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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
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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)

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Narendra Modi Concludes Japan-US-India Partnership Successful

He said that the three leaders felt that such meetings were useful and they should continue on the margins of subsequent G-20 meetings

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Modi asks MPs to utilize winter session well, wikimedia commons

Terming the India-US-Japan partnership as “Jai” (literal: victory), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the partnership between the three nations would go a long way in ensuring world peace and prosperity.

“If I put it differently, Japan, America and India is Jai. In Hindi, ‘Jai’ means success,” Narendra Modi said after the first-ever trilateral meet with US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here.

“In a way, Jai (the trilateral meet) is a message of success and we are making a new beginning. Our arrangement I believe, will play a big role in promoting world peace and prosperity,” Modi said.

Narendra Modi said it was a “good occasion” as the three nations dedicated to democratic values met to discuss how to promote peace, prosperity and stability in the world.

“I am glad both US and Japan are our strategic partners. Both the leaders (Turmp and Abe) have been my good friends. It is a good opportunity to work together.

Briefing the media about the meeting Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that it was a “very warm meeting” and Trump and Abe complimented Prime Minister Modi for the “reforms and development that he has done”.

Donald Trump, democrats, government
U.S. President Donald Trump. VOA

“The three leaders exchanged views on the Indo-Pacific. They all agreed that free, open, inclusive and rules-based order is essential for the regional peace and prosperity. The Prime Minister offered some ideas on how we should take forward on the concept of Indo-Pacific and how the three countries can work together to promote this concept,” Gokhale said.

He said that Modi felt it was necessary that the three countries reach out to all the stakeholders to explain the benefits of Indo-Pacific strategy and their advantages to these countries.

“The leaders also agreed to the central role of Asean and they also agreed to work on maritime and connectivity issues and to synergise efforts in this regard,” Gokhale said.

He said that the three leaders felt that such meetings were useful and they should continue on the margins of subsequent G-20 meetings.

Also Read- Collaboration Helps to Broaden Horizon: Badshah

“Overall, there was a very positive atmosphere and the outcome of this first trilateral has been very encouraging. Prime Minister Modi and the other two leaders were pleased with this outcome,” Gokhale added.

Earlier, making an intervention at the first session of the G-20 meet on global economy, future of work and women’s empowerment, Modi highlighted some of the flagship programmes of his government undertaken to modernise economy and promote inclusive growth, such as Jan Dhan Yojana, MUDRA Yojana and Start-up India. (IANS)