Smart watches for tech-savvy kids

Apple Watches will be far too expensive for kids, but that won’t stop them from wanting one when it comes out this month. Takara Tomy, however, is already prepared to meet that demand.

The toy manufacturer is about to release PlayWatch, a smart watch aimed specifically at children. It’s definitely a toy, but it does, of course, tell the time — as well as offer three kinds of games, a recording microphone, a still and movie digital camera and 50 different watch-face wallpapers.

Available from June 20, the PlayWatch comes in purple, white, blue or pink, and is priced at ¥7,980. That may seem expensive for kid’s toy, but it may take their mind off the Apple Watch, not to mention teach them how to tell the time.


BotsNew takes you sky diving, underwater walking and on a date with a girl band

Virtual reality has been a hot topic for a while, especially with gamers keen to experience fantasy worlds in stereoscopic 3-D and wide-angle view. But you don’t need an Oculus Rift to try give virtual reality a go.

Bandai Namco Group’s toy maker MegaHouse has created BotsNew, a pair of simple VR goggles to be used with a smart phone. It’s not the first pair of DIY smart-phone VR goggles, but BotsNew is made from polypropylene, not cardboard, making it more durable and yet still affordable at only ¥2,760.

The BotsNew Player app offers various adventurous experiences including skydiving, underwater walking and a roller coaster ride, as well as quieter pursuits such as a date with members of the girl idol group Kamen Joshi.


Sometimes the smallest iDolls can be the greatest

Advertising agency Hakuhodo has announced a prototype of a cute miniature robot, aptly named iDoll.

At 15 cm tall, this palm-sized doll has 15 micro- motors and 10 body joints, allowing it to make a number of actions and gestures including running, jumping, waving and dancing.

Users will be able to control iDoll using a smartphone app and there are plans to develop its programming tools to allow users to invent new moves as well as share dance routines and other information via an online community.

Currently a blank canvas of a doll — though with the cute anime proportions of a giant head and small limbs — the iDoll is also in the process of finding partners that can dress it up as specific characters for production.

Keep an eye on the website for updates.


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