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THE 10 CRAZIEST JAPANESE GADGETS

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The 1980s saw the rise of Japan as a technological superpower, quickly dominating the world of gadgets and gizmos with the Walkman, the Nintendo and other fine products. That spurred a generation of young Japanese people to explore the inventor’s art on their own. Some of them went on to become multimillionaires (or at least very important cogs in massive corporations). Others, though, went on to invent these insanely weird gadgets. Here’s a rundown of 10 of the oddest products to come from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Muscle Mouse
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Spending all day at a computer isn’t so great for getting swole, even if you have one of those standing desks. Thankfully, one Japanese tech company has a solution — sort of. The Muscle Mouse is an ordinary wireless peripheral that promises to help you build mass as you surf the web. No, it’s not packed full of lead weights — instead, the Muscle Mouse comes with a “stimulus pad” that you plug in and attach to a part of your body that needs work. As you push the mouse around, it delivers a small electric shock through the pad, causing your muscles to contract. Whether this actually works or not is anybody’s guess, but it can’t hurt to try.

Armpit Fans
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This summer’s looking to be a hot and sweaty one, and if you want to beat the heat you need to focus on the most vulnerable area of your body — the armpit. Pits are notorious for getting super moist when the temperature rises. That can lead to the proliferation of stinky bacteria that gives you BO and shirt stains. Keep your underarms cool with the clip-on Under the Armpit Cooling Device from Thanko. These battery-powered fans attach to the interior of your shirtsleeve and blow refreshing cool air right at your pits for five to nine hours on a single charge.

Nose Straightener
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Beauty standards are becoming increasingly difficult to live up to in the age of plastic surgery and Photoshop, but what if you can’t afford to have work done like the pros? There’s a gadget for that. The Hana Tsun Nose is a specially designed plastic clip that you wear for 20 minutes a day to “strengthen and straighten” your proboscis. The bottom part hooks into your nostrils and pushes the tip upwards for a perky appearance, while the greaves on the side slowly force the nose into straightness. Now if only they could invent something like this for the rest of your body.

D Free
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One thing that’s a commonality among many of these gadgets is that they solve problems that nobody really has. Here’s an example: It’s pretty easy to know when you have to poop, right? Apparently not, because that’s why Triple W created the D Free. Users attach a small sensor to the skin on their stomach and pair it through Bluetooth with their mobile phone. The sensor listens for activity in your digestive tract, and when it hears something it delivers an alert telling you to make your way to a toilet. The app also keeps track of your bathroom visits for you, in case you need to revisit the memories.

VR Sex Bodysuit
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There are plenty of stereotypes about Japan’s love for computerized sex, but the Illusion VR Sex Bodysuitmakes us think that stereotype is based in fact. The $400 outfit comes with a Samsung headset, a Tenga electronic masturbation machine and a pair of silicone breasts to fondle while you enjoy the simulated sex experience. One would think that purchasing this thing is tantamount to advertising your permanent virginity to the world, but the company completely sold out of their initial production run shortly after the device was announced.

USB Pollen Blocker
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Allergies are a real problem, and when there’s pollen in the air you’ll do anything to stop sneezing. Or at least that’s what beloved Japanese gadget company Thanko hopes with this USB-powered pollen blocker. The enormous orange hood slips over your noggin and uses a filter fan to purify the oxygen that comes in from particles. Considering it’s socially acceptable to wear a mouth mask if you’re sick, this is just a natural evolution. Thanko even measured the noise levels inside the hood to make sure you could go about your day relatively normally with the fan running.

Iphone Smell Attachment
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Our electronic devices basically only stimulate two of our senses — sight and hearing. Maybe touch, if you really want to push it, but it’s a distant third. What about taste and smell, though? All senses matter, people. That’s the logic behind the Hana Yakiniku, a plug-in device for iPhone systems that when activated emits one of three savory odors: Short Ribs, Beef Tongue, and Buttered Potato. Yakiniku means “grilled meat,” and it’s a pricey food option in Japan, so the device is designed to make people able to experience it with their nose at least.

Ingrown Toenail Fixer
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Okay, this thing just looks like a torture device. Ingrown toenails are awfully uncomfortable, true, but they might be better than clamping the Makizume Robo Ingrown Toenail Fixer onto your foot and letting it do its business. The gadget has a pair of clamps on the side that slide under your nail, and a crank that raises them so they no longer cut into the flesh. Follow it up with a soak in warm water to let the nail dry in its proper position and you’ve got a seriously grisly home cure. How often do you get ingrown nails that you’d have to buy something just for them, though?

Facial Fitness Pao
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Here’s another Japanese beauty gadget that looks absolutely ridiculous. The Facial Fitness Pao is designed to give your facial muscles much-needed exercise, which will apparently “bring out your best and most youthful smile.” How this works exactly is anybody’s guess, but to use this wacky gadget you hold a plastic grip in your mouth with the two cantilevered ends wobbling madly to either side, then swing the ends up and down for 30 seconds. The company hired soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to make promotional videos, which are just as funny as they sound.

Private Karaoke Microphone
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We all know that Japan is a pretty private country. But we also know that karaoke is big business there. So how do the nation’s amateur singers practice belting it out without disturbing their neighbors? Enter Hitori de Karaoke DX. This insane-looking device is a private karaoke microphone that captures your voice in its funnel-like mouthpiece. It then routes the signal through a control box that plugs into a TV, stereo or computer and mixes in instrumental tracks. The end result is a karaoke booth inside your own skull.

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