The future is NAO: A miniscule humanoid robot that’s taking the world by storm. Capable of communicating in 19 languages, the 58-centimeter-tall machine-man was designed to be a domestic companion and programmed to recognize, listen to and communicate with humans.
If you haven’t got close to 1 million yen lying around to buy one, Aldebaran Atelier Omotesando is offering to let interested Metropolis readers program NAO to deliver a personal holiday message you can then record for free—or even join in with NAO to deliver it together!
Email inquiries in English or Japanese to firstname.lastname@example.org. Allow about 30 minutes for setup and recording.
Aldebaran Atelier Omotesando, 1F Alteka Plaza, 1-13-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Nearest station: Meiji-Jingumae.
Hidden in a quaint alley in Kagurazaka, Atelier Akari offers traditional candles (wa-rōsoku)from all over Japan.
Made from the nuts of the gobi tree, these hand-crafted botanical candles are great for adding atmosphere to a meal—or just become entranced by the swaying of the flame.
1F Maison de Gardenia, 6-73 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku. Tel: 03-6280-8573. Open Sat-Sun 1pm-7pm. Nearest station: Kagurazaka. http://akarikagurazaka.web.fc2.com
Refined Touchscreen Gloves
Mujjo’s Refined Touchscreen Gloves (€20.62, shipping available to Japan) will allow you to keep warm while still obsessing over Candy Crush this winter.
Offering an elegant design with a leather wrist closure and cuff, the gloves also feature a soft layer of integrated fleece lining. In addition to your fingertips, you can use your knuckles, your palm or even the heel of your hand—just don’t expect the gloves to help you get past level 99!
Hip Hop Subway Calendar
Indie urban apparel store Mynority Classics shakes things up this season with its Hip Hop Subway Calendar (¥1,500), which takes Tokyo’s complex railway system and revamps it into a social graph of hip-hop greats: Akasaka Mitsuke is now Run D.M.C., Tupac takes residence in Kudanshita and Public Enemy is located in Nagatacho, site of the National Diet Building.
da Vinci 1.0 AiO 3-D Printer
The creative possibilities offered by 3-D printing could make for the artist’s perfect gift this Christmas, allowing users to print unique 3-D objects in their homes or offices.
Taiwan-based XYZ’s new da Vinci 1.0 AiO (¥119,800) is the first low-priced 3-D printer that incorporates 3-D scanner capabilities, so objects placed in the device can be scanned and duplicated in a range of colors and materials. http://us.xyzprinting.com