Cool Japanese gadgets we want right now
Internet-enabled umbrellas, mind-controlled rabbit ears and other essential tech from the land of the rising sun.
I used to live in Japan. A little while after I'd moved back to the UK I was in the pub with one of my friends, when he started showing off his 'amazing' (and amazingly expensive) new mobile phone. What was so amazing about it, I hear you ask? Well, it had a camera on it. Sometimes you could even make out what it was he'd photographed.
I fondly remembered my Japanese 'keitai' which had a five-megapixel camera, a couple of gigs storage and its own email address, and which doubled as my commuter rail pass and something to buy groceries with at the supermarket. It was almost enough to make me turn around and get on a plane straight back.
These days the west has caught up with Japan in many ways, and the coolest stuff in the land of the rising sun is now frequently imported. Over there, everyone buys their cameras in Hong Kong, uses Twitter (the second most posted language on Twitter is Japanese) and loves all things Apple in a big way.
However, there are still some things that are so uniquely Japanese they could never originate anywhere else, along with a fair few innovations that haven't quite hit our stores yet. Take a closer look in our round-up of the Japanese gadets we want over here.