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. 143
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
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[*This week, we proudly introduce our new Gadget Watch contributor,
Tokyo-based veteran tech-journalist Minoru Masutani. We also extend
our deepest gratitude to longtime contributor Max Everingham, whose
excellent research and good humor have characterized this weekly
bulletin. Thank you, Max.]
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Name: Sanyo Hapish
Category: Electric Toothbrush
Price: 2,100 yen
Release date in Japan: May 1, 2004
The Gist: Sanyo Electric Co. is releasing a new line of electric
toothbrushes this month -- the very lightest brushes currently on the
Hapish, a word that combines "teeth" in Japanese and the sound of
the brushing action ("shh?"), weighs just 29 grams, including its
battery. Hapish comes with a handy carrying case for travel and brushes
10,000 times per minute. Brushes are available in five color patterns:
blue, red, green, yellow and orange.
According to Sanyo, electric toothbrush sales rose 13.6 percent
from the previous year -- to 12.5 billion yen in Japan in the year that
ended in March 2004. Sanyo attributes the boost to an increasing number
of people who buy toothbrushes for school and work in addition to the
brush the keep at home.
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Name: Sharp Auvi
Category: Portable MD Recorder
Price: Open (but Sharp anticipates around 30,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: May 17, 2004
The Gist: Auvi provides better sound quality and longer battery life
than rival products. The portable MD recorder features a mobile 1-bit
digital amplifier and a headphone that completely separates sound from
the left ear-piece and the right ear-piece. Auvi can play music for up
to 135 hours if it uses the attached rechargeable battery and a triple-A
battery at the same time. It also comes with a remote controller, so
users can put it in front of a speaker in a big conference room and
record, stop, rewind and fast-forward remotely.
The device comes in three colors: silver, metallic blue and black. It
also has a variety of functions such as random play, favorite play,
intro play and play speed control.
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Name: Sony Network Audio System NAS-A1 and 5V LCD Display AUDP-A1
Category: Network Audio System
Price: Open (but Sony expects NAS-A1 to be 90,000 yen and
AUDP-A1 to be 20,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: May 20, 2004
The Gist: NAS-A1, dubbed "NET JUKE," is an audio system connected
to the Internet -- so it can download music and obtain information
about artists displayed on AUPD-A1. NAS-A1 also pre-installs Web
browsers and email software. Users can play music through the Internet
with a user-friendly remote controller, instead of using their PCs
and mouses. Users can also hook up NAS-A1 with either AUPD-A1 or any
kind of television. NAS-A1 is the first gadget compatible with
the Anymusic service, a music downloading service run by a joint venture
between Sony, Kenwood, Sharp, Pioneer, Victor and others
The service is to start on May 20. NAS-A1 contains a 40GB hard disk.
The hard disk pre-stores artists' names, song names and other related
information for 500,000 Japanese and foreign albums, and NAS-A1
automatically attaches such data to the music as soon as it is recorded
onto the disk. Users can also copy and paste music data from the hard
disk to a Memory Stick compatible with the Clie handheld PC, Vaio and
other portable music players.
NAS-A1 can store as many as 20,000 tunes when recorded in an 8x mode.
It also has a CD drive.
======================= MAY DAY/M'AIDEZ ================================
The MAY issue of JI magazine boasts FREE online access!**
Check it out NOW:
(**For a limited time; thereafter all archived contents will be
>> INVENTOR VENGEANCE: Leo Lewis visits wacky Dr. NaKaMats -- and
shows us the inside story of this year's inventor litigation craze.
Japan's star innovators are suddenly ... making money!
>> BIZARRE BAZAAR: NPR's Lucille Craft shows us how Japan's used-car
auctioneers just might outglamor IT and tech -- and why Yokohama has
become the new home base for selling Japan's junks.
>> PAPER SKY FLIES HIGH: Two American brothers are selling Japan to
the rest of the world.
PLUS: Join us at Anime Fair '04; Find out what McCann Erickson is doing
in Japan; Hop north to Hokkaido's forgotten wealth; Learn how to invest
in the freshly fecund Japan -- and have a whisky on us in Kansai.
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