What Are Asian Designers Thinking of Now?

Welcome to the Asian design blog! Based out of Singapore, smack in the middle of Asia, I hope to deliver design developments from the world's workshop of China, the innovation powerhouse of Japan, and everything in between from the esoteric to the solidly practical.

Asia dominates global production of a diversity of products including automobiles and electronic devices, and while not all design work might take place in the region, the ratio is surely growing. Further, many products, particularly in Japan, are designed solely for domestic consumption and do not see the light of day across the Pacific. That's a pity, because their design and functionality and style can be amazing and well worth knowing about.

And while China is at the heart of the global electronics manufacturing sector, it is also by far the knockoff capital of the world. Look no further than the iPed. I'm hoping that Chinese device manufacturers will start going for a bit of originality, but those days may be far off.

Without further adieu, here's something I came across on a recent trip to southern Japan that I just had to snap up. And yes, despite the "girly" colors, I did get a violet one for myself as well as a pink one for my wife. It's the Pocket Doltz (kudos for coming up with a classic name) sonic toothbrush from Panasonic.

The size of a fat pen and around 6.5 inches long, the Doltz is a classic example of how Japanese designers can turn what's normally a pretty mundane product into a fashion accessory while expanding market reach to boot. I'm not sure if the Doltz is the world's first travel or post-lunch sonic toothbrush or not, but with the colors on offer it has certainly excited Japanese female officer workers.

My guess is that polypropylene is used extensively in the waterproof Pocket Doltz while the metallic paint job is of almost automobile quality. It's also easy on the ears, at 51dB versus 64dB for one of those irritating ultrasonic versions. It's not yet available outside of Japan, but if you can stomach a 100 percent mark-up plus shipping, you could pick it up through a third-party Website for around $90.

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