Helping the license-less elderly get around
Giving up driving after decades can be a big problem for the elderly, but new, easier-to-use mobility scooters and community shuttle services -- some that even use autonomous driving technology -- are helping an aging population get around.
Making paper from stone
Limex is technically paper, but it is not made from wood and uses no water to produce. And now the limestone-and-polymer material is ready to be used in many applications where ordinary pulp-based paper just doesn't cut it.
Relax! It's Premium Friday
The push by government and businesses to get people in Japan to leave work early one Friday a month is just getting started, but many companies are already working on ways to make "Premium Friday" work, both for employees and communities.
Coutermeasures against cyber attacks
The Internet of Things can be a buffet for thieves. Devices to protect such things as cars from being hacked or servers being attacked have been slow to materialize, but companies across Japan are working on it, and discovering innovative solutions.
Teleworking transforms workstyles
More companies in Japan are discovering the benefits of teleworking, in which employees can work from home or other locations. And often, it allows people to better communicate with each other than if they were all in the same office together.
Seniors get back to work
Not all retirees want to be retired, it's just an issue of finding suitable work. And several dispatch companies are finding solutions that not only help seniors use their skills, but also help younger workers perform better.
Putting professinals in the prefectures
It can be hard to convince big-city professionals to move to the countryside, but companies and local organizations are hitting on the right combinations of skill matching and job satisfaction that is helping far-flung find the right talent.
Benefiting from three days off a week
One of the problems with giving employees an extra day a week off is that workers have a hard time not worrying about their work, but some companies are experimenting with ways for stress-free extra time off.
3D mapping the forest
Laser mapping, 3D imaging and drones are changing the world of forestry, as technologies gather and put together in ways no human can -- a much-needed addition to an industry that has a severe shortage of workers.
Made-in-Japan metal goes global
Cobarion, a new metal alloy developed by Tohoku University, is becoming recognized outside of Japan as a jewelry-quality alternative for people with nickel allergies. The goal now is to convince jewelers and customers on the material.
Flat-rate services take hold
Monthly toy deliveries and bottomless coffees are just some of the services popping up that use flat-rate fees. And though many of these ideas are not terribly profitable yet, they carry great potential to help small businesses take off.
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