10/07/2009, [CEATEC 09] KDDI was showing this bizarre “joystick” for mobile phones based on a plastic tube that is stuck on the back of a cellphone by a magnet. The idea is to attach this white tube so that the phone’s camera can look into it. At the end of the joystick, there’s a color pattern (one red and one blue square) that the camera can track by “seeing” any motion […]
10/07/2009, [CEATEC 09] CRISTAL, which means Control of Remotely Interface Systems using Touch-based Action in Living spaces, is a touch user interface concept based on a live video feed. It works by using a webcam placed in the ceiling that continuously captures a view (from above) of the room. Users can define zones that will be controlled, like lamps or a TV in this demo. Lamps are simple objects that can […]
10/07/2009, [CEATEC 09] Some developers have extended the smartness of the Roomba vacuum robot by using simple 2D barcodes to give it instructions. There are about two dozen codes, and each mean something specific like “clean this place” or “go over there”. This works by controlling the Roomba with a computer that is connected to a (plain) webcam that can read the barcodes, but also provides a map of the surroundings. […]
10/07/2009, Lenovo’s Ideapad U150 was seen at CEATEC 2009, which is pretty much a mysterious 11.6” notebook since not much information about it has surfaced online till now. We do know it comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, aided by 2GB RAM, a 250GB hard drive and an Intel GMA X4500 graphics card crammed into a chassis measuring 13.5mm thin while tipping the scales at 1.35kg.
10/07/2009, [CEATEC 2009] ALPS has created a system that uses the human body electric conductivity to transmit fair amounts of data (streaming music…). It was demonstrated last year, but now major carriers like DoCoMo are investing in it. Basically, if you and I were both equipped with a compatible handset, we could exchange our business cards or other information simply by shaking hands. It could work for Kiosks and subway tickets […]
10/07/2009, [CEATEC 2009] Murata, the unicyclist robot that uses sensors to stay balanced has been upgraded at this year’s Ceatec in Tokyo. Thanks to new sensors, it can now ride three times as fast (15cm/sec), and handles itself much better in turn (tight turns!). The Murata robot can also detect obstacles and is incredibly accurate. As a demo, they made it ride a narrow (2cm) slant without falling. The robot is […]
10/06/2009, [CEATEC 2009] As OLED becomes cheaper to produce, it will be used not only for displays, but also for lighting. The main advantage of OLED is that designers are given much more freeedom when compared to traditional or fluorescent bulbs. This chandelier was exposed in the “Green IT” section, although I’m not sure how low the power consumption is.
10/06/2009, [CEATEC 2009] The 3M Pico projector is not only cute, but it can also display a 640 x 480 image ranging in size from 8” to 50”, depending on the distance to the screen. It’s not very much, but it can scale an incoming video signal down, if you connect a higher resolution device. Now, I’ll admit that this is clearly not the best setup to demonstrate a projector, but […]
10/06/2009, [CEATEC 2009] You’ve all seen acrylic PC cases. Sometimes they look cool, but would you have acrylic AV furniture instead? I find the LED lighting to be disturbing when watching a movie in the dark. What about all the mess that I usually try to hide in there? Would you want one?
10/06/2009, [CEATEC 2009] Sony is showing a few cool OLED prototypes: a reader, a bracelet and a laptop. The most eye-catching one is the all-display laptop that ditches the physical keyoard in favor of a virtual one. It looks amazingly light, but you can bet that no one was allowed to touch the concept displayed behind thick plexiglass. The display is flexible and Sony was demonstrating other panels playing video while […]
10/06/2009, [CEATEC 2009] Sharing data among gadgets has been on KDDI’s plate for a while. While last year’s demo comprised of a prototype handset, this time around KDDI is using real handsets, even if that one is still a little thick (most cellphones are around here). At 1Gbps, the data connection should be fast enough to allow quick data transfers to and from the phone. Note that this is a theoretical […]
10/06/2009, [CEATEC 2009] This Vocaloid Robot was presented at the Sekai Camera booth. I saw it yesterday, but I wanted to get a closer look before I share it with you all. Its creators have worked on making the skin, facial expressions and the lip to synchronize in tandem with whatever it verbalizes. Right now, the head is the only body part that moves and she still looks very “plastic” (Terminator […]
10/06/2009, [CEATEC 2009] Over the past couple of years, Nissan has used cute robots as a mean to communicate their R&D efforts and it’s hard not to pay attenton. This year,a group of EPORO robots (six) were shown rolling around in a tight group, without ever colliding. Nissan says that it was insipired by how a school of fish moves. Of course, the robot is small but Nissan hopes to incorporate […]
10/06/2009, Not surprisingly, “green” is big deal in Japan as well and Toshiba was eager to show how eco-friendly their handsets are. Besides being more eco-sensitive, another consequence of the green boom is that companies are very low-power oriented. Toshiba has gone through the effort of shutting down whole blocks of circuits that are not in use (it is harder than it sounds). Reducing the size of the boards and using […]