Digital | ON: TECH

Little things to make life easier

by Chiho Komoriya

Small but very smart

The Tepra series of portable label printers has long been a popular seller for King Jim, but there’s always room for improvement. Last month, the office products company released a new, tiny model, the Tepra Lite LR30, which conveniently works via a smartphone app.

There’s no keyboard and no need to connect the palm-sized Tepra Lite LR30 to a computer. All you need is a roll of Tepra tape and a smartphone.

The app, which is free and available for both Android and iOS, allows for a lot of flexibility in label design. You can choose from numerous fonts, change the size of letters, use emoji and icons, decide where to place them on the labels and add decorative frames. There are even options to create custom images using preset icons and turn your own drawings or photos into black-and-white pictures.

Since this is a thermal printing machine, you do need special label tape, but Tepra offers a wide selection to choose from, ranging from plain pastel colors to cute printed designs.

Particularly minimalist in design — just a square block with a button at the top to cut tape — the Tepra Lite LR30 is priced at ¥7,244 and is powered by four AAA batteries.

bit.ly/tepralite (Japanese only)

Canon’s future projections

There isn’t a shortage of portable projectors that can be attached to smartphones. But what if you get a call, or want to text someone while in the middle of watching or presenting something?

Canon Marketing Japan’s new C-13W is an independent mini projector that can project images or video via a MicroSD card, flash drive or Wi-Fi. Like other portable projectors, it supports HDMI connections, can project up to 96 inches in screen size and can function as a battery for mobile devices.

At just 12 by 12 centimeters and 3.3 centimeters thick (smaller than a B6 notebook) and weighing 410 grams, it is being billed as an ideal gadget to show presentations on the go, as well as a mini entertainment device. Of course, you can still be connect it to a computer or smartphone via USB if you need to, and for those with Android smartphones, it’s extra handy — users can connect to it wirelessly.

The C-13W is set for release in early October and can be pre-ordered at the Canon online for ¥53,784.

bit.ly/canonc13 (Japanese only)

Unbottling a clever idea

In the hectic world we live in today, we often find ourselves eating and drinking on the move. To make that a little easier, gadget shop Thanko has released an electric bottle with an automatic pump straw. That may sound a little ridiculous, but sucking on a straw without spillages while driving, running or even just walking fast isn’t as easy as it sounds. More importantly, however, the Electric Straw could prove useful for care of the elderly.

The tumbler has a flexible silicon straw attached to a central pump, which is activated by pushing down on the nozzle on the lid. Drinks are then shot up the straw and through the nozzle, which you simple aim at your mouth. There are three levels of power, controlled by a button on the lid, the weakest of which allows you to put the nozzle in the mouth for a sure shot.

The Electric Straw, which can be fully dismantled to be washed, is more environmentally friendly than using disposable plastic straws and is powered by a rechargeable battery, which can last up to 10-15 days on a 40-minute charge. It can also withstand cool enough temperatures to be used to store a drink in the refrigerator.

Priced at ¥4,980, it’s not cheap, but it could save your shirts from a few stains, help prevent more unnecessary plastic waste and offer some relief to those having difficulty with drinking beverages.

bit.ly/electricstraw (Japanese only)

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