GW-65

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J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
G A D G E T W A T C H
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
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Issue No. 65

Thursday, 11 July 2002
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

Name: Sony PFM-50C1
Category: AV
Price: Open (but around 1,100,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: July 15

The Gist: Another of those lovely widescreen plasma displays from the
company that could put its badge on roadkill and still sell about a
million units.
Looking rather more attractive than roadkill, the PFM-50C1 is a
50-inch monster -- there's a 42-incher available too (the PFM-42B2) on
August 1, but who cares about that pee-wee? -- employing a 1365x768
dot panel which is capable of displaying a UXGA (1600x1200) image on
its lovely expanse. I could practically use it as a bed, it's so big.
Comfy too, probably. An AR Coating Screen is employed to ensure
minimum reflection and the new real digital system circuitry aims at
reproducing the best possible picture with minimum distortion, jaggies
and all those kind of digital annoyances. An integrated digital amp
provides 7W into two channels and the resultant sound is kicked out
via the dedicated SS-SP10A speaker system.
Connections include component, analog RGB, composite and S-video
inputs and the whole thing only weighs 46.7kg. I say "only," but
you're going to need to reinforce one of your walls if you live in an
apartment like mine. And, if you just know your balsa-wood-like wall
can't take the strain and you still have money to burn, there's an
optional stand available for the 50C1. It weighs another 28.4kg, mind
you.

More info: http://www.sony.jp/CorporateCruise/Press/200207/02-0704

================================EVENT=================================
LOOKING BEYOND: ASIA PACIFIC TOUR 2002 -- Tokyo July 19, 13:00-17:30
(Networking cocktail from 17:30)

Satyam Computer Services in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon Univ.
invites you to take part in 'Process Improvement: A Foundation for
Business Excellence'.

Dr. William E. Hefley, Associate Director, IT Services Qualification
Center of CMU, globally recognized for releasing the family of
CMM models (ex. SW-CMM, CMMi), will deliver the keynote on eServices
Capability Model-the new emerging process framework for IT enabled
outsourcing services

For a complimentary invitation, please contact:
CMUseminar@gmacjapan.com
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Name: Minolta MC-DG100 Marine Case
Category: Digital Camera peripheral
Price: 25,000 yen
Release date in Japan: July 18

The Gist: The release of this little gadget has been delayed about a
week, but for all you diver enthusiasts out there, it's probably going
to be worth the extra wait. I only wish I could justify buying one,
but I don't even go snorkeling.
The MC-DG100 is one of those camera cases that you can use to take
your digicam underwater with you and that, alone, qualifies it for
lustworthy status in my opinion. Made of polycarbonate resin, the
DG100 is waterproof and dustproof (although probably doesn't have to
be simultaneously, unless you go wreck diving and bust open some old
pirate treasure chests or something) and will resist the mounting
water pressure down to 30m.
Designed for use with the 1,960,000-pixel DiMAGE X digital camera, the
DG100 waterproof marine case will still let you fiddle with all the
camera's functions and widgets of course -- just don't try to swap the
battery or memory card while you're swimming with the ickle fishies.
And yes, I know ickle isn't a real word.

More info:
http://www.minolta.com/japan/press02/optical/02-07-05_j.html

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Name: Toshiba Pocket PC e740W
Category: PDA
Price: Open (but approx 60,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: July 4

The Gist: Aimed at business users and intended to be used in close
cooperation with a notebook PCs while on the road (or, more likely, on
a JR train), the e740W looks like it's set to be the wireless
LAN-capable version of the company's e310 Pocket PC.
The whizzy 400MHz PDA is compatible with IEEE 802.11b out of the box
for simple connection to an existing office network. It adopts the
more slim lines and classy design of the e310 model available in the
US, but still has slots for both a Type II CF and SD memory card, also
using the irDA1.2 infra-red standard for when you can be bothered to
try beaming info across to a pal. There's 64MB of SDRAM already on
board, 32MB of Flash ROM and a 3.5in, 65,536 color TFT display.
With the extra large battery, the e740W should go on Pocket PC-ing for
a massive 29 hours without recharging. Unfortunately, said Max battery
is the size of a small house, so most users will probably stick with
the regular one, which lasts about 9.5 hours. There's a non-wireless
LAN capable model available too, if you want it; the plain ol' e740.

More info: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2002_07/pr_j0401.htm

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Name: Takara Flets Robo
Category: Robots
Price: 24,800 yen
Release date in Japan: August 1

The Gist: If you're the kind of person who, half an hour into your
scheduled vacation trip turns to your partner and yells something like
"Gah! I think I've left the iron/oven/whatever on!", Takara's new
Flets Robo is for you.
Designed for use with NTT's 19,800 yen per month FLETS ADSL Internet
service, Flets Robo is your automated housemaid, capable of
interfacing, to use a suitably futuristic term, with any infra-red
capable widgets in your apartment.
So if you've left your hi-fi entertaining your neighbors at
full-blast and it's IR-capable, just get F2R2 (see what they've done
there?) to shut it off for you and save you a few litigation bills.
F2R2 uses its infra-red zapping abilities to remotely control your TV,
VTR or even the lights in your apartment and can hook up to your PC
(no Mac compatibility announced at this stage) via USB. That PC
connection goes down the line to your NTT FLETS service, which in turn
can be accessed by your good self using the Internet via your mobile
phone or another PC to control the Flets Robo remotely.
Give your Robo a call to have him record the latest episode of "The
Sopranos" and say goodbye to trying to work out how to operate your
video recorder. Or, if you've got that all figured out, but realize
the program you want to record is running over time, you can contact
your F2R2 and have him change the shutoff time on the VTR so you don't
miss the end. The little fella can send images over the ether to you
too, thanks to its 100,000-pixel CMOS eyes and if you buy it at the
same time you sign up for FLETS service, F2R2 comes down to 17,800
yen.

More info: http://www.takaratoys.co.jp/flets/index.html
FLETS service: http://www.ntt-west.co.jp/flets

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Name: Pioneer SE-XB1
Category: Gaming peripheral
Price: Open (but approx 50,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: end Sept

The Gist: Inspired by the company's SE-DIR1000C cordless headphone
unit, the SE-XB1 is a cordless surround sound headphone system
intended for use with Microsoft's powerful, PS2-beating Xbox video
game system.
The cans are also meant to go rather nicely with the similarly
Xbox-themed, 60,000 yen 5.1-channel HTP-G100 amp and speaker set
released by Pioneer last month -- those received the official
Microsoft stamp of approval as an endorsed Xbox product.
Apart from an adjustment to the low-range boost qualities of the
phones and a makeover so they look more Xboxy, the XB1s are identical,
spec-wise, to the SE-DIR1000Cs. Capable of decoding Dolby Digital, DTS
and Dolby Pro Logic II, they can also cope with the Dolby Digital EX
and DTS-ES new kids on the sound block. Housing 50mm speaker driver
units and with a playback frequency range of 10Hz to 24kHz, the Xbox
headphones run on rechargable Ni-H batteries, lasting up to 20 hours
-- and they weigh 360g. Only one bad thing; The cans are of the open
ear variety, so you better live alone, because in my experience open
ear means that everyone around you can 'ear too. Not good if your
little sister is trying to practice her piano playing.

More info: http://www.pioneer.co.jp/press/release324-j.html

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Subscribers: 2,327 as of July 11, 2002

STAFF
Written by: Max Everingham (max@everingham.net)
Edited by: J@pan Inc editors (editors@japaninc.com)

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