J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan

Issue No. 95
March 25, 2003

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Name: Panasonic DMW-MCF1
Category: Digital camera accessories
Price: 25,000 yen
Release date in Japan: June 13, 2003

The Gist: A lot of digital kit these days seems built to withstand the
odd knock, short fall or even a splash of water. But digital cameras,
generally speaking, tend to react a bit like a gremlin if you spill a
few drops of water on them. They spit, hiss and then transform into a
nasty version of their former selves, but not if you've been smart
enough to put up the cash for Panasonic's new DMW-MCF1. A waterproof
"marine case" specifically designed for the three-megapixel LUMIX
DMC-F1 digital camera, the MCF1 envelops your sensitive ・ and
expensive ・ digicam in a protective plastic outer and is waterproof
all the way down to 40m.

More info:

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Name: Marantz RC9200 learning remote
Category: AV accessories
Price: Open
Release date in Japan: end March 2003

The Gist: A QVGA LCD Touchscreen learning remote control, the Marantz
RC9200 has a (deep breath) 3.7-inch, 320x240-dot, 256-color display
with what the company terms a "paper white" backlight -- whatever that
means. Users can record macros of up to 255 commands into the remote,
which are soaked up nicely by the 8MB of onboard Flash RAM. The RC9200
is powered by a Motorola Dragonball 33MHz CPU, is firmware upgradeable
(so owners can keep up with any improvements in the hardware/design),
and the infra red wireless signal-sending wizardry works from up to
10m away. So if you live in Japan, you can basically be sitting in,
say, your neighbor's house and still operate your plasma TV. And, just
in case any of you gadget fans out there are wondering what the heck
QVGA means, it is apparently (and I quote from somewhere or other) "an
emerging standard for Palm-powered devices. Traditionally,
Palm-powered devices have featured 160x160 pixel screens. QVGA screens
feature a resolution of 240x320 pixels." That is, apparently, "high
resolution" in Palm-device terminology, with three times more pixels
than traditional Palm devices, so you get far more detailed images for
your money.

More info:

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Name: Creative Media2Go
Category: TBA (emerging technology, no concrete products or prices)
Price: (see above)
Release date in Japan: n/a

The Gist: Joining the happy band of new Microsoft technology converts,
Creative has just announced its participation in the software
company's Windows CE .NET OS-based "Media2Go" software reference
program for portable multimedia players. The announced Media2Go
"reference model" will form part of a line of products that are all
lightweight, smartly designed multimedia players that will be able to
store 175 hours of video (with six hours of continuous playback),
30,000 photos or over 8,000 music files (playing for up to 12 hours).
There aren't many specific details on the various players planned for
the lineup right now, but this is a pretty interesting direction for
handheld portable multimedia whatsits, so watch this space...

More info:

Brand Mythology: results-driven strategies to leverage the brand story
Four Seasons Hotel, Tokyo
Wednesday May 28th 2003

Main issues to be discussed:
- Fusion of the brand and business strategy
- Brand management in crisis and recession
- Delivering global brands in foreign markets
- B2B targeted versus consumer sector branding
- Global and local case studies of failure and success

Online registration is available at:

Name: SanDisk
Category: Memory Storage
Price: TBA (but approx same cost as regular SD cards and 32MB miniSD
plus an SD adapter, which is approx. 3,480 yen)
Release date in Japan: March 2003

The Gist: As if the SD memory card format wasn't miniscule and
lightweight enough, we now learn about the existence of a sub-species
of the tiny non-life-form, developed by the same guys that produced
the first SD card format, Toshiba, Matsushita and SanDisk. At only 40
percent the size of a regular SD card (20x21.5x1.4mm and 1g in
weight), the new "miniSD" card is now officially the smallest storage
medium in the world.

MiniSD is aimed at the portable phone market (and, presumably, digital
cameras, like it's xD Picture Card competitor and maybe even Sony痴
Memory Stick Duo), particularly the multifunction 2.5 and 3g types
that can take and make calls, play music and games, organize your life
and file your tax return, all at once. If you just can't handle how
small it is, the ultra tiny miniSD card slots neatly into an SD-card
adapter (supplied). You can also use it with a normal SD-compatible
gadget, because the new standard is completely compatible with the
original, larger SD format. So everyone痴 a winner, basically, and
although we know this is enough to send gadget lovers into a wild
frenzy of appreciation, there痴 more! The miniSD cards have an extra
two "pins" (the tiny gold stripes on the top of the cards) to allow
for future expansion possibilities. There are going to be 16, 32 and
64MB capacity cards at launch, but there'll be 128 and 256MB versions
by the summer.

More info:

Subscribers: 3,272 as of March 25, 2003

Written by: Max Everingham (
Edited by: J@pan Inc editors (

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