Diving directors: Everything about jumping out of an aircraft is a memorable experience, so filming the experience is a must. Skydivers have new opportunities to express their creativity thanks to Elmo Japan and its new SUV-Cam Professional, out March 26. The unit consists of a distinctly small camcorder head, which looks like a long thin camera lens, connected to a separate recorder unit with a 2.2-inch LCD display. The camera records video in MPEG4 format on SD and SDHC cards. The Lithium Ion battery allows for a continuous recording time of up to 2 1/2 hours, or five hours of playback. The waterproof camera head can be attached to motorcycles, bicycles, snowmobiles and other means of extreme recreational activities, beyond a skydiving helmet. The recording unit is set to be sold for ¥84,000 with the camera head slated to go for ¥31,500 and more details can be found at their Web site

Roof gazing: Big cities like Tokyo have many attractions, pure night skies for star gazing are not among them. Countering that is a home planetarium, a small device that projects images of the stars onto your ceiling, a kind of small-scale substitute for the real thing that at least means you no longer fret over cloudy nights. Sega Toys has just released a far more economic version of its HomeStar home planetarium. Looking like a big plastic black, white or even blue egg on a stand, the “HomeStar Pure” can project 10,000 stars onto your ceiling. You can rotate the projection to show different star positions and it gives a 25-degree view. Operating on four AA batteries, the portable gazer costs ¥9,975, check it out at: www.segatoys.co.jp

Obsolescent becomes modern: Owners of LPs have typically had to either replicate their collection in CDs, or scrounge the outlying regions of electrical retailing for record players. A third option is to reproduce your LPs as digital files fit for the latest modern age. Sony is offering the PS-LX300USB turntable to do the job. The device can be connected to a computer via USB. Then you can copy tracks from your LPs to your computer, mix and match them at will before storing them as digital files. The turntable is set for April 15 release with a pricetag of ¥28,350. Details on Sony’s Web site

Singing in the rain: Karaoke gives everyone their moment in the spotlight, no matter how bad they may be. This demands a swag of technology that you can only find in a specialist karaoke studio or in the home of the certifiable fan. Logitec has crafted a far more accessible option with its LAT-PKARA01 Pokekara (Pocket Karaoke). The microphone can be plugged into most equipment with even rudimentary audio abilities — a TV, stereo, digital music player and even mobile phone — allowing you to exercise the vocal chords to your heart’s content with the tones playing from the makeshift audio gear. If you cannot physically connect to an audio device, the microphone also has an FM transmitter to allow you to play your “music” through a radio. With the microphone hitting the shelves this month with a pricetag of ¥5,980 for white or silver versions, more information is available at: www.logitec.co.jp/press

iPod ears: A more traditional music accessory is the GH-SPA214CC iPod cases from Green House. Rather than selling themselves as cases their main claim to your interest is that they provide a couple of speakers that stick out from your iPod like ears. The top output is 770 mW x 2 ch with up to eight hours of playing time from each recharge, via USB. The cases weigh 75 grams, connect to the back of a non-Nano iPod and are set for release late this month at a price of ¥4,480. Check it out at: www.watch.impress.co.jp

Arise Sir Wii: Only in ThankoLand can Nintendo’s riotously popular Wii get this level of respect. Thanko has released the “Electric Up and Down Big TV Stand” specifically for the games console. In essence the marvel is a platform that raises your flat-screen TV up to eye level. The virtue of such a contraption might not be immediately apparent. The appeal is that if you want to play your Wii from a standing position, which with some of its more energetic games is virtually a necessity, then you incur the inconvenience of looking down at your TV screen. The stand can elevate a TV upwards up to 130 cm, and can handle screens between 100 and 150 cm, weighing up to 50 kg. The Wii wonder has a remote control and costs ¥69,800: thanko.jp/tvstand

Wooden choice: Variety is not the strong point of the computer mouse. Beyond the optical and wireless variations, mostly the differences are cosmetic. The essential mouse is an oval bit of plastic with a small plastic ball in the middle of its underside and a cord to connect it to the computer or keyboard. Local firm Actbrise just has to think on the other side of the box. Its “Jupiter” mouse is a wooden ball sitting on a small square stand, and joins to your computer via the traditional cord. It takes its moniker from the swirling wood grains that resemble the cloud bands of the planet, not to mention the button that apes the distinctive red spot of our solar system’s largest planet. The mouse is distinct in that it functions like a joystick rather than like a normal mouse. How you tilt the ball determines the direction and speed that your cursor moves on your computer screen, rather than acting in lockstep with your hand as a traditional mouse endeavors to achieve. The mouse, for Windows operating systems, costs ¥13,980. The fact that it is handmade rather negates the expensive nature of the price: www.darumouse.com/sphere.html


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