Jogging might be good for your body but just how many brain cells die of boredom in the process? Swimming laps is perhaps a more palatable exercise method but it doesn’t lag running by too much in the boredom stakes. What serious pool lappers need is a waterproof iPod, or some facsimile thereof. Century is giving it a go with the niftily named Dolphin Player. Not only is the gadget waterproof but a swimmer can dive up to 1 meter below the surface with the player on. The Dolphin consists of a lightweight aluminum cylinder, measuring about 11 cm by 2 cm, with waterproof earphones connected to it and can easily be attached to swimming goggles. The player has a capacity of 1 gigabyte, handles both MP3 and WMA file formats and the battery lasts for eight hours on one recharge. It is on sale for 12,800 yen with more information available at www.century-direct.net/
Dial to impress: Using your mobile phone as a fashion statement is hardly novel, but NTT DoCoMo is cranking up the conspicuous consumption ante to a new level with its new Dolce & Gabbana handset. The D&G M702iS, a localized version of the Motorola RAZR, carries a 75,000 yen price tag. Apart from the prominent gold-colored branding on the phone, your fashion statement consists of an eel skin case, a D&G strap, some on-screen graphics and four original ring tones. Backing up its claims to exclusivity, it will only be on sale online, either via i-mode or through DoCoMo’s Web site, and in old-fashioned bricks-and-mortar D&G stores. The phone is on sale until the end of May.
Top-notch video: Life at the top is fleeting in electronics. Just five months after announcing the HDC-SD1, which Panasonic trumpeted as the first video camera able to record high-definition TV images to an SD memory card, the electronics giant is trumping it with the HDC-SD3. The new model ups the resolution to 1920 x 1080i pixels, compared to its sibling’s 1440 x 1080i. Both the old and new cameras use the relatively new AVCHD compression technique to fit high-definition video onto current-generation media, such as the SD cards. A similarly revamped DVD camcorder, the HDC-DX3, has also been announced. The HDC-SD3 is expected to cost 150,000 yen and come with a 4-gigabyte SDHC card.
Rainbow tunes: Speakers that just play music are so 20th century. In the interest of modern innovation To-Conne Corp. is bringing out the “i-Lit” speakers. Shaped as elliptical cylinders, their claim to fame is that they light up with one of three colors — blue, red and green — and constantly change between them as the music plays. Decked out in metallic body frames, the speakers have a diameter of 5 cm and deliver an output of 3Wx2ch. Each one has a 3.5mm stereo input and is powered by an AC adapter. If you are interested check out www.to-conne.co.jp/trd/index.html
Bidet on wheels: Just as speakers no longer only play music, so toilets are multitaskers these days. So, the bidet toilet does its best to leave you more or less scrubbed clean after visiting the bathroom. Toilet giant Toto is taking the concept a step further with its new portable “washlet” bowl. Made mostly of wood, tt comes complete with wheels, and weighing in at 20kg it isn’t going to be too difficult to move around. Of course, in true bidet toilet style, the seat can be heated. On sale for 132,300 yen, for more information check out www.toto.co.jp/fukushi/catalog/toilet/aide/aide01.htm