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

Issue No. 135

Friday, March 12, 2004
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Name: Matsushita VDR-M70K
Category: Camcorders
Price: Open (but approx. 120,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: April 10, 2004

The Gist: I've wanted one of these for ages, but the price isn't quite
right at the moment. That is, it's not free. Still, Matsushita's new
VDR-M70K is a DVD digicam -- meaning it records straight to a DVD disc
rather than tape -- and is selling for less than regular old DV8
cameras used to go for. Amazing, eh? The relentless, onward march of
technology and all that. Anyhow, if you have the cash, you'll be
getting a digital camcorder with a 1,020,000-pixel CCD that can take
movies at a resolution of 400,000 pixels and still shots at 960,000.
It has a 10-times optical zoom lens and does widescreen, too.

Giving the owner a choice of recording media, the VDR-M70K can record
to double-sided DVD-RAM discs, at three varying modes of resolution,
as well as to DVD-R discs. It can also take JPEG snapshots and put
them on the disc, or you can use a removable SD memory card to store
the snapshots instead.

More info:

================= KUDOS TRAVEL FAIR 2004 =============================
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Saturday 13th March 2004 10:30-16:00 @ Toranomon Pastoral, near
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Bring your friends and family - FREE Admission!

For more information:
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Name: ZMP nuvo robots
Category: Robotics
Price: 500,000 yen
Release date in Japan: March 2, 2004

The Gist: ZMP, those zany creators of the much more toy-like PINO
robot that went down a storm in stores here ages ago, has come up with
a brand new little bipedal robot called "nuvo." Standing at 39cm and
weighing 2.5kg, the little nuvo guy is ready to go to new
institutional or industrial homes right now at a cool 3 million yen,
but ZMP plans to make it commercially available soon to the general
unwashed, like you and me, for about a half million. Using the
company's "AMI Voice," or "Advanced Media" voice recognition engine,
nuvo will respond to direct voice input, or can even be controlled via
a FOMA mobile phone.

Nuvo itself looks like a cross between a sentry robot out of Robocop
and Sully from Monsters Inc. Large body, oversized shoulders giving it
a hunched appearance and, at first glance, no head. This probably
isn't as much a problem for a robot as for a human, of course. And, in
fact, nuvo does actually have a head, it's just small, but it still
makes it look like an Addams Family reject. There are 14 individual
motors to make it do stuff like walk, lie down, get up and other such
marvels of locomotion. One of the robot's eyes is a camera, too.

Nuvo runs for about half an hour on its rechargeable lithium batteries
and, in case you were wondering, the name "nuvo" is a play on the
French word "nouveau," which roughly translates as "weird, lumbering
monster thingy."

More info:

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Name: Matsushita DVD-LX8
Category: Portable AV
Price: Open (but approx. 100,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: April 10, 2004

The Gist: Matsushita has announced a portable DVD player with a
massive 9-inch, 800x480-dot, widescreen, TFT LCD display. In a cool
twist, the LCD screen can adopt one of three positions (Standard,
Freestyle and Compact) for easier viewing, with the third option,
"Compact" having the screen completely fold back on top of the DVD
player unit, PC-tablet style. Even more brilliantly, though, the LX8
also has a built-in TV tuner, so you can watch television (VHF, UHF
and cable signals) on the move, and there's an SD memory card slot so
you can slip a card in and play back MP3s, JPEGS and what-not. The LX8
can handle DVD-RAM and DVD-R playback, too, by the way.

Matsushita is also releasing at the same time the world's smallest
portable DVD player, the DVD-PS3, capable of playing back DVD-RAM
discs for 35,000 yen. But the little machine doesn't have a display,
so you need to hook it up to something, before you all go rushing out
to snap one up.

More info:

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Subscribers: 5,279 as of March 12, 2004

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

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