One of the things that Japan is famous for are its gadgets, large and small, so over the past few months, we’ve been including a “Tech Roundup” feature in the magazine, with a small collection of toys that might well be within reach, or just something to dream on…

By Nayalan Moodley


zecOO electric schoolboy fantasy cycle

Kota Nezu, like most males growing up in his generation, loved Kaneda’s epic bike in Akira. Being a former lead designer at Toyota, and owner of his own design company—Znug Design—he decided to actually make one. Together with Chiba’s Auto Staff Suehiro, they put together their futuresque flagship all-electric zecOO cycle. It looks like it rolled straight out of a cyberpunk manga and features a bunch of innovative technologies to make it go and handle as well as it looks. It has a top speed of 160km/h and a range of 160km—and it looks like it came straight out of every tech-geek-biker’s fantasies. They are only making 49 of these beasts, so if you have 8.8 million yen weighing your bank account down, you can claim one.


Lanparte Smartphone Stabilizer

Smartphone video quality has improved drastically over the years, but the biggest problem with shooting a device that small is ergonomics. Enter the Lanparte HH-01 stabilizer. Lanparte has taken a step away from their high-end photo accessory market and created a device aimed at taking the shake out of the entry-level video making world. The HH-01 promises to improve the quality of the thousands of smartphone-in-the-air walks across the Shibuya scramble to a point they might actually be watchable … It may also give the steady edge to a few budding Spike Lees too.


Bocco, The Robot That Brings Your Family Together

The BOCCO WiFi-connected robot is the latest development of Tokyo based Yukai Engineering (The company that gave us the brainwave-powered cat ears). It’s essentially a messaging device in the body of a robot, but it showed enough promise that backers quickly helped them reach their Kickstarter goal. In the promo video, a dad “talks” through the robot with his family. Bocco itself is cute (like C3PO is sexy) and the concept is a novel one that could be fun in a household with younger children, but it might get old pretty fast when the teen years set in and the kids talk talking back for real.