Warm up your hands during the cold nights with Thanko's new mouse pad, which is designed like a Japanese futon, allowing your hand to "sleep" in it and warmed up using its internal heater.
Nights during winter can be quite cold, and in Japan, it can be quite uncomfortable for some people even if they are just in front of their PC. This cute item by Thanko most likely isn't as effective as a whole kotatsu, but it surely is nifty in some ways in keeping you warm as you use your computer.
The USB Futon Mouse Pad (USFTMOP1) looks like, as clearly seen, a mini Japanese futon, complete with a pillow, upper bed cover (kakebudon), and underside mattress (shikibudon). Looking at its design, you might probably think that you only need to put the blanket on your hand for it to warm you up, while the underside mattress functions as the mouse pad. Well, that's partially correct, but the blanket is actually installed with a heating sheet that is powered via USB. So it provides warmth in two ways. In addition, the pillow also acts as a cushion and wrist rest for those who are careful about stressing their wrists during long hours of work.
The USB heater heats up the futon mouse pad rather quickly and it goes from (winter) room temperature to 50 degree Celsius in just about a minute or so. If you find the placement of the heater's USB cable a hassle, you have the option to remove the heater from the blanket, and it can still provide a relative degree of warmth. Oh, and while it may look like the space is too cramped inside, your hand can still actually move quite freely inside the futon.
Functionality-wise, it still of course suffers from the flaw of getting your hand to always get in and out of the futon whenever you need something to type with both hands. Nevertheless though, the concept is quite nice and the design is really cute. It might be a great novelty item that you could add to a collection, or you could possibly give it as a gift for someone. It's available in Japan for 2000 yen (22 USD).
Source: ITMedia (JP)