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Tokyo Edge: The coolest gadgets in April

  • Fujitsu e-document reader Fujitsu's Flepia has been available before but only to corporate users. That changes with its availability through Fujitsu's Web site. Features include a color screen, which is still rare on e-document readers, built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and Windows CE.

  • Brother e-document readers The Brother SV-100B is designed for commercial and industrial users, has a 10-inch screen and comes with security features such as a four-digit PIN code to hamper unauthorized access and AES 128-bit encryption on stored data. Documents are stored in a proprietary format and can be transferred to the reader via SD memory card, Bluetooth or USB from a Windows PC application

  • Coming later: Brain control of gadgets What if a gadget could read your thoughts? That's what engineers at Honda Motor and the Japanese government's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International are working towards with a system that attempts to decipher brain activity. In a demonstration shown on video the engineers have developed a brain machine interface (BMI) system that allows a person to control a robot through thought alone. Think about raising your right hand and a robot hooked up to the same machine raises its right hand.

  • Canon DSLR with video It's only been eight months since video recording arrived in the first hybrid digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras but already it's reached low-end models with the unveiling of the Canon Kiss X3 (called the EOS Rebel T1i in the U.S.). The camera packs a 15.1-megapixel image sensor and can record at full-HD widescreen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, but at 20 frames per second rather than the conventional 30 frames per second. That means the resulting video, while sharp, might appear a little jumpy. For 30fps video the resolution has to be stepped down to a 720-line widescreen mode or a 640-line mode.

  • Samsung thinnest Blu-ray Disc player Back at January's Consumer Electronics Show many were impressed by a sleek Blu-ray Disc player from Samsung that was just 39 millimeters thick. Now that player, the BD-P4600, is hitting store shelves with a US$500 price tag. Features include BD Live 2.0, an interactive system which allows you to grab related content and sometimes extra video from the Internet, and in some versions -- although not listed for the U.S. model -- is support for DivX video alongside other formats. In the U.S. there's also support for the Netflix and Pandora video streaming services. It will hit major markets worldwide from April.

  • KDDI's Iida design phone Japan's number two carrier, KDDI, knows a thing or too about design. It's "Design Project" handsets have been popular in the last few years and now the company is spinning them off under a different brand, "Iida." The first phone is the G9, which features a big 3-inch display that has impressive 480x864 pixel resolution above a half-keypad on the front face. A bigger secondary keyboard lives under the slider and the phone also includes a 3-megapixel camera.

  • Sony X-series Walkman Sony has a new player at the top of its Walkman range. We first caught a glimpse of the NW-X1000 at CES but it's now been officially launched and will go on sale in Japan this month with other markets to follow in the middle of the year. The player has a bright, 3-inch OLED touchscreen and handles music, video, pictures and -- at least in Japan - mobile TV too. There's also WiFi and Sony has built in dedicated links to YouTube and Windows Live, so you can perform a search on the song or artist you are currently listening to with just a couple of clicks. There's also a general Web browser.

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