In the land of the rising Sun

I'm just getting ready to leave Tokyo having been here for the Tech Day events. A very hectic couple of days presenting on Sun SPOTs, features of Java SE 6 and 7, Using the concurrency libraries and performance programming. All good fun and judging by the questions I got the audience enjoyed it (it's always a challenge working through a translator and remembering to talk slowly enough; sometimes enthusiasm gets the better of me).

I had a couple of hours free so I was able to visit the centre of all things geeky, Akihabara. This is a bit like Tottenham Court Road in London, but several order of magnitudes more intense. All manner of cameras, phones, MP3 players and audio visual goods can be purchased here. Although the prices aren't very cheap (even for someone converting to pounds), it's good to get a look at what's at the forefront of the next wave of consumer goods. A couple of things that caught my eye were a TV recorder from Panasonic with one terabyte of disk space. Enough for a huge number of films and TV programs. It's only logical since disk drive capacities are growing.

The other thing was something I spotted in the six story Sony showroom. This was a thing called a Rolly. Check out the video below.

Or the full length advert

When I first saw it in the shop, I had no idea what it was for (much like when you watch most of the commercial). All the description was in Japanese and the thing wasn't switched on. There was an advert playing on a screen, but without sound. At one point there were a couple, sleeping in bed with the Rolly between them. Visions of Woody Allen sprang to mind...

As I was looking, one of the sales staff came over to do a demonstration where everything became, er, clear. I even got to play with it. I guess the Aibo didn't have a wide enough appeal so this is a kind of combination robot and music player. Novelty value: yes, wide sales appeal: unlikely.

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