Carry your laptop inside your clothes with the new “Packable Parka” from Japan

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RocketNews 24 (by Oona McGee):

Leave your bag at home and fill up the pockets of this denim hoodie with all your tech instead.

These days, cafes around the world are filled with people plugged into the online realm, typing on their laptops and scrolling through pages of information on their mobile phones. While the portability of notebooks and laptops makes it easier than ever to work online outside of the home, there’s been little advancement in the ways to carry our tech goods when heading out around town. In Japan, there’s a group that’s working towards an alternative to the humble bag, and they’ve come up with an innovative parka that has all the room and durability needed to let us say goodbye to PC bags forever!

▼ The “Packable Parka” is designed for laptop storage, with a main zippered section on the front that includes smaller pockets inside to keep all sorts of stationery and equipment firmly in place.

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While the clothing is ready to be worn and filled up to go, the parka can also be folded up into a bag for times when it’s not being worn, allowing users to revert to the traditional bag-style carrying method at any time. To see how the product transforms from bag to parka, check out the short video below:

The Packable Parka design is also being used for a number of other garments designed to hold lighter materials like stationery and notebooks. To see all the designs in the range, check out the group’s campaign page on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake.

Their idea to combine storage with clothing is proving to be so popular, they’ve already surpassed their funding goal of 500,000 yen (US$4898) with 24 days remaining on their project!

Daily life in Tokyo, as an animated pixel GIF 

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Japanistas (by Pamela Drobig):

Tokyo can be chaotic, relaxing, exciting, an adventure, or plain and simply: beautiful. One pixel artist, who goes by the name 1041uuu, has created breathtakingly amazing pixel-style gifs to capture daily life in and around Tokyo.

1041uuu’s whole tumblr site is filled with animated Tokyo scenery, be it a slow and rainy day, a calm sunset behind Tokyo’s skyscrapers, or a beautiful afternoon with cherry blossoms.

The gifs are simple, the movements subtle – but that is exactly what makes the artist’s work so intriguing and unique. They wonderfully illustrate a never-sleeping city like Tokyo, that, especially to people living in the metropolis, is so much more than its landmarks and hot spots.

The longer you look at 1041uuu’s gifs, the more there is to discover. Be it some subtle movement that you didn’t noticed before, or a beautiful small detail hidden in the pixels. The images perfectly capture the symbiosis between calm day to day life and the business of the big city.

Be sure to visit 1041uuu’s tumblr and Twitter page to discover more of their work.

At SXSW, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen reveals he accidentally created the third biggest site in the world and that YouTube was initially to be a dating site

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Next Shark:

In an alternate universe, there’s probably a version of YouTube designed to match potential couples — sort of like how its founders originally intended it to be: Tinder with video.

Speaking at the South by Southwest conference on Monday, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen revealed that the popular video-sharing site was supposed to be a dating site.

We thought dating would be the obvious choice,” Chen said.

Videos wherein users would describe themselves, their match preferences and other details would serve as personal profiles. Such a service would be similar to the ‘80s-era video-dating services that were popular long before the internet.

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The idea failed to materialize in five days of that format, however, as no one uploaded a single video. This is when the founders decided to open the platform to accept all forms of video content, birthing the YouTube that we know today.

Currently, YouTube is the world’s third most-visited website and an infinite source for reaction videos, fake pranks and makeup tutorials.

Futuristic “wearable chair” exoskeleton allows you to sit while standing

If you work a job where you’re standing all day, you’ll know how much strain you can put on your feet, hips, and joints. Depending on the line of work, you may have the opportunity to sit down and give your legs a break throughout the day, but if you’re, say, a medical surgeon, you don’t always get that option.

But what if you had a chair with you at all times? What if you could sit without actually sitting? It sounds absurd, but the archelis “wearable chair” allows for just that.

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Planned and produced by Japanese company Nitto under the supervision of Chiba University’s Frontier Medical Engineering Center, archelis simply straps onto your legs, allowing the “chair” to move along with you. By bending your knees and putting your weight on the upper sections of the unit, archelis supports your body in the same way as if you were sitting, taking the strain off your tired legs and feet.

▼ Pictured: not Portal 2‘s long-fall boots

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The device is ergonomically designed using a combination of tough metal and carbon to be both durable yet is light enough to allow for comfort and ease of movement. For surgeons who need to stay standing and focused for hours on end, this could be the welcomed relief they need.

Archelis is still in development and does not yet have a set price or release date, but any updates on production will be announced on the website. While the unit was designed with medical staff in mind, we can definitely see this being used in a number of different applications, such as allowing people who have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time a little respite.

Japanese startup has created a hologram assistant to control all your devices

Established in 2014, Japanese startup vinclu Inc. is still quite young, but they’re certainly ambitious — the company just released a concept video for their hologram assistant, Gatebox, interacting with a young businessman.

Azuma Hikari, the character in the Gatebox, will talk to users, waking them up in the morning and greeting them when they come home at night. Gatebox is also designed to connect to Internet of Things (IoT) devices in your house, so you can control everything from you high-tech bath to your TV just by talking to Azuma. She can also connect to the Internet and let you know stuff like how the weather is.

The hologram device will also apparently have sensors so it can better communicate with you — and it looks like vinclu is setting up some server-side technology to handle artificial intelligence as well. Fortunately, even if Gatebox or Azuma become fully sentient and decide to murder you in your sleep, the worst they could do cause your bathtub to overflow.

Nevertheless, Gatebox probably won’t be something you buy to better control your IoT devices — Amazon’s Echo can already do that well enough, for example. The selling point for Gatebox looks to be the hologram display and the character that lives within it, which, we have to admit, could add a fun dynamic to what is basically a really nifty remote control. Of course, unlike a remote control, Azuma will actually have a personality of sorts.

You can’t buy Gatebox yet, but it looks like the company is planning to offer them via crowdfunding preorders later this year.

New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time

RocketNews 24 (by Scott Wilson):

Digital drawing tablets, despite their best efforts, have always felt different from the real thing. For many artists, note-takers, or expert doodlers, nothing beats the feeling of putting actual pen to actual paper.

But now, thanks to iSketchnote, you can write on a real piece of paper using a real pen, while still digitizing it in real-time on a tablet or PC as you draw.

iSketchnote started as a Kickstarter project by the French group ISKN in September 2013, and it quickly exceeded its modest $35,000 goal by hitting $350,000. Now, a little over a year later, it’s finally being released to the public as an alternative digital-drawing tablet.

In fact it’s not even a tablet at all; it’s just a “slate” and a pen. You can put any kind of paper that you want on top of the slate, write away with the special pen, and watch your writing or drawing get turned into a digital version in real-time via Bluetooth or USB to your tablet or PC.

Here’s a video showing everything in action. Keep in mind that this is not a digital drawing tablet – it’s just a plain piece of paper being written on with iSketchnote’s ink pen.

Samsung’s TipTalk is a smartwatch band that lets you listen to voicemails simply by touching your ear

People are skeptical when it comes to wearables because so far, all a smartwatch can do is act as an intermediate between the user and their smartphone. That is, until Samsung unveiled a piece of technology called TipTalk.

What TipTalk does is quite incredible; it sends sounds through the user’s arm (from their wrist) and then when the user places their finger on their ear, they can hear voicemail messages through the unique reverberation.

Samsung have not commented on whether this technology will be implemented in future wearables, but in a market that is slowly becoming super-saturated, it’s good to know that the technology giant has a few incredibly innovative aces up its sleeve.