Video: The manner mode pen, and why Japan makes seemingly useless gadgets

I had a virtual guest speaker at my ETech session on Japanese tech and toys. Consultant Morinosuke Kawaguchi joined us via this video, in which he explains why Japan makes seemingly useless gadgets like the “manner mode” pen. It’s very insightful!

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2 thoughts on “Video: The manner mode pen, and why Japan makes seemingly useless gadgets

  1. This doesn’t answer what I think is the obvious question — why not just make the pen quieter, always? Is it because the enjoyment of pen-clicking is reduced with the reduced noise? More broadly, are Japanese gadgets like this really created for utility or just passing novelty — if its really utility, we might expect this feature to be remain popular years from now, but somehow I don’t think that that’s super likely.

  2. As the speaker said, engineers like making loud sound. But not appropriete in a packed meeting room. If it is always quiet, engineers do not like it.
    In a long term sense, this feature could be major only in the Japan market, where meeting rooms are so small and packed with a lot of people.