By Nikolai Proske - CScout Japan
A screen to the sky
Using a USB dongle with a 6-axis sensor, the StellarWindow turns your PC screen into a digital frame holding the universe. Soon to be released from Fairy Devices, the software and dongle work together to detect exactly which direction and angle the screen is facing, and then show the view of space that’s right in front of you, with full interaction and labeling of stars and constellations. Great for stargazers as an outdoors reference tool, but also for city dwellers indoors who can see little more than building and lights.
Pets get their own signature style
Dog lovers in Japan are notorious for accessorizing and spoiling their pooches. Now it’s possible to customize a personal hanko—personal stamps registered by individuals to serve as their signature—with a graphic of your pet! Hanko are used on official documents, though it’s not clear whether this new version will pass muster down at city hall. Using a picture of the pet as a model, the owner’s name is merged with the pooch’s image to create a truly original stamp.
Face shaping tools hit the shelves
There has been a sudden surge of “face shaping” products on display at lifestyle and drug stores. Some are meant to pinch and shape the nose into a more refined point, and some for shaping the mouth muscles, but are Japanese that dissatisfied with their faces? While they are not quick-fix solutions like plastic surgery, spending much of your life wearing a wrap to make your face smaller seems a bit extreme to say the least. It’s a production trend for sure, but we want to see sales numbers!
Hitachi System’s IC card security check system
To ease the fears of worried parents whose children are traveling to school, often alone and by train, Hitachi Systems has invented a new kind of IC card security check system for kids. When children enter or leave the school, they scan their assigned RFID card at the terminal, which also takes their photo, and then sends their entry/exit information directly to their parent’s mobile phone. Combined with GPS-enabled kid phones, parents are able to keep track of their young ones 24 hours a day. The real question is, when will they let go?
Cscout Japan is part of the global Cscout market research, trend scouting and experience/trend tour network. Its daily blog can be found at www.cscoutjapan.com