Japan shop offers unique techno products

October 29, 2007

by Mark Ollig

With so many online “computer-techno-this-and-that” stores in this country, I thought it might be interesting to visit one that’s out of the country.

Founded in 2003 as “Thanko, Inc.,” the “RareMonoShop” is located in Tokyo, Japan.

This company went online in 2005 and has started a research and development office in China.

The RareMonoShop calls itself “. . . a provider of unique and useful computer-related and audiovideo products.”

Let’s start by talking about warm slippers.

How can I talk about warm slippers in a technology column you might ask?

Well, because these slippers are connected to your computer’s USB port.

Still wondering where I am going with this, aren’t you?

These particular slippers are called “USB Warmer Slippers,” which are powered from the connection to the Universal Service Bus (USB) port on your computer.

Each slipper (the photo shows fuzzy and comfortable looking slippers) has individual controls that allow a person to set the warmth they want for each foot, with an on-off switch.

The heating elements, separated from within the slipper, which can be taken out so the slippers “can be washed if necessary” per the web site.

The price in US dollars is $33.17.

Now that we have the slippers to keep our feet warm, we need to have a seat cushion that will keep our. . . well, you know what I mean.

RareMonoShop has the “USB Warmer Cushion,” priced at $24.83.

The description used by the RareMonoShop describes it as being “. . . designed to help you warm up from [the] bottom of your body.”

Again, the computer’s USB port is used to provide the power to the cushion. An individual control for selecting the amount of warmth needed compliments the cushion. The photo shows what appears to be a comfortable-looking seat cushion with the cord connected from it to the computer.

And what goes along with warming slippers and seat cushions? You guessed it, the “USB Warmer Gloves.”

The web site displays 11 photos of these warmer gloves, which cover the hands and fingers – unless you need to work your keyboard or mouse. Then you can remove the portion of the glove that exposes your fingers (up to the knuckles) . . . the online photo shows a person using their computer keyboard while wearing these gloves.

These gloves are available in a gray or pastel version and are listed at $24.83.

Now that our computer’s USB port is keeping our feet, seats and hands warm what’s left?

How many of us . . .while spending hours on the computer . . . suffer from that nagging eye strain?

Believe it or not, they even have a computer USB adapter for an eye warmer.

Yes, faithful readers, the “USB Eye Warmer” is even shown “in action.” The web site shows seven photographs of it. One is worn by a person relaxing in their chair, with the cord from the eye warmer dangling down to the USB port connection.

The price? RareMonoShop says you need to “call for more information.”

It seems that we have all the USB computer adapters needed for our warming needs; does the web site cover anything that cools us off?

Of course.

The “USB Cooler Cushion” is described on the web site as “a seat cushion to cool you down by air supplied via [a] USB powered fan [that is attached]. There are many small holes on the seat surface where fresh air flows out. Thus total seat is kept cool.”

The Japanese link: http://www.thanko.jp/usbseatair/ shows a few photos of cooler-cushions in action. The language on the web site is in Japanese, which I could not read, but the folks demonstrating this product looked very happy.

For only $40, you, too, could be sitting on the Cooler Cushion seat.

Being that I have kept your attention for a few minutes, let’s look at a more “unusual” item on the RareMonoShop web site.

With all these various USB devices, we could use a multi-port USB “hub” to plug them into the computer.

Let’s go for the flashy – how about a gold ingot 8-port USB2.0 connecting hub?

The “Gold Ingot USB Hub” looks like a real 400 troy ounce gold bar, and is modeled from a real gold ingot, which no doubt will surprise people when they see it on your desk. The photos of this look very realistic – even though it is not real gold, of course. Not only does it look like a real gold bar, it’s weighted down like the real thing. This stability allows easy plug in of the USB adapters.

The web site shows excellent photos of this sparkling golden 8-port hub. The cost is $49.83. If you visit the web site, be sure to take a look at this one.

To view some of the USB devices we talked about today, visit the Japanese RareMonoShop web site (English version) at: http://www.raremonoshop.com/catalog/. The front page of the web site shows photos of 24 unique USB items; just click on one to learn more or scroll down the page.