Now they can get their hands on these 1:12-scale toilet and urinal model kits that guarantee hours of fun -- and perhaps some social ostracism.
TOKYO--The crowd lining the end of Tokyo Station's platform 22 is four people deep.
They're jostling for position with their cameras -- trainspotters, parents, and children alike -- to get a shot of Japan's latest bullet train: the Series E6 Shinkansen, known as the Super Komachi.
They all bought tickets for the privilege of entering this part of the sprawling terminal that serves 380,000 passengers daily, and operator JR East has to deploy extra security guards to keep them a safe distance from the glistening new locomotive.
With services to northern Japan on the Akita Shinkansen Line, the Super Komachi debuted earlier this month as one of Japan's fastest commercial trains.
It has been traveling at 300 kph (186 mph) and will eventually run at 320 kph (198.8 mph), also the new operational speed of the Series E5 Hayabusa, among the world's fastest along with France's TGV. … Read more
I always applaud innovations in the art of laziness, and the gadget elves at Thanko are masters at it.
Take Gorone de Megane, the latest eyewear to come out of Thanko's Tokyo workshop.
As the name suggests, these "napping glasses" let you read a book, watch TV, or use your smartphone while remaining completely horizontal in bed or on the couch.
Prisms in the specs reflect light into your peepers, leaving you perfectly positioned to nod off into a blissful snooze. … Read more
Want an instant pulse check? Look into the lens.
Fujitsu today announced a technology that can take a person's pulse in real time using the built-in camera on a smartphone, tablet, or PC.
The system reads pulses by measuring variations in the brightness of the face thought to be caused by blood flow. It requires no special hardware and can measure pulse rate in as little as 5 seconds, positioning it as a possible tool for easy self-monitoring, anytime and anywhere, without the need for a special device. It could also be used by security teams to detect people acting suspiciously in public venues such as concerts and airports, Fujitsu says. … Read more
The Japanese are known for their obsession with toilet innovations. They've created a toilet motorcycle, a smartphone-controlled toilet, and toilets that play music. Now the national potty pastime has made it to the world of remote-control toys with an RC toilet on wheels.
While all your buddies are out flying expensive quadrocopters and transforming RC cars into robots, you'll be zipping your little $16 toilet hot-rod all over the house, terrorizing the cats. Who's the cool one now, huh?… Read more
If you're a Japanese math geek with romantic inclinations, March 14 is a big day.
Japanese jewelry retailer Brilliance + is cashing in on this coincidence by mixing a love of math with love itself in its "Propose With Pi" campaign.
The idea is that men can compare their undying, eternal love for their ladies to the never-ending digits of pi -- and, of course, express that love with a 0.314-carat diamond ring. … Read more
Apple this week quietly made behind-the-scenes changes to its mapping service in Japan, fixing a handful of shortcomings.
Chief among them are changes to pronunciation during turn-by-turn navigation, a key feature introduced in Apple's own mapping service in iOS 6. The app now also alerts drivers to toll roads, and has better point-of-interest labels for things like subways, freeways, and hospitals.
Other tweaks include 3D buildings for some Japanese landmarks like Tokyo Station and Tokyo Tower, as well as changing the freeway color to green.
The changes rolled out without an additional software update from Apple. That's because … Read more
In the world of "so bad, it's good," this may well qualify as bad. Or good.
It's Domino's Pizza selling a new iTunes app in Japan. Because if there's one thing pizza needs, it's an iPhone app.
Domino's wants you to know that no expense was spared in the creation of this app. So it wasn't going to sink to using Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson, or Leonardo DiCaprio to sell it.
No, it was going to employ that versatile performer Scott Oellkers. Should you have been unaccountably held up in North Korea playing basketball, Oellkers is the president of Domino's Japan.… Read more
Japan is the newest country to get Apple's iBookstore. The tech giant announced today that it is rolling out a diverse array of books for Japanese readers in its iTunes bookstore.
"We're excited to launch the iBookstore in Japan with a wide selection of Japanese publishers and authors," Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said in a statement today. "We think customers are going to love how engaging and interactive the books are to read, and how beautiful they look on iPad."
The books range from novels to … Read more
A watched pot never boils, but some pots can stir themselves.
Kurukuru Nabe, a pot developed in Japan, stirs its own contents, freeing you up to do better things with your time.
You'd think this is high-tech stuff, but no. It's a conventional saucepan with a grooved insert that produces a circular motion resembling a whirlpool in the water.