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. 138
Thursday, March 31, 2004
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your
Name: Panasonic TH-LB10NT
Price: Approx 417,900 yen
Release date in Japan: April 20, 2004
The Gist: The TH-LB10NT projector is a high-flying executive's wet dream. In a nutshell,
it allows the real time wireless sending of images from to up to four different computers
over to the lovely little machine, which will then ・wait for it ・project those images
onto the big screen for you. That's a world's first, folks! An A4-sized unit, the
TH-LB10NT LCD data projector utilises the IEEE 802.11b standard and is set to put an
end to all that tiresome boardroom vying for attention and mental "airtime" because
you can all zap your images up onto the whiteboard at the same time, splitting the
screen four ways! Huzzah! Your boss won't know which way to look. Or, if it's
obvious which one of you is most important, that person can project his or her
PowerPoint slide as the main image, with three others aligned beneath it, like the
subservient, whining minions they are. Such power-struggle shenanigans are
controlled via the projector's built-in "Wireless Manager" launcher application,
with the projector putting up an 80-inch screen at a distance of 2.4m at a contrast
ratio of 500:1 and 2000 ANSI lumens.
The TH-LB10NT also has lots of helpful "Speedy" functions designed to save precious
seconds for the busy executive, including Speed Start, Direct Power Off, Auto AV
switching, Auto Setup, Input Auto Setup and so on. And there's a maximum transmission
range of 100m, so if you're super important, you can have your peasants sit in the
stuffy, stinky old meeting room while you kick back with a cigar and glass of wine,
clicking the slides along from the comfort of your penthouse office as you ogle the
cute Ols that pass by. Technology is a marvellous thing.
More info: (short) http://matsushita.co.jp/
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>> ANIME ATTACKS: Disney's divorce from digital animator Pixar
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>> TRUE LIES: A new book about the M-fund, a secret cache of cash
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wizardry, consumer surveys and much, much more.
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Name: Inax Satis D-218S
Category: Bathroom wizardry
Price: 300,000 yen
Release date in Japan: April 1, 2004
The Gist: Despite the release date of this next product, I don't think it's a
joke. Richard Sadowsky has helped me out on a slow news week by bringing my attention
to the Satis model MP3 toilet from Inax. Releasing under the ingenious and, we have
no reason to doubt entirely accurate, concept slogan of "world's smallest and most
satisfying," the new "shower toilet" features integral left and right stereo speakers
so that it can, right out of the box, play soothing classical music to its occupant
(rider? user? inhabitant?) as said occupant goes about his or her business. It plays,
as Richard puts it himself: "Liszt, Bach, Chopin and Mendelssohn - as well as bird sounds,
the sound of a murmuring stream, koto, insects (presumably cicada), and "shishiodoshi."
The machine has an SD memory card slot, presumably so you can go off and record your
favorite kicking tunes to relieve yourself to, and the entire experience, say Inax,
is intended to heighten the sense of relaxation.
But if I have any details wrong, don't blame me, blame Richard! That's right! He tried
to help me and now I'm giving him up! But good luck with finding him ・the man lives
on a remote Japanese island. (Don't worry Rich, I won't tell them it's actually a
short drive from Kobe. Oh... darn!) The Satis comes in seven different colors, too,
if that's important to you.
More info: www.satis.jp
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Name: Creative Sound Blaster Digital Music LX
Price: Open (but approx 4,980 yen)
Release date in Japan: early April 2004
The Gist: An external PC sound card for Windows, the Creative Sound Blaster
Digital Music LX is a USB (version 1.1 ・boo!) audio "solution" that features
synchro recording and "Smart Recorder" software that can record to a schedule
you fix in advance. The hook here is that the new Sound Blaster is very cheap
・or "inexpensive" as the marketing folk would have it ・priced deliberately to
encourage less spendthrift PC owners to get decent audio for their rigs. The card
can handle recording radio transmissions as well and can convert between MP3, WMA
and WAV files with the mystifyingly-named "Audio Converter," sucking power from
the USB bus. Sockets include RCA lines in & out, S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital
Interface) digital to digital and a headphone socket. Its dimensions are 119 x 69 x
26mm in case you're worried about desk space and amateur PC hardware-lifters will
no doubt be disappointed to hear that it only weighs a 116g ・not even enough
for a decent forearm workout.
More info: http://japan.creative.com/
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