February 2011 Anthony Garland
Japan certainly is known for many things, but among those the one thing that most non-Asian (and sometimes even non-Japanese) people agree Japan is “best known” (or at least most notoriously known) for is their odd gadgets! It really does seem that Japanese inventors spend a butt load of time thinking up the most odd and zaniest of “things” to sell.
Take for example the Scaloupe. This new product is basically a palm shaped webcam with integrated LEDS that you use to grab up close macro shots of your scalp (and thus the name puny name “Scaloupe”). To us it looks a like a cross between a plastic lady bug and a USB mouse; but the inventors claim that by using this device you can grab high definition shots of your scalp (thanks to its large button on the top and USB camera on the bottom) and thus know what is going on with your head… without needing to go to the doctor for a “professional opinion”.
On the positive side, since it has integrated LEDS you will be able to get clear macro shots of your head (even the back) and save them on your computer via the included software. Also on the positive side it is USB powered and looks to be very portable so it doesn’t appear to require batteries or anything except a free USB port… and a good dose of suspension of disbelief.
While this is certainly not even in the same league as “tentacle pr0n” and other extremely weird inventions to come from the land of the rising sun, it definitely is strange and right up there with BustUp Gum! Seriously, who sits down and goes “You know I hate going to the doctor about my receding hairline so why don’t I just grab some shots of the old cranium and look at them myself on my computer? After all those years and years of training are nothing compare to Google University! And the money I will save from not going to that old quack will easily pay for the Scaloupe!” Yeah, we can just see how “big” a hit this is going to be outside of Japan (and maybe gag shops).