Yes, it’s true that people (and especially businesses) still use fax machines, even in Japan. The market seems to be big enough to make Panasonic Japan develop what’s reportedly the world’s first fax machine that enables users to both send and receive messages without having to use paper.
Panasonic will offer several of these devices under the KX-PW 608 series [JP], which will be available in Japan January 23 (there is no announcement regarding sales outside Japan yet). Just like sending emails on a cell phone, users can use the built-in keypad to type messages.
Alternatively, it’s possible to send documents saved in Word or other formats without having to use a PC. All fax messages can be read and forwarded through a built-in screen without having to print them on paper first.
Via Nikkei [registration required, paid subscription]