Japan Inc Magazine Presents:
G A D G E T W A T C H
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 260
Monday November 13, 2006
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@@The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Name: iRiver Japan S10
Category: Portable audio
Price: 1GB: 16,980 yen; 2GB: 19,980 yen
Release date in Japan: November 17, 2006
The Gist: The "S10" from iRiver Japan is what the company
calls "Memorial Stamp-sized." It is officially positioned
as a wearable portable audio player, and it includes a set
of earphones integrated with the neck strap. The length of
the cable can be adjusted. One particularly neck strap
friendly feature of the device is called "Pivot Function,"
where the screen image can be flipped so you can see it more
Another interesting feature of the player is its universal
jack -- a single jack allows for USB 2.0 interfacing,
recharging, and your headphones. Of course, this also means
you cannot do any of those activities at the same time, which
is sort of a downer. Still, with an 8 hour battery life, you
won't find yourself needing to charge the player every single
day if you only use it for the daily commute.
As is common with many portable audio players these days,
the S10 includes a small color screen. The screen can
display as many as 65,000 colors and has a resolution of
96 x 128 dots. To take advantage of such a screen is
MPEG-4 video playback and BMP image viewing.
For audio playback, you'll find support for MP3, WMA, and
OGG files. ID3 tags are also supported. Finally, the S10
has an internal FM tuner and voice recorder.
More info: http://www.iriver.co.jp/company/news.php?article=276
Name: Sanyo eneloop solar charger
Category: Battery charger
Price: Open Price; estimated around 20,000 yen
Release date in Japan: November 21, 2006
The Gist: Sanyo has a new solar-powered charger coming out
with the ability to recharge lithium ion rechargeable
batteries and USB devices. The "eneloop solar charger"
includes three AA eneloop rechargeable batteries.
The solar charger features the ability to recharge Sanyo's
"eneloop" brand batteries, and it can handle one or two AA
batteries in roughly 150 minutes. Three or four of the same
batteries take about 300 minutes. It is also equipped with
a USB A jack, enabling you to recharge USB devices instead.
If you weren't batteried out enough already, brace yourself;
the eneloop solar charger contains batteries itself. A full
charge of the internal batteries (NiMH for those wondering)
takes some 6 days. Unfortunately, Sanyo hasn't publicized
how many AA battery/USB device recharges you'll get out of
that, but there is an indicator on the front of the unit
telling you how much capacity is remaining for the internal
It is nice that the eneloop solar charger has internal
batteries of its own, though. Sanyo's certainly isn't the
first solar charger to be released in Japan, but it is amongst
the first with internal batteries, giving you more flexibility
about when you recharge your devices.
More info: http://www.sanyo.co.jp/koho/hypertext4/0610news-j/1031-1.html
Name: Casio Privia PX-800
Category: Electronic piano
Price: 126,000 yen
Release date in Japan: November 17, 2006
The Gist: Slated for release on November 17th is Casio's
newest electronic piano, the 88-key "Privia PX-800." Casio
has positioned the new unit at the top of all their
electronic pianos, and understandably so.
In addition to a USB connection for interfacing with your PC,
the PX-800 features an SD card slot for saving songs that you
play. You can also use the SD card slot to play songs that y
ou've downloaded, as long as they are in the SMF format.
The compact size of the PX-800 does not necessarily mean it
is lacking in sound quality. The new "Triple Element AIF
Sound Source" incorporates precise sampling of a grand piano
from the lowest to the highest tones. Such precise sampling
is also done three times -- once for soft key presses, once
for medium key presses, and once for hard key presses.
Hopefully the combination of these two elements will enable
the PX-800 to offer one of the most realistic reproductions
of piano tones thus far.
More info: http://www.casio.co.jp/release/2006/px_800.html
Name: Wacom FAVO HELLO KITTY Edition
Category: Graphics Tablet
Price: 9,975 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available
The Gist: Graphics tablets join the ranks of product genres
touched by Hello Kitty. The "FAVO HELLO KITTY Edition" comes
from none other than the industry's leading graphics tablet
If you're familiar with the FAVO, you'll be glad to know
that the Hello Kitty Edition is the exact same thing. That
includes the resolution of 0.0125mm, 512 levels of pressure
sensitivity, 127.6 x 92.8mm input area, and read speed of
100 points per second. This product might be going to an
elementary-aged schoolgirl, but with these kinds of
specifications, the Hello Kitty Edition will last her
well through her final years at design school.
Included with the Hello Kitty Edition are the digital pen
and a special pen stand with Kitty-chan herself attached.
Even the software included is Kittitized; it features Hello
Kitty stamps, Hello Kitty paint tubes, and Hello Kitty tablet
If you think all of that is the cat's meow, move quickly.
Only 10,000 units will be produced. All modern flavors of
Windows and Mac OS are supported.
The NZ Ball is a charity event, raising money for
Cure Kids (www.curekids.org.nz). Enjoy a great
evening of entertainment, food and wine, and help
future generations of NZers.
Date: Friday 17th November, 2006
Where: Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Roppongi Hills - 3rd Floor Ballroom
Time: 7pm until very......late
Attire: Black tie event (Men - jackets with ties are fine also).
Tickets: Purchase through tickets at nzball.com or online at www.nzball.com
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Written by: Liam McNulty
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