This product takes the term “mouse pad” a little too seriously. It’s a mouse pad with a giant stuffed mouse on top of it, which–Thanko boasts–doubles as a handwarmer.
Check out this adorable video of an 88-year old Japanese man testing out the LaDiDa iphone app. LaDiDa is a machine learning app that reads your voice and then sets background music to whatever tune you’re belching out. I love how excited he gets when the music comes on, and his repetition of “dokkoisho” is hilarious. (It’s a word typically used by old people when they have to get up from a chair or pick up something heavy, signaling added physical effort.) I don’t know why he’s holding a boat.
I know this App has been out and popular for awhile, but I’m just downloading it now and am gonna try it out. I’ll let you know how that goes.
You can download LaDiDa here.
Check out this new gadget just for peeling fruit. You stick the core of the fruit into the metal tongs at center, and then by pushing and rotating the red plastic button and crank, you move the surface of the fruit along the adjustable blade. Useless or awesome? I’m gonna vote for useless — I actually enjoy peeling fruit with a knife, and besides, there really is on reason why you ever have to peel an apple. The skin is good for you!
JapanStyle has a fun photo gallery of unusual vending machines, including this one that sells test study workbooks for different subjects.
Link (Thanks, Kazu Y!)
This iPhone case looks like an old school cassette tape. It even comes with a classic transparent plastic tape case, which doubles as a stand. Want! Just under $20.
USB gadget store Thanko is selling this giant heated “dinosaur paw” for people who get cold feet when they’re sitting at their desks. Your sensitive-to-cold-weather kitty might enjoy it too.
Product page (Japanese)
Roasted chestnuts are notoriously hard to peel. They’re so yummy and small you really don’t want to be spending a ton of time peeling them, but the ready-peeled packaged ones taste like bad candy. A new gadget provides a solution to this: a pair of pliers catered specifically towards peeling chestnuts.
via Impress Watch (Japanese)
A new cell phone web site called Luna Luna is a huge hit among women. It’s marketed as a specialty web site where women can ask questions about contraceptives, menstruation, and diet without embarrassment. Asiajin.com estimates that the creators make about $400,000 a month from selling access to this site to 1.8 million users at 180 yen a month. Wow!
Check out these super-cute colorful waterproof alien pod-like iPod speakers from Tokyu Hands. Only $12. Like!
I think this might be my favorite just-for-fun iPhone app right now: it’s called Suppin and it lets you “scrub” the crazy makeup off of Shibuya gals’ faces to see what they look like without makeup (makeup-less face = suppin). I met the woman who made the app last week in Tokyo; she found several girls who ordinarily look like gals, and then convinced them to let her photograph them in the exact same position before and after they got decked out. It’s really amazing to watch the transformation right under your fingers.
There’s a new iPhone app that will show you where the nearest convenience store is using augmented reality. I don’t know how useful that is, since there are combini everywhere and it’s kind of the last thing you need an iPhone to find in Tokyo, but it’s pretty and a fun concept.
Get it here
Yum. This machine, called gopan (a play on words: gohan = rice, pan = bread) makes bread out of rice. A lot of South Indian food, including dosas, are made out of rice but bread-like. Maybe that was the inspiration?
Finally, Japanese politics has gone so whack that it’s not all too unrealistic to imagine a dog running for office. Japan’s most famous dog, Jiro Shirato, stars in this mini documentary created to parody election time. It’s a Softbank commercial for a Twitter-friendly cell phone, and is chock full of drama, jokes (“manifesto” becomes “Everesto”) and hope for a brighter future. Plus it kinda explains Japanese politics in a nutshell. Amazing.
(Thanks, Kazu Y!)
The smash guitar is a playable toy guitar that is actually designed for optimum smashing on stage. Watch this incredibly funny instructional video on how it’s designed, how to use it on stage (don’t forget gloves and goggles for safety!) and how to recycle its part for future manufacture of more smash guitars.
Link (Thanks, Kazu Y!)
In this promotional video for a new Takara Tomy toy, a cheesy white guy shows us how to use the “potechi no te”, an artificial hand that is designed to pick up potato chips firmly without breaking them and even brushes off its own fingers afterwards.
Product page (Thanks, Kazu Y!)