J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
G A D G E T W A T C H
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 133
Thursday, February 26, 2004
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)
Temple University Japan will hold an information session for its
top-ranked Executive MBA program at its Minami-Azabu campus on
February 28 at 11 a.m. This will be the final information session for
classes beginning in May 2004.
Applications are due April 1. The Financial Times ranks Temple as one
of the top EMBA programs in the world.
For more information, please call: 0120-86-1026, or e-mail:
============================= EVENT ==================================
"5th Annual Japan's Int'l Banking & Securities System Forum 2004"
Date: March 18 - 19
Location: Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE)
This two day forum provides a better understanding of front, middle
and back office systems with its concentrated agenda. Invited guest
speakers will give their domestic & global outlook on STP/ Banking
& securities initiatives.
Also, leading solution providers will be presenting free Workshop
sessions presenting products & services in designing and implementing
a front/middle/back office strategy.
Tel 81-3-5805-6070, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gmacjapan.com
Name: Iomega Micro Mini USB 2.0
Price: 6,800 yen
Release date in Japan: Feb. 19, 2004
The Gist: Iomega's new toy is a USB storage device that's the size of
a paper clip! Um, that's about it, really, but of course it's only the
length of a paper clip and not as thin, at 17.5x9.5x38.1mm and
weighing 9g. The standard model has 64MB of Flash RAM on board
(there's a 128MB model out in April, if you can bear the excitement
for that long), writes at 1MB a second and reads at a nippier 8MB a
second. The twisting cover, er, twists out of the way for insertion
into a USB port, and the cover itself can be switched between blue,
black and orange versions for that essential touch of
"personalization." The best bit of all this, however, is that Iomega's
VP of mobile and desktop solutions has been quoted as saying, in
reference to the Micro Mini device, that it is "as fun to wear as it
is to use." And that really is all there is to say.
More info: http://www.iomega.com/jp/
70 Million Japanese Web Users
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Webproject.jp offers a one-stop Japanese web localization solution for
foreign enterprises. We employ the right resources and provide a
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redesign, application development (all technologies), native copy
writing and native user testing. All projects managed in English.
Visit for more information.
Name: JR Tsubame
Category: PC peripheral
Price: 4,200 yen
Release date in Japan: March 2004
The Gist: Towards the end of March, there are going to be one hell of
a lot of very happy train-spotting PC geeks in Japan land. For JR
Kyushu has decided to release a computer mouse in the shape of a --
wait for it -- train! Yes! But not just any train: the JR Kyushu
Tsubame 800 series Shinkansen, no less. For just over 4,000 of your
Japanese pennies, the "Tsubame Mouse" is yours to own and treasure,
sporting the company's vanguard 800 series Shinkansen logo. The mouse
is of the two-button-plus-wheel optical variety, scanning at 800dpi
and, as if it matters, it comes with a 1.5m cable. On installation,
the serious Shinkansen fan can change his (I'm assuming they're going
to be male, here, so go with me) regular, boring old Windows cursor/
pointer to a cool Tsubame motif, which looks much like a Swift (the
bird). Best of all, though, the headlights of the Shinkansen come on
when you move the mouse, and they blink when you get mail!
More info: http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp
Stay Competitive - Relocate
How does a company cut costs without slashing its workforce? If it
operates in Tokyo -- the world's MOST expensive city -- relocating
part of its operation can save money fast.
Wakayama offers software development divisions, cheaper offices, lower
personnel costs, and subsidies and support from the prefectural
government. To find out more, visit
Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo - March Seminar
Ms. Ruriko Nomura is the President of Hopes Inc., a frontier company
aiming to establish an educational consulting field. Her presentation
is entitled, "Starting a Business Without Capital." Come out and learn
about the opportunities in the Japanese business world that she
Name: Aiwa AZ-FS256
Release date in Japan: delayed -- boo!
The Gist: Fed up with buying an MP3 player, opening the box to find
those tatty in-ear earphone things and having to traipse all the way
back over to Akihabara to pick up a pair of decent headphones for your
new toy? Yes? Well, if you pick up Sony's Aiwa-branded AZ-FS256 gadget
next time you're there, you won't have that problem because the AZs
are a pair of headphones with a built-in MP3 player! Bargain!
The funky new 'fones also house an internal FM tuner and LCD display,
but you're going to have to be the proud owner of some seriously wonky
eyes if you want to wear them and read the display at the same time.
Sadly -- and the reason for this note on the phones this week -- the
release of the AZ-FS256 is going to be delayed until April, rather
than last month, due to Sony encountering more difficulties than
expected with the FM tuner bit of the gadget.
More info: http://www.jp.aiwa.com/
Name: Olympus PT-023
Category: Digital camera accessories
Price: 31,000 yen
Release date in Japan: April 2004
The Gist: The PT-023 is, in essence, a waterproof casing for the
absolutely luvverly CAMEDIA C-8080 Wide Zoom digicam (the eight-
megapixel one). Coming with a bright red finish that you'd think is
more likely to scare away the little fishies than put them at ease
while you snap away, the PT-023 will repel the nasty, gadget-
unfriendly invading water droplets for up to 40m but weighs a hefty
1.5kg -- lucky your Newtonian physics get all messed up when you're in
There's a waterproof casing available for the CAMEDIA C-770 and 760
cameras, too, if you haven't sprung for the eight-megapixel monster.
Subscribers: 5,183 as of February 26, 2004
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