Posts Tagged ‘humidifier’

Personal humidifiers steam things up

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Moist and light

Say what you want about man-made global warming. How come nobody’s railing against man-made global drying? At least in Tokyo, where a lot of indoor heating is some variation of forced air, hot blasts of air parch throats, gum up eyes and chap skin.

To combat the low indoor humidity, there are humidifiers in all shapes and sizes, from behemoths that sit on the floor to the ubiquitous bright plastic rings and teardrops and globes that puff away on lobby end tables and office desks. Now, moisture is getting more personal. This winter is seeing lots of new USB humidifiers, little tanks of water that plug into your computer (what could go wrong?) to sultrify your own workstation. Sauna Boy is pretty adorable, in a stressed-out cartoon kind of way.

The USB Humidifier from Green House is eco-chic, while Owltech makes USB plug-in humidifiers that look like cans of green tea or “Premium Moist” beer. To complete the college dorm effect, there’s one that looks like a styrofoam cup of instant noodles. That’s fine for people who sit still. But this is the age of people on the go! Who has time to sit around near a machine that pumps out warm steam or clouds of cool-to-the touch ultrasonic vapor? If the disheveled  shelves at Bic Camera are any indication, not the people of Tokyo. Electronic personal humidifiers and misters offer a pocket-ready solution to a problem you may not have known you have: how to keep hydrated on the go?

Despite the rather unsexy name, Panasonic’s Pocket Inhaler (ポケット吸入器 ) is positioned firmly in the beauty market. Its 12-ml tank will electronically pump out a fine, 40-micrometer mist for up to 3 minutes to comfort a dry throat.

Battery-operated misters like Moisture Mist (not to be confused with enormous industrial cooling humidifiers with the same name) aerosolize any watery beauty fluid to rehydrate skin. The imiy (pronounced “I me”) slides open like a cell phone to deliver a proprietary nanomist-ified  hydrating “essence.” The Ya-Man Photomister raises the stakes by adding a ring of little lights to its nanomist. This increases the moisturizing properties of the mist, they say. These devices range from about ¥5,000 to ¥20,000.

Similar in concept, Sharp has scaled down its line of Plasmacluster ion generators and introduced two new personal-sized devices this season. They don’t humidify exactly; they spray ions around you to, they claim, disinfect the air.  The car Plasmacluster unit is  shaped like a big coffee cup to fit into vehicle cup holders. The desktop unit plugs into a computer’s USB port and looks like a sleek, slightly overgrown cellphone. A display model spotted at Bic was even covered in applique crystals — would you expect anything less in the heart of Shibuya?

RSS

Recent Posts

  • 100 years of Japanese beauty in one minute

    Cut is setting its lens on Japan as it shows the dramatic changes Japanese women have gone through in the past century.

  • Studio Ghibli on a roll with licenses for new toys

    Nibariki has new wind-up toys inspired by Studio Ghibli’s “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.”

  • ‘Japan Sumo Cup’ is possibly the most Japanese thing ever

    In this rhythm game, players choose a real sumo player, ride an actual race horse and compete against characters from “Street Fighter.”

  • YouTubers in Japan with 100,000 fans and counting

    YouTube threw a big celebration for more than 20 YouTubers living in Japan who have over 100,000 subscribers.

  • Finding laughs in translations that have lost the plot

    The Orikaeshi Honyaku Dictionary site, which boasts the catchphrase “from Japanese to Japanese,” roughly translates as “Chinese whispers.”

  • Japan tricks out the Halloween treats

    Halloween is a time to carve pumpkins, enjoy a few scares and, most importantly, shovel as much candy as humanly possible into one’s own mouth. While the practice of door-to-door trick-or-treating may not be a thing in Japan, the custom of eating special Halloween snacks certainly translates. Plenty of companies, both overseas and domestic, are […]

  • Ginza Cozy Corner takes dessert into hyperdrive with ‘Star Wars’ cakes

    One Japanese confectionary vendor is about to find the Force deep within a sweet tie-up. Ahead of the December release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Ginza Cozy Corner, which has outlets nationwide, has made a line of “Star Wars” sweets that are truly out of this world. The treats themselves are all based on people […]

  • Warning: This viral video of high school girls might make you blush

    Cosmetic company Shiseido has recently uploaded a YouTube video that is blowing viewers’ minds with a bona fide twist. In the promo video, titled “High School Girl? — The Makeup Secrets of High School Girls,” the camera weaves through a classroom full of drop-dead cute young women who pout and wink like true pop idols. […]

  • Sharp dials up the fan service to celebrate 20 years of ‘Evangelion’

    For those who have always dreamed of owning an Evangelion robot, this might be the closest you get. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular “Neon Genesis Evangelion” animated series, Sharp is releasing a special smartphone that pays homage to the show both in the device’s hardware and software. The phone itself is detailed […]

  • Tokyo plugs into Google Play Music

    If you haven’t heard the latest news from Google Play, you may have missed your opportunity to tune into a Google Play Billboard. From Oct. 8-24, music lovers can head over to Shibuya to, literally, plug into a selection of over 3,500 songs. The Google Play Billboard is meant to give visitors a much-needed chance […]