FES changes the face of time
Fashion Entertainments (FES) is a group of innovators whose goal is to reinvent ways to enjoy fashion using technology. One of its initial projects is the FES Watch, which is currently being crowd-funded on the Japanese site Makuake.
As a watch designed for aesthetics as well as functionality, the FES strap and clock face changes pattern each time the wearer moves his or her hand. To do this it uses e-paper, which is commonly used for digital books. When stationary, the watch is simply black, but move your hand to check the time and the clock face and band light up with a design. Each watch has 24 designs to choose from, and it can be set to alternate with your movements.
Supporters can pledge ¥19,800 to receive a watch, which will be shipped sometime after May of 2015. See the Makuake project page for more details.
Keeping an eye on temperature
Leading health-care-goods manufacturer Omron has released the MC-652LC, a basal body-temperature (BBT) thermometer for women who want to keep track of ovulation, which can measure temperature in just 10 seconds. The company’s previous version of the same thermometer sold more than 300,000 units, exceeding the company’s annual target by 140 percent.
This new thermometer is small, weighing only 33 grams and is designed to easily fit into a makeup purse. A neat feature is its Bluetooth integration that allows users to sync data with iPhones using Rhythm Note, an accompanying fertility-tracking app.
In keeping with its discrete purpose, the BBT thermometer case even looks a bit like a tube of makeup, and it comes in pink, white and brown. Available since earlier this month, it is priced at around ¥4,000.
Elastic polymer and iPhones mesh well
This sleek iPhone case appeared at this year’s creative trade show Rooms, and is manufactured by Squair, a company based in Gifu Prefecture. AndMesh fits the newly announced iPhone 6 and is made of elastic polymer, which is similar to the rubber or polyurethane commonly used for iPhone cases but is much more flexible. Since the material is often used for industrial tools, it should be robust protection for the iPhone.
AndMesh is available in nine colors and was released on Sept. 18 at a price of ¥2,500, which is really reasonable when you consider that the company’s high-end metal iPhone cases, such as The Dimple, come with a price tag of ¥50,000.
Eleven languages can be Wovn together
According to Tokyo-based startup Minimal Technologies, only 5 percent of the World Wide Web uses Japanese. English is the most popular language used, but even that accounts for only 30 percent.
Wovn aims to tackle the language barrier problems this can cause with a simple solution. If you have a website or a blog that you want to be more accessible, all you need to do is to add one line of Javascipt and Wovn uses Bing translator to make it available in 11 different languages. The translations can also be refined before being published via the Wovn dashboard.
Currently free, Wovn has plans to introduce premium versions with added features as well as integrations with translations services such as Gengo or Conyac to produce better-quality translations on its platform.
Coffee delivery made easy as ABC
These days, good, authentic coffee is not hard to find in Tokyo. On the Corner in Shibuya or Kitsune in Omotesando are a couple of favorites, and there are reports that Blue Bottle Coffee will soon open its first shop in Japan. You can even have great coffee delivered to your door using coffee subscription services such as kawakura.co and cuppingtable.com.
If you’re an aficionado and prefer single-origin coffee, ABC coffee is a new subscription service that offers three types, which the company says are produced by the best coffee roasters in Tokyo. For ¥2,500 you’ll get 100 grams of each kind delivered to your home at the beginning of every month.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5