Japan has been at the forefront of technological advancements for decades now.
So much of the tech we use on a daily basis are likely to have its origins link back to Japanese innovation.
That calculator on your smartphone?
You can trace that back to Japan, as the pocket calculator was invented there.
Listening to music on the go?
Thank the walkman for that, also made in Japan.
We could go on forever, but the point is, Japan has long been a giant in the world of tech.
But what can we expect from them in the future?
Tech is becoming more advanced each year, but with so many countries aiming to be on top, will Japan fall behind?
Let’s dive in and discover what makes Japan the king of tech and how far it can go in the future.
Over the decades, Japan has given us some of the most advanced technologies which have changed countless industries and improved our lives vastly.
From transportation to video gaming, nearly every industry has seen the impact of Japanese tech. Perhaps the most famous of all is Nintendo, a company which kicked off the phenomenon of home video games. Their first console was the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which sold over 60 million units and brought us hit video game franchises such as Super Mario Bros and Legend of Zelda.
From then, Nintendo was unstoppable, releasing the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, bringing video games into the palms of our hands for the first time ever, and going on to release more innovative consoles and games which shaped the industry into what it is today.
However, a few years ago Nintendo was facing a slump; they had fallen under the shadow of other console giants such as the Xbox and PlayStation – and the future wasn’t looking promising. However, the release of mobile gaming app Pokemon Go! and the Nintendo Switch console have breathed new life into the company and now their future looks bright once more.
Japanese tech goes much further than entertainment systems though. There are increasingly advanced technologies being made which could change the way we communicate and work with others around the world.
Logbar is a Japanese wearable tech company constantly working to make tech an integral part of our lives. Their creation, the Ili is a wearable translation device which can translate words in English, Japanese and Chinese in an instant. It doesn’t require an internet connection so no matter where you are, it will still work even if you’re not on wi-fi or 4G. Reminiscent of the “babelfish” we read about in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this device could completely transform the way we interact with people, changing the way we travel, make friends and do business. It is still a long way off from being able to translate every language, but it is well on its way to changing the future of communication.
What does the future hold?
The future of tech in Japan is still incredibly promising. Of course, other countries are getting more and more advanced with tech. For example, the American company Tesla is currently shaking up the whole industry with their groundbreaking inventions. However, Japanese companies and consumers remain some of the most tech-forward in the world. For example, Bitcoin has recently taken the world by storm, yet there are still many places in the world who are very resistant to the cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, Japan has embraced the rise of Bitcoin; the worlds largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt Gox, is based in Tokyo, and businesses from airlines to Bitcoin only casinos like Bitcasino have seen huge popularity, so it is only a matter of time before we see Japan become the Bitcoin capital of the world.
It can also be said that Japanese tech is out of this world… literally. This year, the Japanese government announced that they are launching a massive $940 million fund to support space startups over the next 5 years in a bid to double the Japanese space industry. As it stands, there are currently less than 20 space startups in Japan, so this investment scheme is seen as a crucial step to boost the industry and encourage space innovation.
Time will tell just how advanced the tech industry in Japan will become. However, the future does look very promising. From video games to Bitcoin to space exploration, there is no limit to what Japanese technology can achieve.