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Tokyo green fair highlights Sony wind-up camera

Hand-cranked Sony Odo cameras are among the novelties at Japan's Eco Products 2007 trade show.

Hooked up to a PC, the Odo looks like a postmodern potted plant.
Hooked up to a PC, the Odo looks like a postmodern potted plant. Impress Japan

Sony's prototype, wind-up Odo digital camera is among the gadgets attracting attention at Tokyo's largest green products fair this week. We're spying from afar at Eco-Products 2007, which includes more than 500 exhibitors.

The Odo looks like a giant, plastic toy sprout when plugged into a planter-shaped base to transfer images to a computer. The camera takes 15 seconds to recharge, either by rolling the charger wheel with fingers or running it over surface. Sony's Spin N Snap takes still photos while the Crank N Capture shoots video.

Other future-forward products attracting attention at the fair include solar LED lights from Sharp and environmentally friendly X-ray equipment from Toshiba. Rice, used for materials coatings in Japan for centuries, is the key ingredient in nontoxic paint from Kinuka that's supposedly safe enough to lick.

Japan East Railways is demonstrating a ticketing system that harnesses electrical power from the vibration of human feet as they pass through the gate.

Penguins animate this household energy monitor.
Penguins animate this household energy monitor. Impress Japan

And there are audio speakers that use bamboo-based fabrics, many energy-efficient appliances, home power-monitoring software featuring cartoon penguins, as well as a slew of biodegradable toys and bioplastic cell phone cases.

People at the fair can count their carbons and learn how to go on a CO2 diet with help from a government-sponsored campaign that began in 2004.

(Via Japan for Sustainability, Impress Japan)