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0816.1 From the Floor
0816.1.7 Konica Minolta
0816.1.11 NTT DoCoMo
0816.1.18 Victor JVC
0816.2 WAVE Comments
CEATEC is unusual in that it combines electronic components with end user products. The show is smaller than last year when the organizers tried to include IT. But there are large booths by Microsoft and AMD. Intel is noticeable in its absence. But the major players are the Japanese companies. Many have two large booths one for components and the other for end products.
0816.1 From the Floor
A significant portion of the booth was devoted to Digital Signage. The exhibit was based on using the Scotchcal Graphic Film. This is attached to a glass surface. An image is projected onto the film. Due to the reflectance the film area looks like a display. The booth highlighted the flexibility of using a film which would be cut into any pattern. A 3M logo was used along with a beverage bottle. These signs certainly attract attention.
Avago had a DBS-A320 demonstration in the booth which is like an inverse mouse imaging engine. This supports “Optical Finger Navigation.” It was claimed capabilities were added to the chip beyond that in a normal mouse optical engine. Applications cited are NotePC, UMPC, MID, Smart Phone, and PDA Phone.
Belkin’s booth was showing various accessories including those for the iPod.
Fujisoft had a gesture based user interface for controlling a television.
UBWALL is the name for Fujitsu’s interactive digital signage. This was single touch and had the form factor of tall signage. We asked the engineer in the booth – why not have multiple touch? His response was reasonable – for most venues individuals will just not know how to use it. Only the young will take the time to try and use multitouch. This is consistent with our experience at CityWall.
Two examples of interactive digital signage displays were present. One was for public displays and the example shown was with a large map. Both were single touch.
A gesture control for television was demonstrated. The signage next to the display had the hand gestures used, which is one of the few at CEATEC which did. The gestures are quite simple: palm shake – select, left right palm – movement, up down palm – movement and palm circle – up or down control.
Also shown was wireless DLNA camcorder. This could play directly to a television.
A family of televisions were shown for streaming content with HDTV. One is for Yahoo! service in Japan.
A wireless HD television was also shown but the television was connected to a box which handles the wireless connection – not embedded in the television.
What was claimed to be the next generation PDP was shown. What was striking was the depth – approximately 1”. The usual PDP excellent image quality.
0816.1.7 Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta was showing an interesting heads up display. The first part was a wearable display using holographic optics. This created what they called a See Through Browser. The implementation was quite elegant with the imaging electronics directly over the glass with the optics. The next built on this technology to implement a “system.” The see through optics assembly did both imaging and display – a form of augmented reality. This was connected wirelessly either via 802.11 or cellular network. What the individual was looking at could be seen on a PC or monitor. Audio could be provided to the individual. A note on one of the posters called this a Business Instruction Tool. It drew crowds in the booth.
Demoed in the booth was a honeycomb flat panel speaker. All one saw was the panel explaining the technology. The speaker could not be seen – an effective demo.
Mitsubishi had a digital signage section of the booth. The included an interactive vertical sign. Mitsubishi has thought about the distribution of content. One panel even showed how content could be distributed over WiMAX.
NEC had two examples of 3D LCD modules in a small form factor both used a lenticular approach. The first was approximately 6” X 2” with the long dimension horizontal. The second was a WVGA 9” display.
There was another augmented reality display which was called a coaching view. The display used the same Konica Minolta display and electronics was well integrated into the field-of-view.
0816.1.11 NTT DoCoMo
In a packed booth there was interesting technologies being shown. A number of PC were being on display with have high speed networking integrated. The DoCoMo network goes to 7.2Mb/s.
A road map and demonstration was provided of the integrated projectors for cell phones. Examples of projector applications were shown in specific model phones including games and cinema.
The most interesting phone was a separable phone. This is a flip type phone. The two parts, the key pad and display appear to be hinged but also held in place by a magnet(?). One only has to pull the two parts apart and they function independently. Demos were shown watch the phone while also speaking on it. Again a number of application specific phones were shown including casual style and movie. Impressive technology.
OSRAM described the technology in sensing and IR illumination. The sensors included Ambient Light (SFH5711), Proximity (SFH7740 and pulsed lasers which can be used in Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance detection from an automobile. OSRAM has a line of IR emitters which include: DRAGON, Power TOPLED, Power TOPLED with Lens and MIDLED. All sources are at either 850, 940 or 840nm.
Panasonic has a small home theater like environment set up to show 3D from a Blu Ray recording. The screen was approximately 80” and requires glasses. The 3D was the best seen for a home. One of the problems is content. Typically content in these demo situations tends to emphasize objects coming to the audience and other silly constructs to excite the audience. However, there were some examples, such as the bicycle stunts which did show the 3D qualities. All of this is anticipation of Hollywood embracing 3D in theaters and the next step is in the home.
