Archive for Technology

Vending Machines

Vending machines are everywhere in Japan. Most vending machines you find serve either food (usually noodles or icecream) or drinks (coffee, tea, water, fruit, energy, and beer). All the vending machines look very clean and are similar in appearance. Prices of things in the vending machines vary from 100 Yen to 1000 Yen. Vending machines are not limited to just food and drinks though, you can find assorted trinkets from them also. The Japanese also use the vending machines in their restaurants to improve efficiency. When you walk in a vending machine restaurant they have a set number of meals that you can order from listed on a vending machine. You put in the amount of money required for the food and can choose to have the food prepared for take out or for in the restaurant. After you order from the machine you get a receipt which you take to your seat. Someone comes and takes your receipt from you and after a few minutes your food is ready. This is a very fast and efficient style, a little impersonal but interesting. Vending machines are a commonplace throughout Japan and are a cultural norm.

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DNP: AR

DNP stands for the Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. We visited the company and they had some interesting things to show us. They specialize in displaying graphics, either computer or paper. They showed us a lot of technologies so I’ll only talk about one in detail that I thought was the most important and possibly beneficial to know about. This technology is called AR (Augmented Reality). AR technology is based off a printed square that has specific patterns within it that all tell the computer something. What the computer does with it is that it takes those specific patterns, looks at them, and then produces something on your screen, usually a 3D image. You can use a webcam to interpret the symbol or you can use a previously taken photo of the symbol to use the technology. A really cool example they used was for a car magazine. You would turn the page and show the webcam the different symbols on the pages and according to what page you were on they had different animations of the car driving on the screen or the inside of the car being shown. AR allows for representations of 3D objects to be represented on a screen by a symbol.