Shocking ways to stay awake in Japan

Japanese glasses superstore Vision Megane ('Vision Glasses') sure has some unusual ideas about what people want in a pair of spectacles. Prospective customers at their outlets now have the option of having vibrating alerts installed in their new frames.

For JPY45,000 (£190) vision- and attention-impaired customers can acquire new frames, lenses and a motion sensor that attaches to the frames, sitting just behind the ear. The idea is that should the head tilt forward, implying that the wearer is somewhat less than focused, the buzzer will deliver a jolt to the noggin sufficient to wake the dead.

Cruel to be kind

Vision Megane's advertising department has a very Japanese take on the utility of the Mydo Bururu ('bururu' is an onomatopoeic term suggesting buzzing or trembling) and suggests three scenarios when being forced to concentrate might be useful:

  1. Driving - "Coming home from a fun family trip Dad might start to nod off at the wheel. Drive safely with Mydo Bururu."
  2. Studying - "Studying late for exams... just a little more. With Mydo Bururu you can do your best."
  3. Meetings. In those important meetings at work Mydo Bururu will give you the power of concentration to carry on to the end!"

While it's hard to beat the idea of forcing children to study late into the night by shocking them from their stupor, the concept of work meetings so dull participants have to be cattle-prodded awake surely deserves further investigation? Either that or somebody needs a new job.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.