It's cold and cloudy in Hong Kong and Taiwan this week, as our trusty weather gadgets indicate. At the Googleplex, where a quintessentially Californian winter is holding up, we had the distinct honor of hosting our Taiwan and Hong Kong gadget developer contest winners -- Hu Chih-Pao flew in from Taipei to tour our campus in December (see photos from his visit on his blog), while Alex Ng and Liu Chun-Yu visited us from Hong Kong two weeks ago.

Of the 190 submissions for the gadget contest in Taiwan, Chih-Pao produced a whopping 43 entries, including a real-time Taiwan Train Timetable gadget and a gadget for the Taiwanese traditional worship of the Buddha of Mercy:



Alex and Chun-Yu's innovative use of gadget technology caught our eye, with their real-time local Hong Kong TV program guide with keyword-activated YouTube views, as well as their Feng Shui gadget:



Japan's gadget awards last year also showcased great gadgets from a pool of 178 submissions, including:

The Earthquake information gadget:



The QR code generator gadget from our Grand Prix winner, kilo:




(QR codes are widely used in Japan to store and display information, particularly URLs, which can be scanned and launched from a browser-enabled camera phone equipped with QR reader software).

We hosted our illustrious Japanese gadget contest winners last year at our office in Tokyo -- check out our interviews with them here.

We're thrilled to experience the creative, inspired, and locally relevant ways that developers are using gadgets and Google APIs here in Asia. As a quick sampler, take a look at the submitted contest gadgets for Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong on iGoogle in Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.