Gadget show offers glimpse of tomorrow

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

A car that drives itself and glasses that translate a menu as you read it are some of the glimpses of tomorrow on offer at a gadget fair near Tokyo that began on Tuesday.

The Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) threw open its doors to thousands of visitors eager to sample the gizmos they will be using in future.

The highlight for many is Japanese carmaker Nissan, which showcased self-driving cars that allow the driver to kick back and take their eyes off the road.

A series of sensors constantly monitors the carriageway and objects nearby, turning the wheel automatically to avoid obstacles.

Vehicle makers are working to integrate automobiles and houses, with the auto able to power the home -- especially useful in times of blackouts caused by natural disasters.

Honda is showing off a mock installation in which a motorbike powers a gigantic kettle.

Many firms have their eyes on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the possibilities their technologies could offer by then.

Public broadcaster NHK showed off an ultra high-definition 8K screen, which has around 8,000 pixels on each horizontal line.

"We plan to do experimental broadcasting in 8K by 2016 and we are currently trying our best to be ready to broadcast directly in 8K in 2020", in time for the Tokyo Olympics, said NHK senior engineer Hironori Domen.

Other electronics makers were displaying high-resolution 4K televisions, with Panasonic focusing on 4K devices including 20-inch tablets.

Augmented reality, three-dimensional renderings that seemingly exist in the real world, was a big theme at the fair in Chiba. Pioneer showcased new navigation systems that can direct drivers to vacant parking spots with signs that appear in front of them.

NTT Docomo demonstrated augmented reality spectacles that can translate a menu in real time.

More than 580 companies are taking part in the trade show, which has brought exhibitors from 18 countries and territories. The show runs until Saturday.AFP



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