Panasonic Theater System used a 103” PDP. A field sequential display was used with left and right eye viewing which matches that which is currently being used in the Hollywood production of 3D movies. The display resolution is 1920 X 1080 as seen by each eye. Images for each eye are encoded on the Blu Ray disk for playback. This technology was developed by Panasonic. It is Panasonic’s intent to promote the standardization of a 3D format on Blu ray. The intent is to allow for distribution of 3D which can be distributed to consumers for home viewing.
The 3D was quite good. It should be noted that the 3D impression will likely change as a function of both the content and the size of the screen. Few homes will be able to support such large screens.
The advanced technology section of the booth had some of the most interesting demos. There was a long display oriented vertically where a woman was part of this “immersive communication system.” She appeared life size which was enabled by the display. The network used for this was FLET’S in Japan, the NTT NGN. Image quality was excellent. This is getting very close to the Cisco Telepresence but for the home.
A spatial hand gesture interface was shown that enabled control without a remote. The key to this demo is the range image sensor above the display. This enabled detection of the hand in 3D both in shape and depth using a time-of-flight method with LED illumination.
One of the most practical demonstrations was a hand held remote controller which was blank. The implementation of the remote was seen on the screen with buttons and controls. Thus, the control was based on visual feedback from the screen. This allows for direct feedback and with flexible remote implementation. Well done.
Panasonic implemented a YouTube television complete with browsing. Impressive.
A wireless HD demonstration was also in the booth.
A small device, which appeared to be a tiny screen television, had a touch interface. It was a cell phone with single touch only and used projective capacitance technology.
SMK had one of the most extensive displays of touch technology. The most interesting was touch technology with force feedback. This is applied on top of the display and was shown in a cell phone application. Another touch panel is applied to curved surfaces. Another was a more conventional projective capacitive touch panel.
There were two OLED demos of note. One was a stylish 27” OLED television on a vertical stand. This fits the styling of the existing XEL- 1. There was no product announcement at CEATEC of this. The second was a video of a flexible OLED display. The size was approximately 1.5” square. Impressive what could be done while displaying an image.
Using technology which dates back 100 years Toshiba used integral photography techniques to create a 3D display which is autostereoscopic. There are 9 parallax views of 466 X 350. As with any stereo system resolution is traded for 3D quality.
A novel light pen display interaction was shown using SOG technology. This detected the light pen touch and was the basis for a billiards type game.
Having spent many years on Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology Toshiba was showing a “introduction of prototypes” in a cell phone which was the smallest form factor seen for this technology yet.
Touch Sweet is gesture based interaction using the hand. It was running on a Qosmio notebook.
Toshiba had a version of the SCiB (Super Charge Ion Battery) in the booth. It is claimed that this battery can be recharged to 90% capacity in less than five minutes, it is safe and has a 10-year lifespan. It can also operate down to -30 Celsius (-22F). What is significant is that this is a battery advance in technical area which has be resistant to new technology. The battery has applications primary in transportation.
0816.1.18 Victor JVC
JVC was showing two examples of Everio cameras which are not yet products. These are even smaller than the prior ones. We asked JVC what the recording media is and they would not comment but we suspect Flash given the size of the cameras.
Another example of the impact of YouTube was the capability to directly upload from an Everio camera to YouTube – called one touch upload.
There is a LCD television for the iPod. It has a docking station for the iPod. Impressive.
Technology was shown which allows for the real time conversion of 2D to a 3D format for display on a television.
CEATEC Reflects the Shift in HCI. Touch or Multitouch is the rage. Remote controls are out. The mouse seems dated. Certainly CEATEC reflected these shifts. But based on what we saw it is too early to make any rash predictions.
Interactive digital signage is one touch and quite simple. An engineer said it best in the Fujitsu booth – multitouch is an age thing. At this point in time youth get it, older do not. Still, real problems need to be solved. The Panasonic blank remote controller with screen visual interaction is much closer to an interface which solves a problem. There any ways the controller can be optimized to the task at hand and even hints provided on screen. But this still does not address a key issue – how to control all the stuff in a home. It is here where Logitech’s Harmony fulfills a need. Nothing at CETEAC addresses this need.
Thus, there is a place for touch, multitouch and geatures but its best placement in CE and public space venues has not been found. What was at CEATEC is a very good first step but it should be seen as no more than that.
Two technologies stood out in penetration like not seen before: DLNA and Wireless HD. This was present in multiple booths are largely unnoticed. A bigger deal was being made by the proponents of Wireless HD, however.
There is more action on 3D that we have seen at earlier CEATEC events. 3D is shaping up to be a serious visual output. Glasses are no longer a no-no, especially given their acceptance by Hollywood in the cinema venue.
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