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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?