App for That: A little Sticker to Get Back Home
Did you know that QR codes were a Japanese invention, or that "QR" actually stood for "quick response"? In this "App for That" segment, reporter Lemi Duncan looks at a system based on an unexpected use for them. Developed by a Japanese publisher of maps and travel guides, it's a simple but effective solution that can help your children or elderly people find their way back home when they're lost.
The system involves a sheet of stickers with QR codes. The data linked to the codes direct a means to contact the end user who bought the sheet. The waterproof stickers can be put on anything from a dog's collar to a child's keychain. Someone who finds a lost child, elderly person or dog can scan the QR code with a smartphone, which opens up an app that allows the finder to contact the family. It all works without revealing the contact details of each party, so personal info is kept safe.
Gadgets: Famous Boy Bot Becomes Your Best Bud
Artificial Intelligence is becoming more common in daily life. In Japan, communication robots are popular among the elderly as well as young children. In this "Gadgets" segment, we check out a robot developed by major publisher Kodansha and was inspired by one of Japan's most iconic robot characters: Astro Boy, the brainchild of legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka. Join our very own Matthew Masaru Barron as he finds out how this beloved fictional character has been brought to life.
Named Atom, his original Japanese name, the little robot uses both a built-in and cloud AI to do a variety of tasks from conversations to teaching languages, to fitness exercises and celebrating birthdays, to name a few. His camera sensors recognize faces, and when someone talks to him, he analyzes the voice and what was said in order to communicate. A member of Tezuka Productions believes if Tezuka were still alive, he'd feel Atom brings out the essential qualities of the character he created.