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

Issue No. 94
Monday, March 17, 2003

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

Name: Epson "Monsieur II"
Category: Robots
Price: TBA
Release date in Japan: TBA

The Gist: Due to be launched at April's Robodex exhibition, these
little guys are claimed to be the world's smallest and thinnest
micro-actuator- and Bluetooth-equipped robot prototypes. Monsieur II's
predecessor, "Monsieur" (no, really?), got into the Guinness Book of
Records on account of its extreme tininess -- the new robots are
smaller and better. No longer just moving around autonomously and a
bit aimlessly, the M2s can now be radio-controlled via Bluetooth. They
can pootle forward, pootle backward and turn left and right. And not
necessarily at the same time. Sometimes they'll just turn left. Or
just right. They're crazy little fellas like that. And they move at
speeds of up to 70mm per second (our brains are too small to work this
out, but we believe this is close to about 100 mph in real money).
Size-wise, the robots are less than 20mm all round and weigh 12.5g, so
they are probably not quite up to helping you with the housework.
Maybe when they grow up.

More info:

========================= MONTHLY SPONSOR=============================
Retail Japan 2003:
The first ever complete guide to Japanese retail and consumer markets.

Over 500 pages, 22 different product sectors and more than 2,000
companies indexed. With detailed analysis, strategic reviews and
forecasting, Retail Japan 2003 provides in-depth insight into retail
markets in Japan today.

Free sample sections and the complete contents guide at:

Or email us at:

Name: Iiyama ProLite C480T
Category: AV
Price: 159,800 yen
Release date in Japan: March 21, 2003

The Gist: Now, your Iiyama ProLite C480T is basically a 19-inch SXGA
LCD display with a built-in TV tuner. We've certainly seen a few of
those recently. But Iiyama is a very well-respected PC peripheral
manufacturer, and this product could very well turn out to be a heavy
hitter. With a 1,280x1,024-dot display, 170-degree viewing angle,
600:1 contrast ratio and brightness of 430 cd/m2, the C480T is
certainly no lightweight on the tech-specs scales. The response time
is nice and fast at 25ms and there are twin 5W speakers positioned
either side of the screen. Sockets for input sources include one for a
TV antenna, a D4, S-video, composite and DVI-I -- so that's pretty
much all the input bases covered. The display looks the business and
is at least as lovely looking as Sharp's very popular Aquos series
(better looking, for my money), and you have the bonus of the high
definition SXGA display thrown in. Iiyama has pictures of it hanging
on a wall, much like the more expensive plasma displays, and it looks

More info:

========================== ADVERTISEMENT=============================
English Language Insurance, thank heavens! Insurance is essential in
this day and age to protect your life and property. Insure your
automobile or home and contents with Occidental and take advantage of
Ace Insurance Company's totally comprehensive English language
insurance program. English language brochure, application forms,
policies and 24-hour English Language claims call centre. Contact
Garon Wilkinson at Occidental Tel: 03-5768-6022.

Name: Iomega mini-USB drive
Category: PC Storage
Price: 9,800 yen
Release date in Japan: March 10, 2003

The Gist: This new little widget from computer storage company Iomega
is a 128MB key-ring-sized USB device. Measuring 23x71x11mm and
weighing in at 15g (less than a disposable lighter, fact fans!), the
mini-USB drive is compatible with all flavors of Windows AND Mac OS.
The super-fast data-transfer rate maxes out at 1MB a second, so it's
handy for quick data swapping, and the main unit has a detachable cap
section that is rigged to act as a key holder, which is handy for, um,
holding keys and stuff. The thing comes pre-loaded with "Mini Lock"
password-controlled security software, so your data's protected while
on the move. It's on sale right now via the company's Web site,

More info:

To purchase:

========================= MONTHLY SPONSOR=============================
A pure futures fund managed by Quadriga, an investment group founded
in Austria in 1995. Thanks to its unique proprietary computerized
technical trading system, Quadriga's funds are consistently in the top
of performance rankings for alternative funds.

Quadriga's CGT Futures Fund in USD has performed as follows:
2001: +40.16%
2002: +42.56%
2003: +69.23% (performance net of all fees).

Contact us for more information:
Banner Financial Services Japan K.K.
4F Esperanza Ebisu Bldg., 3-2-19
Ebisu-minami, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0022
Tel: 03-5724-5100 Fax: 03-57245300
Subscribers: 3,200 as of March 15, 2003

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

Gadget Watch online archive:

Check out our other Japan-specific newsletters:

To UNSUBSCRIBE from this newsletter, click here:

To advertise in this newsletter, contact:

Subscribe at:

We welcome your viewpoint:
NB Please do not reply to this newsletter -- it's outgoing only, so we
won't get it!

Technical problems:

Copyright (C) 2003 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.