Sampling device is as cool as ice

Takara Tomy
Takara Tomy’s ice block sampler

We all know that summer is hot, but there are certain things we can do to take our minds off the heat and eating an ice block ranks pretty high on the list. And yet something’s still missing — could it be … a sampling device?

Toy maker Takara Tomy Arts has collaborated with electronic musical instrument maker Korg and released a gadget that allows consumers to use an ice block as a virtual sampler.

The device features more than 20 different types of built-in music samples, ranging from simple sound effects to EDM and house.

Simply lick the ice block while touching the “electric conduction spot” behind the grip and a sample is randomly played. The device comes in two versions: a high-tension version that doesn’t shy away from the bass as well as a more chilled version for anyone who has long since hung up their rave gear.

A final word of warning, though, for anyone thinking they can double-dip on the fun: the device won’t work if an ice block is coated with chocolate or another thick flavoring.

The device is 100 mm wide by 120 mm high with a thickness of 56 mm. It requires two AAA alkaline dry batteries and costs ¥1,490 (including tax).


A virtual singer in a virtual camera

Theta Ricoh Theta SC Type Hatsune Miku
Theta Ricoh Theta SC Type Hatsune Miku

Ricoh’s Theta series is one of the most popular virtual reality cameras in Japan. And yet, the imaging and electronics company is looking to up the ante by bringing famed humanoid Hatsune Miku onboard.

The humanoid celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and Ricoh has decided to mark the occasion with a special model called the — take a deep breath — Theta Ricoh Theta SC Type Hatsune Miku.

The commemorative model is based on Ricoh’s Theta SC, which was released in October 2016, except that the exterior colors and shutter sounds have been changed. The device’s color is the same shade of torquoise as Hatsune Miku’s hair and includes an illustration.

Users can add three-dimensional computer graphics data of Hatsune Miku to 360-degree photos using the device’s image editing application.

The device is on sale for a limited time, and Ricoh will only accept orders from 12 a.m. on Sept. 1 to 12 a.m. on Oct. 31. The device can be shipped sometime around the end of September to the middle of December.

The gadget costs ¥36,654(including tax). Interestingly, the price before tax is ¥33,939, which is also related to Hatsune Miku’s name (mi for “three” and ku for “nine” in Japanese).


Excite’s Radiotalk

Relive those radio DJ days

Every student with any street cred has spent some time in a studio at a radio station. Fancy a walk down memory lane? Well, Excite has got you covered.

Called Radiotalk, the voice-based application has been likened to Instagram. The application allows anyone to create their own radio program and produce a variety of shows. Users are limited to one program per account, on which they can release an unlimited number of shows.

Shows must be less than 12 minutes long but because they are recorded rather than streamed live, users can rerecord material until they are satisfied with the final product. And to retain the street cred referred to earlier, users are encouraged to release their material under a funky DJ moniker.

Users can also listen to shows created by other producers. The application supports background playback, and users can open web browsers while listening to shows or use other applications. An Android version of the application is free to download, with Excite currently working to produce an iOS version in the coming months.


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