GW-249 -- Kimura Metal Industry Unveils the World's Thinnest Keyboard

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

Issue No. 249
Friday August 18, 2006

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Name: Sharp MP-S700, S800
Category: Portable audio
Price: Open Price; S700 estimated around 15,000 yen, S800
around 20,000 yen
Release date in Japan: August 25, 2006

The Gist: Sharp is ready to issue a small update to the
"S200" portable digital audio player they released back in
November of last year. They're calling them the "S700" and
the "S800," where the S700 has a 512MB capacity and the
S800 a 1GB capacity. Both models will be available in
white, black, and red colorings.

What sets the S700 and 800 apart from other portable audio
players is its carabiner. You know, one of those things you
use for clipping yourself to ropes while mountain climbing.
Sharp's new players may not be able to support the weight
of a fully-grown adult male, but you could at least use the
carabiner to clip the player to your bag, your belt, or
something else attached to your person.

The player also features a round button sitting next to the
organic EL display. This button is used to control all of
the player's basic operations, and is touch sensitive, so
sliding your finger from the left side to the right side
will skip to the next track. Sliding in the opposite
direction will go to the previous track, and sliding your
finger up/down will cause the volume to be raised or
lowered. Pretty slick.

As is the tradition in Sharp's portable audio players, the
S700/800 contains an integrated FM transmitter. This makes
transmitting audio to your car stereo painless, as it
involves no wires. The player can also record via its
line-in jack or via its integrated microphone, where the
ormer uses a proprietary format and the latter plain old MP3.

For codec support, the S700 and 800 offer playback of MP3
and WMA files. WMA DRM 9 is also supported. MP3 files from
8 to 320kbps can be played, as can WMA files from 32 to
192kbps. With a single AAA battery, the units offer a
playback time of 14.5 hours for MP3 and 10 hours for WMA.
When you're using the integrated FM transmitter, these
times drop respectively to 4 hours and 3.5 hours.

More info:
Name: Kimura Metal Industry eMark Super Mobile Keyboard
Category: Keyboard
Price: 2,980 yen
Release date in Japan: Late August 2006

The Gist: If Japan has taught us anything, it's that
there's a market for dangerously thin electronics. Thus
created is the "eMark Super Mobile Keyboard" from Kimura
Metal Industry, at a mere 1mm thin.

It goes without saying that this is currently the world's
thinnest keyboard. The eMark Super Mobile Keyboard is made
of silicon encased in vinyl, so it's also waterproof. It
has a USB port, and the cable is extendable, so it can be
wound up when not in use. All of the Japanese
keyboard-layout haters can breathe a sigh of relief;
the eMark Super Mobile Keyboard will also be available
with a standard US keyboard layout.

More info:
Name: Elecom M-ABUR series
Category: Mouse
Price: 3,780 yen
Release date in Japan: Late August 2006

The Gist: To go with that new keyboard of yours is Elecom's
M-ABUR series of antibacterial mice. Available for almost
4,000 yen later this month, the M-ABURs may soon be seen
in hospitals throughout Japan in the near future.

The mice are coated with an antibacterial resin to aid in
the prevention of bacterial multiplication. Even if you
use them for a long time, they can remain clean, at least
in the biological sense of the word. They not only conform
to JIS Z 2801 standards for antibacterial-processed
products, they have also been registered with the "Society
of Industrial Antimicrobial Articles," one of those obscure
Japanese industrial organizations you probably didn't know

Otherwise, the M-ABUR series appears to be your standard
mouse, with an 800dpi resolution and USB 2.0 interface. It
will be available in blue, green, pink, and orange.

More info:

Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (

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