The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 211
Thursday October 20, 2005

1. Apple iPod
2. SolidAlliance DTM AMG-MERCEDES JEAN ALESI model
3. Runat Doratch-MEMORY-voltage

Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo - Nov 1st Seminar

This coming November, EA-Tokyo's speaker will be Brian Nelson,
President & CEO of ValueCommerce. His presentation is entitled,
"Where Preperation Meets Opportunity." To register please
visit the EA-Tokyo website below.

Date/Time: Tuesday, Nov 1st 7:00 pm
Location: City Club of Tokyo - Maple Room (Canadian Embassy Complex)
Language: English

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Apple iPod
Category: Portable Audio/Video
Price: 30GB: 34,800 yen; 60GB: 46,800 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Apple has announced the release in Japan of the
much-anticipated iPod that can play video. 30GB and 60GB
versions are available.

The first thing you'll notice about the new iPod is its screen. It
features a 2.5-inch, 320 x 240 dot LCD capable of displaying
65,000 colors. The screen has been enlarged for one reason
and one reason alone: playing video. The new iPod supports
the playback of H.264 files up to 320 x 240, and MPEG-4 videos
up to 480 x 480. Apple wouldn't want to release a new iPod without
content to match, so they will now be offering short video downloads
via the iTunes Music Store. Prices for videos start at 300 yen, and
Japan's iTunes Music Store is currently offering music videos and
short animations from Pixar.

The dimensions of the 30GB iPod are 61.8 x 11 x 103.5mm,
making it about 57% thicker than the iPod nano. The 60GB
version brings the thickness to 14mm. Both are a marked
improvement versus the 19mm thickness of the previous
generation of iPod.

Supported audio formats include MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF, Apple
Lossless, and Audible. For images, you'll be able to display
JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and PNG. The 60GB player's battery
should last you roughly 3 hours when playing video or 20 hours
for audio. And the 30GB model should get 2 hours and 14 hours,
respectively. Charging either unit should take about 4 hours,
though they will hit 80% recharge in 2 hours. Charging can
also be done via USB.

Also announced by Apple was the "Universal Dock" and "Apple
Remote," both of which can, of course, be used with the new iPod.
The Universal Dock can be connected to all previous iPod units
that support the Dock connector, and necessary adapters are
included. iPods in the future will also include adapters to be used
with the Universal Dock. The dock provides a centralized location
for all "wired" iPod functions, such as synchronization, recharging,
and even audio/video output to your TV using the "iPod AV Cable."
The Apple Remote happens to be compatible with the Universal
Dock, and will allow you to control all of the unit's basic functions;
so you'll be able to enjoy your downloaded videos and songs using
the components you have at home.

More info:

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: SolidAlliance DTM AMG-MERCEDES JEAN ALESI model
Category: Peripherals
Price: 12,600 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Racing fans have probably already heard of Jean Alesi;
he used to drive for Ferrari in Formula One, but now has moved on
to DTM, the German Touring Car Championship. It's important to
point out that he drives a Mercedes in DTM, since he now has
his own mouse.

Scratch that -- he doesn't have his own mouse, his HELMET has its
own mouse. The "DTM AMG-MERCEDES JEAN ALESI model" is
a wireless optical mouse from SolidAlliance that is a 1/5 scale
model of Jean Alesi's helmet. It has been accurately reproduced
"all the way down to the subtle curves," says SolidAlliance. Only
4,999 of these bad boys will ever be produced. As with previous
helmet mice from SolidAlliance, this new model has official licenses
for its usage of the "Three Pointed Star" and "AMG" logos.

The mouse has a resolution of 800dpi, and uses the 2.4GHz band.
Its range is around 5 meters, and its internal lithium ion battery can
be recharged via USB.

More info:

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Runat Doratch-MEMORY-voltage
Category: Watch
Price: 19,740 yen
Release date in Japan: November 2005

The Gist: "Doraemon" is amongst Japan's most beloved animated
works, in both its manga and anime forms, yet remains largely
unknown outside of Asia. Americans can probably draw a connection
via "Inspector Gadget," but drop the inspector and add a blue robotic
cat. Doraemon has come back from the future to help out Nobita-kun,
an underprivileged child. From his "fourth-dimensional pocket,"
Doraemon can produce various items such as the "Dokodemo
Door," which allows the person walking through it to go anywhere.

Unfortunately, the "Doratch-MEMORY-voltage" from Runat doesn't
have an infinite storage capacity. It can't take you back in time.
It doesn't allow you to go anywhere. But it does feature Doraemon
himself, always to be on your wrist. The internal 128MB of storage
space is accessible via most modern operating systems, and under
Windows, can operate via USB bus power.

More info:

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Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (

(C) Copyright 2005 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.