Preview videos from Japan's massive tech expo

Ceatec 2010, the big Japanese electronics showcase, doesn't open until tomorrow. But CNET has some early videos from inside that provide a taste of what's to come.

Ceatec 2010, the big Japanese electronics showcase, doesn't open until tomorrow. But CNET has some early videos from inside that provide a taste of what's to come.

First up is a look at what TDK calls an "QVGA organic EL see-through display" that provides 50 percent translucency--so the viewer can see the image in the display and what lies beyond. The company explains that when power is not flowing through the tiny screen, the display is transparent from both sides. But when the power switch is flicked the screen cannot be viewed from the backside.

TDK, a major component manufacturer, hopes to sell the technology to makers of cell phones and other portable devices. In the background you can see how the technology could be used in a head-mounted display for military or factory applications. Xbox 360, anyone? (Note the model's right hand as she covers the wires running up her sleeve from this prototype.)

Next up is "life-size" CGI character that responds to human conversation. For example, if you ask her what the weather is like she will look up real-time data and read it back to you in a very life-like voice. While not an entirely new application for voice interaction, the creators at the Nagoya Institute of Technology tout the response speed and voice quality. But as you can see in the video, the background noise appears to be creating some difficulties for the demonstrators. At the 1:30 minute mark in this video, we learn that the animation can be changed to suit your, um, personal preferences. We also learn that the younger, hipper CGI character has trouble hearing the directions. And when she does hear them, we sort of wish she hadn't.

This next video shows a concept camera from Sharp that holds two lenses for capturing 3D video. The models here are playfully rehearsing the best objects for the demo, which is being captured by the phone and streamed via HDMI to the large monitors. Oddly, the hand-out information from Sharp on this technology is all of two lines. I'll get more details this week because this seems worthy of much more attention. Then again, I'm a sucker for 3D and for the concept of capturing video on my phone for home display.

Last up is another one from the TDK booth showing a video running on a flexible OLED display. Three of these displays stacked on top of each other would still be less than 1 millimeter, and they are flexible enough to be worn as a wrist band (a true wrist watch?). Besides consumer uses such as in toys, TDK envisions creative uses for the displays in advertising and in-store displays (around poles, for example).

Stay tuned to CNET for additional coverage, photos, and videos from Ceatec once the show opens.

About the author

CNET former Editor in Chief Scott Ard has been a journalist for more than 20 years and an early tech adopter for even longer. Those two passions led him to editing one of the first tech sections for a daily newspaper in the mid 1990s, and to joining CNET part-time in 1996 and full-time a few years later.


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