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The Pantone Slide, TwistTogether Lamp and Sony Sountina

by Jean Snow

Tower of audio power

If there’s one thing you can surely trust Sony to do, it’s to stoke our technolust with innovative new audio products. With the introduction of the Sountina nondirectional speaker, Sony continues that tradition. The 180-cm tower of sound, which includes a subwoofer, looks like it was built by NASA and has a full array of specs that are guaranteed to arouse your ears.

The organic glass tube can also be lit up by three color LEDs at the base of the tower. Inputs include analog RCA as well as digital and optical, so you won’t have any trouble integrating it within your current setup. Do note that the Sountina falls in the high-range category of audio gear — reminiscent of Sony’s now-defunct Qualia line — with a corresponding high-range price tag of ¥1 million.

www.sony.co.jp/sountina/

Light as you like it

Lighting fixtures as toys? If you never thought of it before, that’s because you’ve never encountered the TwistTogether Lamp.

A set includes four cubelike lighting sources tied to one power supply, which can be snapped together like Lego. Each cube can be plugged into any of the outlets on any other cube, allowing you to create whatever kind of arrangement of lights you like. Even better, you can join more than one set together to assemble larger formations. The TwistTogether Lamp comes in two versions: the multicolored Candy set and the subdued shades of the Chocolate set.

The TwistTogether Lamp product, as well as Twist Shelving, which combines with the cubes, will be become available in Japan this fall through Ark Trading; ark trading.jp/glide/glidehome.htm

Calling all colors

SoftBank may be third in the cell-phone race in Japan, but it certainly gets attention for its eye-catching handsets. Building on last month’s launch of the Apple iPhone, the provider has now come up with a sequel to its multicolored Pantone line of cell phones, with the Pantone Slide (825SH). The update to Sharp’s popular series reduces the number of colors available from 24 to eight, but the clamshell form of old has been replaced with a sleeker full-face slider.

The Slide has all the features you’d expect from modern handsets, but also boasts a motion sensor that not only rotates screen menus depending on how you hold the phone, it can also translate certain gestures into commands.

Colors currently available are White, Black, Peach Pink, Deep Violet and Aqua Blue, with Rose Red, Lime Green and Lemon Yellow soon to follow; mb.softbank.jp/mb/product/3G/825sh/