See new tech from Japan before it hits the U.S.

Culture
[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Every January the electronics industry gathers in Las Vegas for CES. But if you want to see what's really going to happen in the electronic industry, you can go a few months early to CAETEC, Japan's big electronic show. Every major manufacturer, including a lot of the chip and component manufacturers, gather for a five-day fest outside the city to show off their wares. And here's what they had this year. Robots. Personal robots are still a tough sell, but a lot of companies are still trying to have a big hit. Titouden, which makes a lot of industrial equipment, has made a wireless robot that you control with a hand-held. Here you see a couple of them competing. Citizen, the watch company, has also come out with a mini robot kit. It's mostly made for school. And the mini robots can play soccer, and some can be controlled by solar power. There is also a company named Alsock [assumed spelling] which has come out with a robot that provides personal information. These robots rove the floor of the show and told you where you needed to go. TVs. LCD was big again, of course. [Inaudible] Hitachi, and JVC all showed off LCD TVs that were less than an inch thick. This is Sharp's 52-inch thin LCD sliding up and down the panel. JVC will come out with the first super-thin LCD in the first half of 2008. Expect also to hear a lot of news this year at CES 4k TVs. 4k stands for the number of pixels. 4,000 on the vertical axis. The mirrors you see here go inside JVC's 4k projector. Until now, these projectors have only been sold to professionals. Cell phones. Naturally, it's Japan. You have a lot of news about cell phones. The iPhone won't be the only touch-screen phone for long. Sharp has been working on a panel that you can manipulate the numbers and data and Internet information with your fingers. They've been working on it for about three years and they started sending samples to manufacturers. And a lot of attendees at the show love KDDI's fashion phone. This costs about $400 and it was designed by designer Naoto Fukasawa. The slim phone also gets live TV. Blu-Ray and HD DVD, the fight's not over yet. Blu-Ray claims its going to start winning the war this December. Pictured here is Hitachi's Blu-Ray camcorder. It contains a Blu-Ray recorder as well as a hard drive. Virtual reality. Canon and Hitachi and a couple of universities showed up with prototypes for a virtual reality. This one from Canon let's you manipulate a virtual printer at the same time you can see your hands along with the virtual image. Portable TV. Toshiba showed off a portable TV with a built-in fuel cell. The TV runs for about 10 hours before it runs out of fuel. And then there are those "only of Japan" sort of devices. This is Rolly, a gadget from Sony that dances and gyrates to music. You can program it, or it will just gyrate randomly to whatever song you put on. It costs $300 and serves no practical purpose. Yet people at the show went nuts. The booth was packed almost every day. I even spoke to a couple of people who bought one. They want to take it, figure out how to hack it, and see if they can do something with it. I'm Michael Kenos [assumed spelling] in Tokyo for news.com. ^M00:03:13 [ Music ]

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