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Sharp makes a comeback! It's growing strawberries

A company that has fallen on difficult times branches out into a new field: growing strawberries in the United Arab Emirates.

2 min read
Is this the Sharp future? Web4deb/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The pivot is a word co-opted by startups to mean: "Oh, hell. This isn't working. Let's do something else."

This doesn't mean it can't be co-opted by larger companies that seem to be reverting to the size of startups.

All hail, then, Sharp. Once, this was a company known for making very fine products. Now some speculate that it is not in a solid state.

However, I have news that Sharp is pivoting to something radically different. The company is growing the perfect strawberry.

You might think this isn't a high-tech pursuit. Yet, as the Asahi Shimbun reports, the company has developed a technology to control light, temperature, and humidity.

This, as the red-fingered will tell you, makes for perfect strawberry-growing conditions.

It so happens that Japanese strawberries are very popular in the United Arab Emirates. It also so happens that the United Arab Emirates are blessed with fields of money.

The Emirates aren't, though, blessed with fields for growing strawberries. So Sharp has already begun testing its strawberry-growing tech at its Middle East Free Zone Establishment in Dubai.

Where before the strawberries ran a very high risk of rotting during transport, now they will have the perfect -- if artificial -- environment to satisfy local desires.

As a Sharp spokesman told the Asahi Shimbun: "If we can generate results in cultivating strawberries, a plant that is difficult to grow, we can apply the technology to other farm products."

I am deeply excited at the idea that Sharp might succeed with this technology. I can only hope the company would bring it to CES 2014.

My emotions have still not recovered from CES 2012, when Sharp's presenter was forced to perform to an audience of zero, making him the saddest man at CES.