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Suzuki launches Made in India Baleno in Japan

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New Delhi: Japanese automobile company Suzuki Motor Corporation on Wednesday launched the Made in India Baleno in Japan, said its Indian subsidiary Maruti SuzukiIndia Ltd.

Maruti Suzuki India said the Baleno model is rolled out only in India at its Manesar facility in Haryana.

Since its Indian launch last year, Maruti Suzuki India has sold over 38,000 units of Baleno cars in domestic market and plans to export it to more than 100 countries, the company said.

“A landmark moment like this is a true testimony to the success of Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign. Launch of ‘Made in India’ Baleno in Japan is a proud moment for all of us.

“This reaffirms Maruti Suzuki’s manufacturing potential and growing importance of Maruti Suzuki India Limited in Suzuki Motor Corporation’s global business strategies. I am confident our Baleno would be well accepted by Japanese customers as well,” managing director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said. (IANS) (Image Courtesy:rushlane.com)

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Tech And Entertainment Industries Chase After Realistic Face Masks From Japan

Kitagawa said he works with clients carefully to ensure his products will not be used for illicit purposes.

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Face masks
REAL-f Co. President Osamu Kitagawa holds a super-realistic face mask at his factory in Otsu, western Japan. VOA

Super-realistic face masks made by a tiny company in rural Japan are in demand from the domestic tech and entertainment industries and from countries as far away as Saudi Arabia.

The 300,000-yen ($2,650) masks, made of resin and plastic by five employees at REAL-f Co., attempt to accurately duplicate an individual’s face down to fine wrinkles and skin texture.

Company founder Osamu Kitagawa came up with the idea while working at a printing machine manufacturer.

But it took him two years of experimentation before he found a way to use three-dimensional facial data from high-quality photographs to make the masks, and started selling them in 2011.

Face Masks
Super-realistic face masks are displayed at factory of REAL-f Co. in Otsu, western Japan. VOA

The company, based in the western prefecture of Shiga, receives about 100 orders every year from entertainment, automobile, technology and security companies, mainly in Japan.

For example, a Japanese car company ordered a mask of a sleeping face to improve its facial recognition technology to detect if a driver had dozed off, Kitagawa said.

“I am proud that my product is helping further development of facial recognition technology,” he added. “I hope that the developers would enhance face identification accuracy using these realistic masks.”

Kitagawa, 60, said he had also received orders from organizations linked to the Saudi government to create masks for the king and princes.

Face masks
Face off: Realistic masks made in Japan find demand from tech, car firms. 

“I was told the masks were for portraits to be displayed in public areas,” he said.

Kitagawa said he works with clients carefully to ensure his products will not be used for illicit purposes and cause security risks, but added he could not rule out such threats.

Also Read: Women In India Turn to Technology to Stay Safe From Harassment

He said his goal was to create 100 percent realistic masks, and he hoped to use softer materials, such as silicon, in the future.

“I would like these masks to be used for medical purposes, which is possible once they can be made using soft materials,” he said. “And as humanoid robots are being developed, I hope this will help developers to create [more realistic robots] at a low cost.” (VOA)