Japanese technology: small gadgets, big influence
By Marina Kamimura
CNN Tokyo Bureau Chief
January 6, 2000
Web posted at: 5:33 p.m. EST (2233 GMT)
TOKYO (CNN)-- The land of the rising sun has developed a reputation during the past half-century for being a veritable paradise for technological products and gadgets.
Think Japan and think of popular, personal products such as the Walkman, high-tech electronics, a gamut of developments involving computer wizardry, and even the karaoke sing-along.
Given the Japanese penchant for the robotic and the small, it's probably not surprising that the Japanese developed miniature cameras to allow physicians to probe deep inside the human body.
Along the way, the Japanese earned a reputation for liking the wacky as well: virtual pets, a bra with sensors for flying objects, even a washing machine to clean humans.
Some critics have said much of Japanese technology lacks true ingenuity and is instead a modification of discoveries made by others. Japanese companies let their record of innovative products speak for itself.
As the century draws to a close, even the Japanese admit their tardiness in embracing what some have called the greatest technological innovation of this century -- the Internet.
Still, few would dispute the large role Japanese technology has played in shaping the world as it enters the next millennium.
CNN Interactive: Analysis
CNN Interactive: World
Japan Ministry of International Trade and Industry
Agency of Industrial Science and Technology
Japanese Patent Office
Japan Science and Technology Agency
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.