Robotic fun

Takara Tomy is adding another robot to its long-running Omnibot series. Following the motto, “Bring fun to everyday life with robots,” its new Hello! MiP is a gesture and smart-phone controlled two-wheeled robot.

With a motion sensor inside its body, Hello! MiP can detect your hand and move away from or follow it. It also has a mobile inverted pendulum system that allows it to keep its balance when carrying objects weighing up to 350 grams. The accompanying iOS app lets users control movements remotely, including have it follow a drawn path and compete in boxing matches with fellow Hello! MiPs.

To be released on June 21, along with a motion-controlled dog robot called Hello! Zoomer, the Hello! MiP has a price tag of ¥15,000.


Skin and phones

Thanks to Maxwell Smart Communications Co. Ltd’s Hada More app and a Memoret high-magnification lens, women may never need to visit cosmetics counters to have the condition of their skin checked.

Users simply attach the Memoret lens over a smart-phone lens and activate the Hada More app. To take a picture, press the outside rim of the lens and an LED light will come on, then place the lens onto washed, dry skin and tap the screen. The app will focus your mobile camera and take two photos of your skin.

The photos are then sent to a server to be returned with an analysis of your skin, offering information on elasticity, tone and wrinkles. The app is free and the Memoret lens costs ¥10,000.


Light up when you phone home

For women who want to take finger bling to the next stage, Takara Tomy Arts has unveiled flashing nail stickers called Lumi Deco Nail. One of the stickers in each set of Lumi Deco Nails is equipped with a tiny LED that lights up when it receives a Near Field Communication signal. In layman terms, it lights up when wearers use a mobile phone or an electronic pass (such as a Suica card).

No batteries are involved, the LED will glow as long as it’s receiving an NFC signal, which provides the energy. Just stick it on, give it a layer of top coat and you’re set to glow.

There are six different designs and each set costs ¥1,200.


Smart Beam me up

Shinjuku-based manufacturer Roa International has released a new colorful version of its iF Design Award-winning mobile-device projector.

The original Smart Beam — a compact 129-gram, 4.5-cm silver cube — can project videos to up to 2 meters wide onto a flat surface from a distance of three meters. The new upgraded Smart [Beam] Art sports bright primary colors and is fractionally bigger (1 mm wider), but is 5 grams lighter. Improvements include brighter and sharper resolution, and the ability to use it with a laptop as well as phones and tablets.

The Smart [Beam] Art lasts for about 100 minutes unplugged and takes roughly four hours to fully charge. It may be tiny, but it’s not cheap at ¥39,900.


How about a bake-up instead of a fry-up?

According to government research in 2010, despite more people becoming health conscious, roughly 65 percent of the Japanese population eat some form of fried food at least twice a week.

In response to those concerned about family health, Japanese consumer products manufacturer Irisoyama have come up with a “non fry” oven that it claims can cook foods evenly and quickly enough to make them crispy.

The Non Fry Neppu Oven (FVH-D3A) is a convection oven that uses hot air to cook and heat food. Since the food is stationary there’s no need for oil to stop it from sticking to a pan, and because the heat circulates it’s spread evenly as it would be with a deep-fat fryer. The heat evaporates surface water, leaving meats juicy but crispy outside.

The company says using this oven instead of frying with oil can cut fat in foods by up to 89 percent. The Non Fry Neppu Oven can also be used as a toaster, and has a special re-heating feature called Re;cook.

The Non Fry Neppu Oven was released in April and costs around ¥30,000.


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