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

Issue No. 128

Thursday, January 15, 2003
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

ICA January 15 Event

PRESENTER: Jeff Funk - Professor of Business at the Institute for
Innovation Research - Hitotsubashi University
TOPIC: Key Technologies, Applications and Strategies for the
Mobile Internet

RSVP required, complete event details at
Date: Thursday, Jan 15
Time: 6:30 Doors open, sit down dinner included
Cost: 3,000 yen (members), 5,500 yen (non-members)
Foreign Correspondents' Club

Name: San Disk Cruzer Micro MP3 Companion
Category: Portable audio
Price: about 50 bucks
Release date in Japan: March

The Gist: Hailing from California-based memory and peripheral
manufacturer SanDisk, the Cruzer Micro MP3 Companion is, as the name
suggests, a cuddly widdle friend for the SanDisk Cruzer Micro, which
we know, you're already planning to buy. Yes you are. Actually, it's
not all that cuddly, finished as it is in the ubiquitous super-cool
silver metallic casing that nearly every gadget wears these days, but
it is, nonetheless, pretty fantastic. Built to accommodate the Cruzer
Micro USB flash drive (which, we're helpfully told, is about half the
size of a stick of chewing gum, baseball fans!), which just slips into
the slot provided, the MP3 companion thereby instantly converts into a
smashing portable MP3 player. Good for music, data and any other
digital files you can think of, the memory sticks themselves come in
128, 256 and 512MB capacities, and the docking station-type MP3 player
has a backlit LCD readout so you can identify what you're playing. The
battery (a single AAA) should last for around seven hours.

More info:

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Name: Sony HMD1G
Category: Portable audio
Price: MZ-EH1, 30,000 yen; MZ-NH1, 45,000 yen; MZ-NH3D, 35,000 yen
Release date in Japan: June 2004

The Gist: MD champion Sony has just announced a trio of brand new MD
Walkmans that are compatible with the new "HiMD" standard (also
announced recently by Sony at the International CES 2004 exhibition,
ongoing in Vegas as I write).

This new-fangled HiMD format slam-dunks the capacity of the good ol'
regular MD flavor, allowing a huge 1GB of digital space for your
recording pleasure -- to a maximum of 45 hours of tunes! In a
nutshell, HiMD allows for better quality recordings, increased
capacity, improved compatibility with PCs and copyright protection
technology. Wow, that last one was a real surprise. Who'd have thunk
it? Ah well: on a regular 80-minute disc, you'll be able to squeeze 13
and a half hours of 48kbps recordings, or about 300MB of data, and
that's definitely worth having.

Still capable of playing back discs in the old MD format, Hi-MD
players use ATRAC3 (65,105 and 132kbps), ATRAC3plus(48,64 and 256kbps)
and Linear PCM Codecs, representing a genuine step forward for the
format. As for the three new models, there's the playback-only MZ-EH1
model; the recordable, USB-compatible MZ-NH1; and the USB
playback-only MZ-NH3D. And they all look great. Confused? You should

More info:

Web localization and ROI for medium-sized enterprises

What is the optimal formula for a successful return on your Web
development investment? Simple: Delight your Japanese users while
budgeting carefully. The key is to work closely with a project team
that employs the right resources and provides a transparent system of
evaluating costs.

Visit to discover the three critical

Name: Apple iPod mini
Category: Portable audio
Price: $249
Release date: February (in the US)

The Gist: Gadget fans are very fickle creatures -- or maybe that's
just me. But, sticking with this, most of us go all crazy with desire
over the latest gadget one day, only to forget it the next and move on
to the Next Big Shiny Thing as soon as some clever consumer
electronics marketing department thinks it up. For instance, how many
of you leapt on the "MUST buy an iPod bandwagon," filled it up with
tunes and are now wondering what's next to look forward to? Go on,
admit it. And, thanks to Apple's canny marketing gurus, now you have
something to genuinely lust after, with the arrival of the new iPod
mini. Try and guess what it is. I'll put you out of your misery --
it's a 4-gig version iPod, but it's much smaller, with dimensions of
50.8ラ12.7ラ91.4mm and weighing only 102g (3.6 oz in real money). But,
you can still stuff an amazing 1,000 songs on it, it has 25 minutes of
skip protection, the battery lasts eight hours, and it comes in five
colors: silver, gold, green, pink or blue. Hmmm, lovely. And a belt
clip and earbud headphones are included.

More info:

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Online registration:
Subscribers: 4,933 as of January 15, 2003

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

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