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

Issue No. 82
Thursday, November 21, 2002
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

Name: SV-AV30
Category: Portable wizardry
Price: Open
Release date in Japan: December 2, 2002

The Gist: The SV-AV30 is the latest in the "WiLL" line of designer
products that are supposed to appeal to a hipper, trendier audience
(mainly women, in fact) by combining funky design with useful
features. The first wave of products did this but looked pretty darn
odd in the process, but not so the WiLL SV-AV30. Seriously compact and
looking very much like one of those scanner thingies off a Star Trek
movie set, the SD multi-camera is capable of taking both still and
moving digital images but has other very neat functions bolted on.
The first SD Multi Camera was out in January in Japan and now the AV30
goes a step further, putting out MPEG4 movies at 15 frames per second
and 320x240 pixels (2.5 times quicker than the previous model) as well
as incorporating a 2x digital zoom. There's an hour and 30 minutes of
recording time with the included battery and it comes with an "AV
cradle" to stick the thing in for a recharge -- this also doubles as a
no-fuss hookup to the TV. Just as with the previous machine, still
images are recorded at VGA (640x480 pixels). But the jewel in the
AV30's crown is that it's a lot more than just a camera. The handy
little thing can also act as an SD memory card portable audio player,
of course, so you can chuck out your CD Walkman or MD player (there's
an integral speaker, too), and also as a digital IC voice recorder for
those all important high-flying executive memos you'll be getting or
making, such as "honey, your dinner's in the fridge."

From the looks of the pictures, the AV30 can be easily operated with
one hand, with an unladen weight of 95g that, bizarrely ups to 122g
"in use" and probably refers to doing something really tedious with it
like having to put in batteries. Looks-wise, the unit itself is very
compact (61.7x25.9x74.6mm, fact fans)and unbearably cute and available
for all you style-conscious kids on the street in silver, blue, white
or yellow finishes.

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Name: Sharp DV-HRD1
Category: AV
Price: Open (but approx 183,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: end December 2002

The Gist: The DV-HRD1 hard disk BS/CS 110, DVD-RW hybrid recorder is,
apparently, the world's first unit to allow the recording of high
vision BS/CS110 programming. It's also a progressive scan DVD player
that handles DVD-R disks and the world's largest hard disk (at 80
gigs) to boot (this seems somewhat suspect when you look at the next
gadget, but maybe it was at the time). Proud owners can squeeze seven
hours of high vision digital programming onto the disk and up to 14
hours of standard digital broadcasts. This rises to 110 hours of
recording for regular TV programs in extended play mode. Also on board
is a Type 2 PC card slot (which can play back JPEG images from a
digital camera as well as record them to the PC card), two iLink
connections, composite and S-video picture sockets and a digital sound

More info:

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Name: Pioneer DVR-99H
Category: AV
Price: Open (but approx 170,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: end December 2002

The Gist: Not to be outdone, Pioneer is fighting back with a 120
Gigabyte hard disk DVD-R and DVD-RW compatible unit, the DVR-99H. The
successor to the 80-gig DVR-77H that allowed only a paltry 102 hours
of recording in EP mode, the meaty 99H goes for up to 153 hours, or
about as long as it takes a full NFL game to play out. Naturally, the
neat combo of drives means you can dub from the hard disk onto DVD-R
and DVD-RW disk media to make your own hard copies of what you're
recording (at 4x and 2x speed, respectively). Channels received can be
VHF,UHF,CATV or BS analog and there's progressive scan output, digital
noise reduction, ghosting reduction and various other clever circuitry
to produce an optimum picture. There are Component, D2, two S-video
and two composite video outputs as well as a DV input and a digital
sound connection. Oh, and it's all dressed up in a classy gold finish.

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Name: Apple/JBL Creature-White
Category: PC peripherals
Price: 16,800 yen
Release date in Japan: now (reservations from November 13, 2002)

The Gist: The "Creature-White" is a super sleek and way cool JBL
Multimedia Creature set of speakers for your shiny new Apple Mac,
incorporating white JBL-branded 2.1 channel speakers and a subwoofer
with an integrated amp -- with a range of 50Hz-20kHz and output of
32W. Chunky but still gloriously stylish and compact, the subwoofer
measures a perfectly proportioned 230x230x230mm, and the satellites
chime in at a slightly less perfect 75x75x70mm. And they all look like
some kind of organic mushroomy growth, but I'm sure that's pretty
funky if you're a Mac guru. This icy white setup follows in the
footsteps of the -- wait for it -- "Creature-Silver" package released
in July and is clearly designed with the fatally fashion conscious in

More info:

Subscribers: 2,724 as of November 21, 2002

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

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