Next year's models
On a recent prowl through Tokyo's electronic alleyways, our tech guru was drawn to six stylish products, which all combine form, function, and flair. Though none is available yet in the U.S., that may be just a matter of time.
(FORTUNE Magazine) -- See photos of the gadgets.
The design goal: a full-featured mobile PC small enough to fit in a pocket. Weighing just over a pound, this PC has a 4.5-inch touchscreen that slides up to reveal a keyboard. A U.S. version is expected soon, starting at $2,000.
ROBOT BOOMBOX ZPN/Kenwood MIURO
This 14-inch-wide rolling robot has a built-in iPod dock and speakers; it can "dance" as it follows you around the house. In white, red, black, or yellow, this could make it to the U.S. next year. About $930.
PERSONAL IPOD THEATER Mikimoto Beans iTheatre
Attach a video iPod, game device, or multimedia cellphone, and two two-inch LCD displays embedded in these geeky but stylish goggles create the effect of a 50-inch TV hovering before your eyes. But watch where you're walking. About $275.
MOBILE VIDEO TELEPHONE Sharp Vodafone 905SH
With a clamshell lid that can flip up and rotate 90 degrees, this 3G phone has a high-resolution, 2.6-inch widescreen display perfect for watching digital TV broadcasts aimed at Japanese cellphone users.
MOTION-SENSING GAME GEAR Nintendo Wii controller
Call it the "wee-mote" for the upcoming $250 Wii game console. With ambidextrous appeal for experienced gamers and novices alike, the wand and joystick (included in console) can be a steering wheel, racket, or gun for new dimensions of game play.
BLU-RAY PROTOTYPE CAMCORDER Hitachi WOOO
These design mockups of high-definition videocameras have a charming retro style that incorporates direct recording onto future mini Blu-ray three-inch discs. Too bad there are no mini Blu-ray players yet. (Not on market.)