Japan's Hot Stuff

Panasonic DMR-E700BD

High-Def on blu-ray discs.
Photograph: Marc Simon
What it is: Blu-ray optical disc recorder.

Why we want it: The DMR-E700BD can record high-def TV at full resolution onto Blu-ray discs, with no loss of quality. It's the second Blu-ray recorder on the market and the first to support 50GB dual-layer discs.

When we'll see it: Panasonic hasn't announced plans to release it outside Japan--yet.

Casio A5406CA

Casio A5406CA
Photograph: Marc Simon
What it is: First 3-megapixel camera phone.

Why we want it: Did we mention 3-megapixel camera? Plus, it comes with GPS, video recording, a MiniSD memory card slot, a 320-by-240-pixel (QVGA) screen, and Java support.

When we'll see it: No immediate plans to launch it in the United States, says Casio.

Toshiba Fuel Cell

Toshiba has what it says is the world's smallest direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). According to the company, its DMFC can power an MP3 player for 20 hours on 2 cc's of methanol (you'd carry around a small recharging bottle, something similar to a cigarette lighter refill). Look for portable gadgets using it and other fuel-cell technology beginning sometime next year--most likely in Japan first.

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