The reigning champion for strange-but-useful home/office supplies is King Jim. You thought BIBILAB was weird… you thought Dreams Inc. was weird… you thought Thanko Rare Mono Shop was really weird… well, buckle up and get ready for more.
We’re gonna take you through some highlights of the King Jim product line-up.
The wearable futon
Sleep wherever the hell you want. Or wherever you can find…
This invention’s in the King Jim ‘disaster/emergency supplies’ range. Meant for times when there’s no bed around. The full body zip-up futon‘s filled with 7mm-thick microfibre, to make it comfy and cosy. And it comes with a single air mat, for a bit more buffer between you and the floor.
We’re fans of this – it’s like never getting out of bed. Ignore the ’emergency item’ tag for a minute. Think about how you feel when you get 5 more minutes under the duvet. If this was on sale as a normal onesie, wouldn’t you buy it?
With the wearable futon on offer in men’s and women’s sizes, you’ve got no excuse not to try it on for size. Unless it’s during a stupidly hot Japanese summer… that’s a whole different kind of disaster zone.
The ‘someone’s at the door’ warning light
Man, we hate being walked in on. Almost as much as we hate being smacked with a door by some dumbass.
This clever warning light solves both those problems. And it’s designed so you can’t miss it. As this so-awkward-it’s-funny video shows:
Stick a light to each side of the door with magnets. Yep, this only works on metal doors under 5cm thick, with a 2mm gap for the light cord to fit. If it’s wooden or plastic, you may as well knock.
The sensor detects when someone gets close (within 4 metres). It sets off a flashing LED – warning whoever’s trying the handle, and whoever’s on the other side. For the clumsy humans in this world, a few warning lights would save time (and embarrassment).
The mouse-shaped camera and mouse-shaped scanner
Save space on your desk! Put a camera inside the mouse. It works like a normal computer mouse, most of the time. Sliding the panel underneath reveals the camera lens.
The camera quality’s around 2 megapixels, taking images that come out at 1600 x 1200. Nowhere close to modern handheld digital cameras, but more than enough for day-to-day stuff. And hey, as if any other mouse can boast megapixels at all.
For anyone who sends a lot of pic attachments with their emails, it’s super convenient. Photos are saved straight to your PC, ’cause the mouse is already connected.
The mouse-shaped mini scanner‘s pretty inventive, as well. And it saves so much office space.
Wave the mouse back and forth over a piece of paper to scan, like you’re moving it over a mousepad. Scans are 400dpi, and can be saved in multiple formats like JPG and PDF. Can your scanner do that?
Be careful sliding the mouse around, to make sure you scanned the whole thing. Unless you don’t need the whole thing – scan as much or as little as you like. You can crop, rotate and edit the scan before saving it, too.
The make-your-own desk storage tray
We love puns as much as we love a well-organised desk.
King Jim’s name for the ‘Katadzukemasu’ (片付けます, ‘I’m tidying up’) tray has a double meaning. The ‘masu’ (マス) bit can also mean ‘a square on a grid’. ‘Tidy Grid’ doesn’t sound as good. No English name could.
The storage system’s more flexible – yet fixed – than most. Fit the space to your stuff, not the other way around. The layout’s up to you, but once you’re done there’s no going back. Arrange everything on the mat, scoop out the areas around them, and fill in with the blocks.
You’ll never forget where you put something – it’s got a custom-made place to stay. Our first thought? Perfectionists would love this. It’s the organised, tidy freak’s dream desk accessory. Set out your desk exactly how you want it, and keep it that way.
The vibrating headphones
You need to set an alarm, but you don’t want people around you to hear it go off. Aren’t you nice? You’re not that kid blasting their crappy music loud enough for the whole bus to hear. You’re nice. And you need a quieter alarm clock.
Try out some vibrating earbuds. Same way you keep music to yourself with headphones, this personal wake-up call buzzes in your ears only. And if this clip’s any idea, it’s super effective.
Set up either an alarm or a timer, with simple ’10 min’ and ‘1 min’ buttons. At the time you choose, the headphones vibrate thanks to a motor inside each earbud. And with 3 vibration strength settings, you know you’ll get your wake-up call.
The device looks just like a mini music player, discreet and easy to pocket. (You can link it up with a smartphone to play your tunes, as well.) It’ll stop you falling asleep on the train, wake you from a nap at lunch, and remind you when it’s time to leave the library.
The battery-powered ‘boogie board’ memo pad
Instead of dragging a memo pad to every meeting, why not take notes on a lightweight, smart tablet? Go paperless with the Boogie Board – it’s like an Etch-A-Sketch for grownups. Small and thin enough to fit in a handbag, with a screen big enough to take decent memos.
Trace out with a stylus or your fingernail. The screen changes the line thickness to match what you’re writing with. Works great for drawings… and for reading your own handwriting back.
Pressing the top button deletes everything on screen in an instant. Nope, that’s not the ‘off’ button, don’t get those mixed up. Until you erase them, your notes stay where they are for future reference.
Seems like the Boogie Board’s a popular one, as King Jim’s made over 11 different models. The main changes with each type are the screen size and colour options. There’s even a Rilakkuma version – that’s when you know you’ve made it big time.
The digital alarm for when your kid wanders off
Kids just won’t stay still, huh? Link them to Bluetooth, and you can hunt them down wherever they run. Yep, King Jim wants you to be your family’s Liam Neeson.
The ‘Maigohimo’ (lost child string) app‘s out for both iPhone and Android. It connects with a sensor to hang off a child’s bag (or the actual child, if you’ve got serious worries). The sensor notices when you’re too far apart. Say, if the kid’s seen a shiny thing over there, or ran off to pee. That sets your phone off, so you’ll realise you’ve been ignoring that smaller, bored version of you this whole time.
It’s easy to see the Maigohimo system being a popular, reassuring thing for parents. You can connect up to 5 kids to 1 smartphone. And with 5 children to keep in check, we understand why you’d need this.
All hail King Jim
Where else would you find weird stuff but wonderful Japan? Stay ahead of the curve – come to DEJAPAN to discover the magic of King Jim.