early adoption

6 Japanese tech treasures

September 8, 2010: 5:30 PM ET

In the land of the rising sun, a widespread early adopter mentality has encouraged tech companies to think outside the box. Way outside the box. Here are six of the country's craziest gadgets.

When early adoption is brought up in American media, it focuses on the small, vocal group of consumers who need the latest tech products, and stat: the Apple faithful who queue up days before a product launch, the players who pick up a videogame at 12:01 a.m. At best, they're viewed as bellwethers for the market; at worst, they're social oddities.

In Japan, it's a different story. Early adopters are as diverse as they are numerous. Adolescent schoolgirls, twenty-something anime-loving guys, even parents fork over yen on day one for tech that's culturally appropriate to them but might strike us as downright eccentric. But that same widespread early adoption mentality is why the Japanese remain global trendsetters, even if many of those gadgets are too quirky for U.S. distribution.

We explored the wild world of Japanese tech and rounded up the wackiest for your enjoyment. Here are just a few. More

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