real world, individuals are often protected by organizations, while in the virtual world, individuals are exposed and dangerous. However, there are many young women in Japan who have enjoyed a virtual world with few physical and social constraints and have created real dreams with success. In the old days, "Hiragana" was used in Japan and "Emoji" and "Selfie" have seen rise in the Internet age. Japanese young women have a track record of creating simple and universal communication regardless of the difficulties they faced. The task is to observe, model, and analyze the communication of young Japanese women who have succeeded in successfully crossing the virtual world and the real world from two approaches: fieldwork and data analysis on the Internet. We will extract the rules of their communication quantitatively and design a new communication technology that reconstructs them.

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2016 Disruptive Challenger, Akira Nakayasu

By combining the animatronics technology used in movies and the like with the kinetic surface system, the creation of expressions such as CG images is realized. The feature of this technology is to pursue an expression in which a large number of constituent elements work together organically and beautifully. By linking this with a three-dimensional structure, a three-dimensional media having a dynamic expression is created. We believe that this technology will apply to robots, interfaces, and entertainment. --Development and application of soft actuators focusing on the expressive power of biological movements. Soft actuators are highly non-linear systems and are known for being difficult to control. On the other hand, if we focus only on the 'expressiveness' movement, it becomes organic and biological, making it is possible to realize a smooth movement seen difficult with a motor drive. We are working on the development of various systems to take advantage of these biological movements. Currently, we are developing a kinetic surface system and joint system, aiming to apply it to artworks and a ball-jointed doll drive. We are also developing a learning toolkit that allows you to easily use soft actuators in your own work. The movement of the soft actuator piques curiosity. We are aiming to develop a toolkit that can be easily used by children and to quickly create a wide variety of different things from their ideas.

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A Computerized Earring

2014 Disruptive Challenger, Kazuhiro Taniguchi

Using ears that are said to be functional until the end, even if they are older or have a problem with their body, they say, "It's fun to use", researching and developing an earring-type computer that satisfies the following conditions: "Relax, take care of your health, and move your heart." At INNO-vation, we are studying a function that is not yet developed that can be mounted on the earpiece-type computer and that can be used to sense and control the human five senses.

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Development of a Unit Module for Three-Dimensional Object Modeling Varying in Color due to Gaze Direction and Time

2016 Disruptive Challenger, Jun Fujiki

This is the development of a unit module device that presents different luminescent colors to the viewer according to the viewer's viewing direction and time. By constructing a three-dimensional object with this module device like Lego blocks, it is possible to model a three-dimensional object whose surface color changes according to the line of sight and the passage of time. This makes it possible to create new textures in navigation systems, digital signs, and 3D modeling that present different moving images depending on the line of sight. In this research, we aim to develop a module that plays the role of atoms that determine the intrinsic material properties of three-dimensional objects.

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2022/06/27 19:30

Shinpei Ogawa

The Steth♡scope: Bringing Innovation to Telemedicine and Diagnostic Support (Part 1)

The Steth♡scope goes beyond what you think of traditional stethoscopes, using AI to analyze EKGs and heartbeats.

Its original version, the Super Stethoscope, was selected for the 2017 INNO-vation Program’s Disruptive Challenge. In part 1, we’ll ask its creator Shimpei Ogawa about its development and the business he created.

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The Steth♡scope: Bringing Innovation to Telemedicine and Diagnostic Support (Part 1)

2022/06/20 19:30

Makoto Morishita

AR Camera App ARama! Turns People Into Interactive Objects (Part 3)

Creator of the AR camera app ARama!, explains that “play” is at the heart of everything he does.

Even after creating ARama!, he continued his work on making a fun-focused system that would allow users to actively participate in the creative process.

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AR Camera App ARama! Turns People Into Interactive Objects (Part 3)

2022/06/13 19:30

Morishita Makoto

AR Camera App ARama! Turns People Into Interactive Objects (Part 2)

During his time in the INNO-vation Program, Makoto Morishita’s challenge was brushing up his AR camera app ARama!

He set out to conquer the problem surrounding the user-friendliness of the app, as he found it to be hard for people to understand the technology if he didn’t first explain it to them.

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AR Camera App ARama! Turns People Into Interactive Objects (Part 2)
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What is InnoUvators?

InnoUvators are individuals in society that have a mindset of continually undertaking challenges without fear of failure.

They are the creators of "something new from nothing," forming and implementing original ideas without being bound by preconceptions. In Japan, there are efforts to find and support such InnoUvators. This site introduces those visionaries, and the technologies born of their challenges.
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