Get into DIY home electronics


AgIC is a startup founded by Tokyo University graduates who aim to revolutionize the world of electronics by making it accessible to everyone. And it looks like the group has already made an impact — AgIC’s project on Kickstarter successfully raised almost $80,000 in a matter of two months, far exceeding its initial goal of $30,000.

The Kickstarter project offered DIY circuit-printer kits, conductive-ink pens and special paper — all you need to be able to print or draw circuit boards at home. Designed to be an easy way for designers to test circuits as well as a fun way to introduce kids to electronics, the ink used in the pens and printers contains conductive silver nanoparticles, so there’s no need for breadboard bases or wires.

The DIY printer-conversion kits and ready-made circuit printers can still be pre-ordered from the AgIC website, at ¥30,000 and ¥60,000, but if that’s a bit much, the brush and regular markers should be available soon at around ¥2,000 to ¥3,000.


Headphones with all the earmarks of style


If over-the-head headphones flatten your hair or get in the way of your glasses, but earbuds are also not your thing, Audio-Technica have revealed a new creation that should be just up your alley.

Its ATH-S600 is a high-quality headphone set with a sensitivity (output sound pressure level) of 99dB/mW, and it has been designed to be worn with the strap at back of your head. Slipless ear pads are used to help keep it in place and it’s constructed from a special type of aluminum that eliminates unnecessary vibration that can interfere with sounds.

Available since July 18, the ATH-S600 is priced at around ¥6,000 and comes in black, gold or red.


That’s a very cool fan

One way of keeping down electricity bills is to use a fan to circulate cool air rather than turn on all the air conditioners in the home. One problem with that, though, is that electric fans are often big and bulky — they’re not just unattractive but also inconvenient to store.

Doshisha has released the Piera DC Folding Fan FF-250D, which neatly folds flat when not in use. When stored, it is only 7 cm thick, 34 cm wide and 67 cm tall.

In use, the base folds out and the fan height can be adjusted up to 81 cm with the push of a button. It has four levels of power plus a timer feature. Priced around ¥15,800, Piera is available at various outlets including amazon.co.jp.


Keep the smartphone dry this summer

Though it may be a reika (cool summer) this year, weekend getaways to the beach or pool will always be on most people’s summer agenda. But while splashing around in water may give relief to the humidity and heat, it’s also a common way to damage your smartphone.

Planned to hit the market in mid-July, Sanwa Supply’s PDA-SPCWP2 is a water-resistant pouch that protects your smartphone while still allowing you to use it. It’s transparent, so cameras on either side of your phone can be used, and its soft vinyl casing doesn’t interfere with touch screens.

At 80 mm by 150 mm, it’s suitable for all kinds of smartphone and it weighs just 48 grams. Available in black, blue or white trimming, it costs ¥3,480 and can be ordered direct from Sanwa Supply.


An ambidextrous ergonomic mouse

Sanwa Supply has also released the new wireless Rockstick 2 Ergonomics Mouse 400-MA059, which, as its name suggests, is an ergonomic mouse designed to prevent tendonitis.

Functional for both right-handed and left-handed users, this mouse looks a bit like a joystick and is used by gently rocking your hand from side to side. There’s no need to twist your wrist, which can cause strain and pain, and you don’t need to move your fingers to right or left click.

To move the cursor, slide it like a regular mouse, and then simply swing left or right to click. There’s also a scrolling roller at its base, which is controlled by your thumb.

The Rockstick 2 needs just one AA battery to run and can be purchased from Sanwa Direct for ¥8,314.


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