On our desk this week - 6

Written by Wil Harris

March 13, 2006 | 12:42

Tags: #1gb #infra-red #nano #on-our-desk #review #skype #usb #voip


The Japanese, luv'em, make some crazy stuff. I mean, really crazy stuff. Wired magazine runs a monthly feature called 'Japanese Schoolgirl Watch' - they can fold clothes crazily fast and can carve pencils in a rather insane way. Of course, that's not even counting the extreme lengths which we find that Manga goes to...

The latest cool bit of Japanese paraphenalia we have come across is a treasure chest called the QBOX. The Japanese packaging doesn't specifically mention this name - there's the letter 'Q' and then some kanji - yet curiously the speech bubble says 'Wahoo!' leading some in the office to simply call it the WahooBox.

It's designed to be a safekeeping box for kids to store their secret bits and bobs in: a literal treasure chest. Think prized Pokemon cards, friendship bracelets and heart-shaped earrings.

It's locked, and (we've tested) almost impossible to prise open when it's locked. At the very least, you're going to require a substantial hammer to get into it.

On our desk this week - 6 QBOX On our desk this week - 6 QBOX On our desk this week - 6 QBOX On our desk this week - 6 QBOX
So how is it opened? Well, plug in the USB lead to the box, attach it to the computer, and install the software programme included on CD. When you load the software programme, you can enter the 4-digit passcode (which you can change after first use) and that causes the lid of the box to unlock and open.

Watching the QBOX do its opening thang is really quite odd. The top of the box hinges up on a motor and opens automatically. There are LEDs in the bottom, which flash multicoloured, and a little twinkling tune - thing ballet-dancer-box here - plays until it's finished opening. It's really, really funky.

We found the software wasn't amazingly user-friendly, especially if we are to assume this is aimed at a younger audience. Buyers may find that they require Mum or Dad to set it up, especially as you're required to assign it a COM port in Device Manager.

The QBOX is a great 'kids' present and really falls into that 'crazy Japanese schoolgirl' category. You might think it's a great present for the child in your life; at the very least, it's another example of bizarre Japanese collectible culture.

Name: QBOX USB Treasure Box.
Buy it from: Japanese import, coming to the UK soon!
Cost: US$30
Verdict: Bizarre, but cool?
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