Japan’s tech industry may be struggling, but don’t tell that to the vendors at CEATEC 2012—who did their best to show their innovative spirit. Here are the most interesting developments from CEATEC 2012, from crazy robots and futuristic cars to eye-controlled tablets.
Nissan's Self-Driving Car
Nissan is not the only company working on cars that drive themselves, but its concept car has one really useful function: It acts as its own valet, finding and pulling into parking spots on its own. Users can control the car remotely by smartphone, so it can be ready to roll when you are. This smart-car could be ready by 2015, as the paint job on the concept model suggests.
NTT DoCoMo's Video Chat Glasses
Simply recording the human face with a standard video camera isn't good enough for NTT DoCoMo, which is why the company is working a pair of glasses that maps your facial structure. The glasses, which contain many small, wide-angle cameras, pick up subtle changes in facial expression, and use these changes to create a 3D avatar. The result looks a bit creepy right now, but NTT DoCoMo hopes the glasses will be ready for the real world in five to ten years.
Eye-Tracking Tablet From Tobii and NTT DoCoMo
We've seen Tobii's eye-tracking technology integrated with a laptop before, but now NTT DoCoMo, in partnership with Fujitsu, has stuffed it into a small tablet. This technology could be useful if you want to give your hands a rest, but there's no word on when it will be commercially available for consumers.
(Image via Akihabara News)
Robotic Muscle Suit from Tokyo University of Science
Straight out of sci-fi, this muscle suit from Tokyo University of Science uses pressurized air to support the user's back, shoulders, and elbows. This exoskeleton has been in development for years, but now it looks a lot more polished. Because, let’s be serious, it's only cool to be a cyborg if you also look cool.
(Image via Engadget)
Futaba's Flexible OLED Watch Concept
Concept watch designers have long dreamed of flexible, colorful displays, which are almost a reality. At CEATEC, Futaba showed off a flexible OLED display measuring just 0.22 mm thick, with the idea that it could be slapped onto a wrist watch. Watch lovers will have to dream a little longer, though, because there's no word on when an actual product will emerge.
(Image via Slashgear)
Toyota's Smart INSECT Concept Car
Toyota's latest concept car is an example of how auto makers are starting to catch up with the consumer electronics industry. The Smart INSECT uses Microsoft's Kinect to sense when the driver is approaching the car, and unlocks the appropriate doors. Inside, the car has motion sensors, voice recognition, and a virtual assistant to help control the car. However, the INSECT is just a concept—Toyota has no plans for mass production.
Image via Autoblog)
NHK's 3D Binoculars
These 3D binoculars from NHK aren't the type you take sightseeing. They're more a way to show off the superiority of 8K resolution, also known as Super Hi-Vision. When using the binoculars for 4X zoom on 8K footage, users still see a 1080p image before their eyes. How this will be useful is unclear, but it's impressive to think about.
This story, "The neatest gadgets and tech from CEATEC 2012" was originally published by TechHive.