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Beginning this week on CNN, ‘Innovate Japan’ examines how a nation famous for introducing technological wonders to the world is innovating to improve life for its aging population. From artificial intelligence and robotics to virtual reality and sensory experiences, the latest creations to come out of Japanhave the potential to change the way people live around the world.

In this special 30-minute program, CNN International correspondent Will Ripley explores Japan’s evolving technological landscape through the prism of its aging society.

Highlights of the show include:

Enhance – sensory experiences to improve wellness

Game developer Enhance created the multi-sensory Synesthesia Suit to trigger sensation and maximize the video game experience. Now with its newest product, the ‘Synesthesia X1’ the company is exploring how it can apply its breakthrough technology to the wellness field, using the power of touch, vision, sound and music to bring mindfulness to a new generation of users.

Ascent Robotics – driverless technology

Ascent Robotics is focused on overcoming the challenges of an aging society and shrinking workforce by aiming to complete a fully autonomous vehicle system by 2020. With a staff made up of mostly engineers and scientists representing more than 24 countries globally, the company is developing software which uses artificial intelligence for its driverless vehicles as well as its industrial robots.

JR East – smart trains for smoother transportation

Already renowned for their punctuality, Japan’s trains are now getting even smarter. The East Japan Railway Companyis incorporating Internet of Things technology and artificial intelligence in the maintenance of its trains, making it possible to detect changes and predict potential failures so that passengers will get to their destinations even faster.

Cyberdyne Robotics – cyborg suits for more freedom of mobility

Robotics firm Cyberdyne is on a mission to develop practical technologies that benefit society. Its robot suit HAL assists elderly people with mobility trouble by strengthening the signal pathways between the brain and muscles. It has already been approved for use in hospitals in Japan and around the world.

Virtually Able – travel adventures from home

While working as a therapist, Kenta Toshima started creating 360-degree videos to bring virtual reality travel experiences to elderly patients who are no longer able to physically visit these destinations. Along with University of Tokyo lecturer Dr. Atsushi Hiyama, he is now teaching active senior citizens how to film and create their own videos so they can share their travels and bring joy to their friends.


SOURCE CNN International

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