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Rick Martin

Softbank's  Mimamori Z001 camera

Hoping to capitalize on over-protective pet owners (like myself!), Softbank is rolling out its innovative – and admittedly cute – Mimamori Camera. This clever pet monitoring system allows you to keep tabs on your pet remotely via your mobile phone, all in real time using a Japanese handset's 'TV call' function.  Read More

Mitsubishi Electric installs elevators to carry 80, possibly the world's largest

If you've ever been annoyed by the impatiently waiting for an office building elevator, this might just be the perfect building for you. Each of the new elevators installed by Mitsubishi Electric in Umeda Hankyu Building’s new office area in Osaka, Japan measures 11.2 x 9.2 feet in area by 8.5 feet high (3.4m wide, 2.8m long and 2.6m high), thus allowing for a whopping 80 person capacity.  Read More

Honda's Bodyweight Support Assist selected for NY innovation exhibition

Some of you may recall our piece on Honda's Body Support Assist prototype last year. As a quick update to that story, those of you in the New York area will get a chance to see it in person as a part of the "Why Design Now?" exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.  Read More

Ferris WheeLED keeps you simultaneously safe and stylin'

Most cyclists will attach some form of light or reflector to their bicycles when riding at night, but Japanese company PIAA has created a light that's pretty mesmerizing to look at as well. By attaching the Ferris WheeLED to your wheel spokes, you transform your bike into a veritable mobile light show. Twelve different design patterns can be created as a result of varying flash sequences.  Read More

Sony's 3G VAIO P: accelerometer, digital compass and stand-up controls

With so many variations of smartphones, netbooks, and tablet PCs on the market it's hard to imagine the categories of mobile tech getting more confusing - but they are. Sony has just thrown another unclassifiable beast into the mix with its new VAIO P Series. The first Type P had a sexy and ultra-portable form factor that could be stuffed into one of your larger pockets and while this new Type P might not be a game changer, it certainly has a boat-load of mobile-friendly features.  Read More

Self-weighing suitcase knows exactly how heavy it is

It's happened to most of us at one time or another - you pack a suitcase before going on a trip, only to find that it's over the airline's weight restriction. Surely there has to be a better way than lifting that heavy suitcase back and forth to your bathroom scales, right? British company Expert Verdict is now selling a clever solution on their website. This self-weighing suitcase has an LCD display just underneath the handle that will tell you exactly how much the contents weigh.  Read More

The LUXA2 H4 is a 360-degree adjustable holder for the iPad or Kindle

One of the early complaints about the iPad (yes, some people have complaints!) is that it's surprisingly heavy and sometimes difficult to hold. In an effort to remedy that problem, LUXA2 (a division of Taiwanese company Thermaltake) has created one of the more clever iPad holders that we've seen to date.  Read More

Adjustable presentation speakers point you in the right direction

For anyone who has ever needed to give presentations on the go, playing audio from your built-in computer speakers can sometimes be a problem. Battery-powered portable speakers that plug into your audio jack are one possible solution. But I'm inclined to favor this new adjustable speaker from Sanwa, which draws all its power from your computer's USB port.  Read More

Thanko's full-size USB keyboard folds to fit your pocket

Here's another USB gem from Japanese gadget giant Thanko. Its full-size USB keyboard is broken into four connected quarter segments, allowing it to be folded over into a pocket-size rectangular shape. With the growing popularity of portable notebooks and tablets with smaller, cramped keyboards, having a full-size keyboard like this to tote around in your pocket might be a nice complement.  Read More

3R's A200 is a microscope in your pocket

At the Printable Electronics Exhibition in Tokyo, 3R Systems was showing off their newest model of pocket microscope, the A200. Unlike the previous Vitiny model, which shot at 300,000 pixels, the A200 has a 2 megapixel (2,000,000) CMOS sensor and kicks out images of about 1600 x 1200 pixels.  Read More

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