The Ixy Digital Wireless (Canon also uses the Ixus brand in some markets) is Canon's first camera with built-in Wi-Fi and will offer users the ability to automatically transfer pictures to a personal computer via the wireless link as the pictures are taken. Wireless printing is also possible with a printer via an adapter that will ship bundled with the camera. The camera and adapter will come pre-programmed to work together so users will be spared the tedious task of setting up the Wi-Fi link between the two devices. The camera has a 5-megapixel image sensor and 3X optical zoom lens. It will be available in Japan from December and will cost about ¥50,000 ($433). Canon plans to put it on sale in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, although launch dates have not yet been decided.
Web: http://cweb.canon.jp/camera/ixyd/wireless (Japanese)
Sanyo W33SA Cell Phone
Sanyo has unveiled Japan's first cell phone that's compatible with terrestrial digital TV. It promises to bring crystal-clear TV images to users while they are on the move and -- perhaps best of all and unlike 3G video-on-demand services -- is free to watch. Japan, South Korea, and several European countries are all testing such services, so we're sure to see similar handsets launching in the coming months. There have been a few cell phones for analog TV in the past and battery life was always the problem -- how useful is TV when the battery is dead after an hour? But Sanyo has done better and claims 2 hours 45 minutes of reception on a full charge. This technology doesn't come light. At 150 grams it's a good deal heavier than most phones on the market. It will be on sale in Japan only from December. The price hasn't been announced.
Web: http://www.au.kddi.com (Japanese)
Takara Music Visualizer
Takara Co. has developed a low-cost unit that's intended to bring your music to life on a television screen in a similar way to the visualizers built into some music playback software applications. The Music Player Television (MPTV) device connects to the headphone socket on any music player and to a TV through standard yellow, red and white RCA jacks. It will produce visualizations based on the track playing and also pass through the audio for playback through the TV speakers. It will be launched in Japan in January or February of next year and will cost ¥3,980 ($34). While a launch date hasn't been decided, the company is already making plans to launch the MPTV in the U.S., it said. It will likely be priced at a similar price to the Japanese market.
Web: http://www.takaratoys.co.jp (Japanese)
Shanda EZ Mini
It's not often that we cover gadgets from China, but Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. unveiled a handheld game console in Beijing recently that's worth a look, if only for its uncanny resemblance to a slightly more famous gaming device. At first glance, the EZ Mini resembles Sony's successful PlayStation Portable (PSP) console. Like the PSP, the EZ Mini has a central LCD (liquid crystal display) flanked by groups of buttons that control movement and other functions. Few technical details were available but it's equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and can play Windows Media Audio files, display electronic books, and play videos in DivX, MPEG 4, and Microsoft's Windows Media Video format. It's expected to be on the Chinese market at the end of this year or early next year and won't be available overseas. The price isn't yet finalized.