Author: Tim Romero

83: These Japanese Bio-Hackers Are Growing Affordable Meat in A Lab – Shojinmeat

Growing our meat in a lab or factory has been a science fiction staple for decades, but much like jetpacks, it has never quite worked out in practice — at least not at scale. Yuki Hanyu and his team at Shojinmeat, however, are changing that. Actually, scientists have been growing muscle tissue in labs for more than 100 years, but Shojinmeat has developed techniques that bring the cost down to less than one 1,000th of traditional approaches. Now, that still leaves it too expensive for most commercial applications, but Yuki explains how his team (and others) will bring the...

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82: How Virtual Reality is Changing Surgery in Japan – Holoeyes

Many VR startups are a solution is search of a problem, but Holoeyes is already in use at hospitals around Japan. Although the medical industry is one the most highly regulated, conservative and hard to disrupt, Holoeyes has made inroads by solving a very specific problem for surgeons. Today we sit down with Naoji Taniguchi, CEO of Holoeyes, and talk about the steps his startup had to take to sell into the medical market in Japan and to win over traditionally conservative doctors. Holoeyes builds up virtual reality models of organs from CT scans, and lets doctors analyze and discuss these...

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81: Japan’s Laundry Folding Robot Is Taking Over Your Closet – Seven Dreamers

It’s often surprising to discover which problems are hard for AI. We hear stories about artificial intelligence being better than the most skilled humans at go, chess, Jeopardy, and better than many at driving a car, and we assume that computers will be as smart as we are very soon. Then we discover how hard it is for AI to fold the laundry. Shin Sakane and his team at Seven Dreamers have been working on this particular problem for 12 years, and they are now rolling out the first commercially available laundry-folding robot. They will be first to the...

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80: How A Failing Music Startup in Japan Pivoted to Global Success – Nana

It’s hard to make money with music apps. The competition is intense, and most people simply are not willing to pay much for music apps; either because music is something they only do casually or because if it’s something they do professionally, they probably don’t have money. Akinori Fumihara of Nana, however, is succeeding despite the odds. Nana is a collaborative music creation app, where different users upload and submit different tracks to a song, which can be edited and remixed by others to create an unlimited number of arrangements. Today Nana has a highly engaged global user-base that...

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79: The Missing Link in The Internet of Things Ecosystem – Soracom

Soracom is one of those rare Japanese startups that has the potential to become a major global player and to change the way Internet of Things devices work. The real deployment bottleneck in the Internet of Things is not the hardware or the software, but the connectivity. There are still relatively few inexpensive, flexible and scalable ways that IoT devices can transmit and receive data. Cellular connectivity is expensive, and WiFi is largely limited to stationary devices in homes and offices. Today we sit down with Ken Tamagawa, CEO of Soracom, who explains his solution to this problem, and it’s...

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