Aside from the U.S. phones at the CES booth, Sanyo also had an additional display showing off phones that are only available in Japan. And as with all things that are Japan-only, we really wish we had them here. One phone that particularly stood out was the Sanyo W53SA, a waterproof digital TV phone, so you can "enjoy watching TV while taking a bath," according to the Sanyo representative. There isn't too much we know about it, except that it uses Japan's CDMA 1X WIN network, and that it has a 2.0-megapixel camera. We … Read more
Sony's prototype, wind-up Odo digital camera is among the gadgets attracting attention at Tokyo's largest green products fair this week. We're spying from afar at Eco-Products 2007, which includes more than 500 exhibitors.
The Odo looks like a giant, plastic toy sprout when plugged into a planter-shaped base to transfer images to a computer. The camera takes 15 seconds to recharge, either by rolling the charger wheel with fingers or running it over surface. Sony's Spin N Snap takes still photos while the Crank N Capture shoots video.
Back in October, I wrote about the Norton Fighter, a Kamen Rider-inspired mascot for Symantec in Japan to help the company sell Norton 360 to the denizens of the Floating Kingdom. Did I say sell? I meant, "fight honorably and do great battle to protect from evil." Or something.
Anyway, whoever's marketing Norton 360 sure knows its audience. The company has now put out a series of long commercials, filmed on grainy stock and in the Technicolor style of the '70s, showing the Fighter doing his best to not only defeat the evil Botlas, but also to … Read more
Where do all the coolest robots hang out? Japan, of course.
The 2007 International Robot Exhibition sponsored by the Japan Robot Association claims to be the largest robotics trade show in the world. The show, which runs November 28 to December 1, serves as a venue for everything from tiny robot toys and educational tools to giant industrial robots that manufacture cars.
This headless-looking robot is actually fully intact. The E-nuvo walk robot from Japan-based ZMP could be thought of as the Japanese version of a Lego Mindstorms robot. Only this line of learning robots, which is offered in basic, … Read more
Watch the show on CNET TV.
Things we Crave
Panasonic noise-canceling MP3 player
Panasonic's 2-pound laptop
That weirdlittle robotic MP3player from Sony, the Rolly.
Paul Allen's project with Spring wireless, the tiny little FlipStart.
Best of the Web
Download of the … Read more
Still not jealous over all of the awesome bonuses Nintendo Japan has been giving its customers as part of the Club Nintendo rewards program? Well, get ready to say no friggin' way!
Nintendo has announced three free bonus items that it will be giving to its platinum members of the Club Nintendo service this year. Those customers with platinum status--meaning they purchased enough Nintendo products between 10/1/2006 and 9/30/2007 for over 400 Club Nintendo points--will be able to select one of the following items:
1. Wii Super Famicom Classic Controller: A Wii controller attachment that looks … Read more
As John Cage knew, music is everywhere. If you take a second to turn the radio (or MP3 player) off in your car, you might hear the vibrations of the tires against the road. And if you happen to be driving at 28mph on a particular road in Japan, you might notice that the designers of the road have placed grooves at different intervals so, as you drive, the sound changes, creating a song.
Back in 2005 when I was still in business school our MBA program took a two-week trip to Hong Kong, China and Thailand to try and understand how you do business in Asia (I blogged much of it here.) One of my fellow students on that trip worked for a big pharma company and gave some new sleeping pills to take on the flight back from Bangkok->HK->SFO, which seemed like a good idea...except I never fell asleep and basically was up for about 30 hours before I got home and passed out so badly that I didn't feed the dog for almost 2 days (he's still mad at me.)
My recent Tokyo trip was severely lacking in sleep and now I am wide awake and totally jetlagged after about 4 hours of shut-eye this evening.
So, on to some random notes... … Read more
Who knew there was so much open source development going on in Japan?The photo is from the Seasar Seminar that I attended today after the SOA (service oriented architecture) seminars we did with our partner OGIS-RI earlier this week.
Seasar is a *hugely* popular open source Java framework that simplifies J2EE applications. I have to admit I was shocked at how many people attended the event on a Sunday and just how many open source projects are being developed in Japan. In our Mule session alone there were guys from 6 different open source projects. Very cool.
There are … Read more
I know everyone has a mobile phone here (keitai) but they all have laptops too and there is no easy Wifi in this whole city.
One of the most frustrating things this week was the fact that none of our mobile phones worked. In my attempts to get a prepaid phone or a short-term or whatever we discovered that you have to have a Japanese passport to get a phone since they are subsidized by the phone companies. That and the fact that they really don't want to sell you just the phone.
However, we learned that there are … Read more