Tag Archives: Gadgets

Cultural Oddities of Japan

I came across an article recently about a Japanese trend among single women to marry themselves.  It reminded me that there are a lot of oddities and quirks that come out of the Land of the Rising Sun; they even have a name for odd inventions:  “Chindogu”, meaning “‘un-useless’ or priceless tool”; I think that’s meant in irony, but one never knows, with Japan.  For the list below, believe me when I say that I’ve left off hundreds of REALLY bizarre items!  Here are a few of the less-weird ideas:

  • Soap-printing pens: 3D sculpting pens for bath time that make soap foam.
  • Sleeping dome head tent: Just like it sounds – a small tent to put your head in at night, so that your skin stays hydrated.
  • Salty potato ice cream
  • Ice-block noodle bowls
  • Hyperrealistic food bookmarks
  • Watermelon-shaped dumplings on a stick
  • Charcoal Face Wash
  • Smile Assessment Apps: Designed to assess a smile’s quality with facial recognition; used in hospitality industries such as airline flight attendants and customer service positions.  A symptom of this image-obsessed age.
  • Umbrellas with wheels: A “rolling cane umbrella” means you can drag it behind until needed…
  • Single weddings: “Me marrying myself” weddings are becoming popular among single women in Kyoto, Japan – complete with bridal pampering, the dress, the hair & make-up and photo album of memories, but without a groom necessary.
  • Eyedrop funnels
  • Karaoke, and “silent karaoke” (for those moments you don’t want to be heard belting out a tune)
  • Shoe umbrellas
  • Square watermelon: Makes them more space-efficient to ship
  • Umbrella necktie
  • Hearing enhancers: Basically, aluminium bowls strapped to the side of your head – in case hearing aids are too discreet for you.
  • Bubble wrap keychain – re-pop-able stress relief. This would be a good gag gift for a stocking stuffer or Advent calendar.
  • Baby Mop Suit: Let the baby clean the floor while they’re crawling around.  Very hygienic.
  • Half-body, or “hug” pillow: A torso-shaped pillow with arm, for the lonely woman.
  • Lap pillow: For the lonely man, a pillow shaped like a woman’s kneeling lap.
  • Capsule hotels: Literally a box, similar to a morgue slab, for sleeping in; an economical way to crash overnight.
  • Themed food for films (see hamburger below, made for the Ghost Busters film)
  • Zentai – De-stressing and escaping social pressures by dressing in full-body lycra suits
  • Commuter’s Aids: Either a construction helmet with a suction cup on the back to hold your head upright while sitting in the U-Tube (subway), or a stick with a padded “U” to hold your chin while you stand.
  • Face Gadgets: Everything from face irons, eyebrow wrinkle stretchers, smile exercisers, lipstick application masks (because every woman has the same size and shape mouth, right?), round-eye enhancers, eyelid trainers, face slimmer mouth exercisers, face lift chin-belts… the list goes on and on, with the Japanese fixation on Western standards of “beauty” reaching maniac proportions.
  • Cat costumes:  The Japanese are cat-crazy, from the lucky cat waving everywhere, to cat restaurants (as well as any other kind of animal you can think of), and the weird (and animal-unfriendly, if you asked the animals) custom of dressing cats and dogs in bizarre mini outfits.

The slide show below illustrates a few of these gadgets or concepts, plus a few others.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Articles, History, Humor, Images, Lists, Obscurities, Research, Science & Technology

5 Inspiring Gadgets

Once in a while I like to go surfing… internet, that is.  I like to search for inspiring images, whether people, architecture, Hi-Tech, transportation, or whatever floats my boat.  I come across them through a wide range of sites, and I’ve collected them for so long that I have no idea where some of them are from, but I hope that they will inspire you to go surfing, and find them on the original sites, read the articles, and be amazed, awed, or just dumb-founded.  So without further ado, here are a few gadgets:

1:  Airless tires.  How cool is that?!

Airless Tires

2: Blood-powered tattoo display.  It’s perhaps just a matter of time.  I wonder what all of those people will do who are already covered with tattoos? “Oops, lost the phone again… I know it’s on my arm somewhere…”

blood-powered-tattoo-display-gadget

3: Insect Spy Drone.  Whether or not it’s really in production by the US government, it’s either a frightening thought, or inspiring for Sci-Fi writers… either way, feel free to swat mosquitoes, even if they’re multi-million dollar ones.

Insect Spy drones

4:  The Skin Gun was developed by Jörg C. Gerlach and colleagues at Stem Cell Systems GmbH in Berlin.  It replicates the healthy skin of burn victims, injecting it straight onto the burn area to grow new skin, avoiding skin-graft rejections.

The Skin Gun, developed by Jörg C. Gerlach at Stem Cell Systems GmbH in Berlin

5:  Duluth, GA-based global systems integrations firm Polytron – transparent cell phone.  I know a lot of teenagers who already have enough trouble keeping track of where they saw their phone last.  Now make it invisible… that’s either a fun prank, or just mean.  Either way, it’s cool.

Duluth, GA-based global systems integrations firm Polytron - transparent cell phone

 

 

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Filed under Nuts & Bolts, Research