Whether it’s old school or the state of the art, the more a gadget can do, the more you feel you need it.
Takara Tomy becomes very destination
The popularity of photo apps from social networks like Instagram is not decreasing, but there has been a small reaction to digital photography with an increase in the younger generations who are interested in retro-style analog snapshots, especially with instant cameras. Toy company Takara Tomy is tapping into that market with Pixtoss, a new instant toy camera that will be released blank on February 27, with other colors following in March.
The Pixtoss uses the Fujifilm Instax mini film, but unlike the Instax series of cameras for adults, it has a wide angle lens, which makes group selfies much easier to take. Basically, it’s a toy so don’t expect anything particularly advanced. It is quite large, with large buttons and very simple functions. The viewfinder and flash are in one corner, the shutter lever next to the lens and there is a side handle for manually taking the photo. To use, just point, shoot, then turn the handle.
A fun addition is a free lens filter that reduces the light that enters the camera so you can take double exposure photos (or more) and superimpose images. For an additional 1,408 yen, a set of colored filters is also available to give photos an orange, pink or green tinge. They are like Instagram instant movie filters, but for a real instant movie camera.
At 6,578 yen, the Pixtoss could be a good first camera for a child, but there is nothing to stop adults from having fun with it too.
bit.ly/pixtoss-jp (Japanese only)
Don’t miss a word on TV
The Sony SRS-LSR200 kills two birds with a single speaker: it improves the listening experience of the TV observer by bringing the sound closer to them and also functioning as a remote control.
The charging dock of this stereo speaker is connected to the TV via its headphone or digital audio output jack, which ensures that it plays audio simultaneously to the TV speakers. It has buttons at the top to allow the user to change channels and a dial to adjust the volume. Sony released a similar SRS-LSR100 in 2015, but this new update includes an integrated speaker in the center, which only emits human voice frequencies, making dialogue clearer for listeners.
Originally designed for the deaf and people who like to watch TV from a distance while doing something else, the speaker has a top handle, making it easy to move around. Leave it in the dock to charge it (or plug it directly into a power outlet) when it’s not in use, then take it wherever you want. It’s also splash-proof – great for kitchen users – and has a headphone jack, so you can connect headphones without the need for a bulky extension cable connected directly to the TV.
At a price of ¥ 22,000, the SRS-LSR200 is compatible with a wide range of TV brands, can run for 13 hours on a full three-hour charge and, like a giant remote control, it could come in handy for those who continue to lose the TV the original one behind the sofa.
bit.ly/tvspeaker-jp (Japanese only)
A really smart wallet
Smartphone, control; wallet, check; battery, control; cables, check. These days there are so many things you need to make sure you have before leaving home and so many things that are easily lost. Hirase International Trading has taken an all-in-one approach to its Superby project by combining a phone case, battery and cables in one portfolio.
A successful Makuake crowdfunding project, the Superby looks like a simple long wallet. Inside, however, there is a 5,000 milliampere power bank that supports wireless charging and has both integrated lightning and micro-USB cables. There is also a USB Type-C connector in another pocket. It can charge up to three devices simultaneously: one wirelessly, two via cables.
As a wallet, there is a section for notes, credit card slots and a pocket for a smartphone. With a length of just under 18 cm and a width of 10 cm, it can contain an iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 11 Pro Max and various androids. There is only one color, though: black. The Superby will sell for ¥ 11,800, but if you’re fast, you can still get one starting at ¥ 8,260 through Makuake.
bit.ly/superby-jp (Japanese only)