Japan CEATEC: Ultra high-def TVs, an INSECT from Toyota, and smarter homes

The country's largest electronics show begins this week outside of Tokyo, featuring consumer, mobile and now car technology

At the CEATEC show that opens in Japan this week, the country's electronics manufacturers will show a host of products that are probably a few years from catching on, as well as a few design concepts that will need a bit longer than that.

A main theme will be the new generation of incredibly high-definition TV sets that are starting to come to market, though there is still little content that takes advantage of their resolution, while several companies will show their concept for "smart homes," with net-savvy appliances and careful power management.

Gadget lovers will be able to get their fix with a host of not-quite-ready-for-market products, including face-capturing eye glasses from operator NTT DoCoMo and a new smart car concept from Toyota.

In TVs, big names like Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba will show TVs that have four and eight times the resolution of today's high-definition sets. TV makers appear to be shifting away from years of emphasis on 3D, a technology that has failed to capture the imagination of consumers, even as an value-added offering.

"TV makers weren't able to use 3D to boost the prices of their sets, so it has just become a drag on their profits," said Keita Wakabayashi, an analyst at Mito Securities.

"'4K' technologies have much more appeal, though at current prices just for the wealthy."

Sony and Toshiba will show their new "4K" sets at CEATEC, named after their nearly 4,000-pixel horizontal resolution. The sets typically display at 3,840 pixels by 2,160 pixels, versus the 1,920 by 1,080 resolution for HD.

Sony has said its 84-inch version will launch this year worldwide, and will go on sale in Japan from Nov. 23 for 1.68 million yen (US$20,000). Toshiba will launch three new models to go on sale by spring of next year; it currently offers a 55-inch version for 750,000 yen.

Panasonic said it will model an 8K model, while Sharp will show a new concept TV that uses an impressive technology called ICC (Integrated Cognitive Creation), which it says "reproduces the cognitive process by which the human brain interprets light stimuli."

Panasonic will also continue to push its new line of smart appliances, many of which can interact with smartphones. These include an air conditioner that can be controlled remotely, a washing machine that can download different laundry settings, and a portable oven with touch-card technology that can be used to send menu settings.

Carmaker Toyota will have a full booth for the first time at this year's show, and has announced it will model a single-seater concept car it is calling the "Smart INSECT" (Information Network Social Electric City Transporter), which has many features of today's smart phones including motion detection, voice recognition and its own cloud-based services.

NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest operator, will demonstrate a number of mobile concepts, including a tablet that tracks the movements of its users' eyes, and a camera-laden pair of eyeglasses that continuously scan the wearer's face to reproduce their facial expressions more accurately in video chat.

Chinese manufacturer Huawei has said it will appear at the show for the first time, modeling its phones and tablets. However, the relationship between Japan and China have soured in recent weeks over a set of disputed islands, with mass anti-Japan protests occurring in China and Chinese rioters smashing Japanese factories.

CEATEC, whose roots run back to 1964, has faded a bit in recent years as Japanese manufacturers focus on more globally-oriented shows such as last month's IFA in Germany. CEATEC runs from Tuesday to Saturday in Makuhari, just outside of Tokyo.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?