It still pays to be cautious about the spread of COVID-19, but the development of interesting and useful gadgets to improve our “with corona” life never stops.
Since the spring, most live performances have been canceled. There are artists and promoters who perform via livestream, but it’s difficult to reproduce the sheer excitement of a live show over a screen.
Startups Rhizomatiks and Evixar Inc. have developed Home Sync Light, a gadget that allows you to sync up with a show for your own at-home concert. LEDs illuminate according to the video production, lighting and lasers, making your streaming experience more immersive. The device can also be synchronized through sound with Evixar’s acoustic communication technology, Another Track(R). Just turn it on, start streaming the show and Home Sync Light will automatically pulse and change color in time with the music; even if you join in the middle of a song, the LED will sync up in about a second. No pre-configuration or ancillary smartphone applications are necessary.
Rhizomatiks conducted a demonstration at a special performance of the pop group Perfume on Sept. 21. At about 80 locations across Japan, across multiple streaming services, such as Abema, Niconico, U-Next and Line Live-Viewing, the demo proved that Home Sync Light works. Future development plans are in progress.
Sooner than we’d like, winter will set in and it’ll be time to dig out frustratingly heavy outerwear. So why not invest in an app-controlled smart jacket to keep you warm without the bulk?
Fashion company Adastria, gadget developer Wearable and chemical company DuPont have developed the A Warmer jacket with heating technology. The removable heating system is multilayered, with a carbon layer that generates heat and a silver conducting layer to transfer warmth throughout your body. Simply plug the heat module’s USB cable into a compatible 5V2.1A battery and, using a Bluetooth-connected smartphone application, adjust the temperature of the jacket between 37 and 53 degrees Celsius. If you go 30 minutes without using the app, it will automatically adjust the jacket’s temperature to prevent overheating.
Currently, there are 10 designs across five different brands, including Global Work and Bayflow. Jackets start at ¥23,760 (including tax).
Portable 360-degree camera
Ricoh has focused on developing 360-degree cameras for consumer use, such as the hit product Ricoh Theta. Recently, the company founded an in-house startup, Vecnos, to develop a small 360-degree camera, Iqui.
Iqui takes 360-degree photos or videos to make “snapping and sharing effortless.” It’s as slim as a pen, but still features three lenses on the side, and one on the top. With only three buttons — power, shutter and toggle — it’s easy to operate and fully automatic, so you can take high-quality photos or videos without fiddling with complex settings. Used in conjunction with the Iquispin smartphone application, you can control Iqui remotely, transfer photos or videos to your smartphone, and even add effects and filters.
Currently, it is available at b8ta Tokyo-Yurakucho, b8ta Tokyo-Shinjuku Marui, Tsutaya Kaden Futako-Tamagawa and Amazon for ¥29,800 (before tax).