In early February I received an email from a woman named Helen which read:
Obviously I though the e-mail was spam. Fueled by curiosity and a natural instinct to bait scammers I replied:
“Sounds intriguing. What topic would you like to write about?”
Its a bit weird when someone you’ve never met e-mails you out of the blue asking if they can write a guest post for your blog, but Helen seemed nice, and I decided to play along. I checked out her site to see if was legit, and it turned out coupons.org had some nice infographics like THIS ONE on bananas.
I wrote Helen back a few ideas for topics:
Top 5 Japanese Birds
Top 5 places in Japan to Dance
Top 5 Japanese fetishes
Top 5 Japanese Vending machines
Top 5 gadgets for 2012
We decided to go with Top 5 gadgets for 2012 for Living in Japan.
So, in all its glory, coupons.org’s guest post:
Top 5 gadgets for 2012 for Living in Japan
Guest Post: This article was written by Ella Davidson of Coupons.org. Coupons.org coupons and deal help consumers save money. Their research on the resurgence of the coupon has appeared on CNBC.
Japan has always been well known for their gadgets and inventiveness. In some instances these qualities can get a little weird and quirky such as fan ties, breast warmers, and kitty costume ears with headphones build into them. In other cases though, this inventiveness provides a new perspective on old gadgets or can even create a brand new product that makes the rest of the world jealous. This list shows off 5 gadgets that are native to Japan, some of which are the talk of the town and some are just for fun.
First on the list is the Sony PlayStation Vita. The next step in Playstation’s hand held arsenal, this item was originally only introduced in Japan. Offering up statistic such as a 5” OLED screen, two cameras, dual analog sticks, a GPS and 3G Wifi, this device rivaled even the best American equivalents including the Apple iPad and iPhone. The console provides top of the line touch screen and motion sensor controls that can be linked with the PS3 to make the ultimate gaming experience. This console has already made its debut in Japan where it has created a foothold and become an essential for any serious gamer.
Second on the list stays in the realm of video games. It is called the ICade 8 Bitty. For the gamers who are old enough to remember the first consoles like Atari or Nintendo, there is something familiar about the retro controller of old 8-bit gaming consoles. ICade offers just that feeling but for the use on an iPhone, iPad, or android. Imagine using the old wireless and blocky Nintendo controller to play classic games like Pac Man on your brand new iPhone. This makes it feel a bit like the good old days.
The third item on this list combines fun with practicality to provide a Japanese invention with the ability to either be a novelty or limitless aid. The device is called Mir:ror and takes the simple design of a mirror and combines it with a computer. The mirror is programmed to recognize the items that you put in front of it and perform assigned tasks.
You attach RFID Ztamps to an item and the mirror will perform any task you assign to it when you wave the item and the stamp in front of the screen. For example, show your mirror your umbrella and it will bring up the weather or wave your keys in front of it and the mirror will email your boss a sick note and book you a tee spot at your favorite golf course. The opportunities are limitless and it is simply designed so that even a 2-year-old child can use it. This Japanese item brings a little fairy tale to everyday life.
The fourth item on this list is the top of the line version of an essential Japanese item: the Sony A77. Only released in Japan, this Sony camera offers some of the best photography on the market with just enough character to attract people’s attention. If you are inertested in photography check out this item. It does run with a high price tag but the reviews say that it is well worth the price. Similar to the PlayStation Vita, this camera originated only in Japan and has made a foothold for itself as a staple before slowly transitioning to the rest of the world.
The last item on this list is the least useful of the bunch but it still plays towards Japanese inventiveness and creativity. It is the Toshiba ApriPoko Robot, a fun and cute robot that has learning capabilities. The toy learns commands through the use of a remote control and then internalizes the commands that can be voice activated from then on out. The toy even has a camera that lets it differentiate between different users and their commands. More known for their televisions, Toshiba has branched out to use their technology for a little fun flare that keeps Japan as one of the leading electronic names.