Emerging Technologies

The most talked-about tech at Japan’s biggest electronics show

A woman plays table tennis with Japan's Omron Corp's table tennis playing robot at CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) JAPAN 2015 in Makuhari, Japan, October 6, 2015. Over 500 companies and organisations are exhibiting at CEATEC JAPAN 2015, which will be held until October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino - RTS37EW

Image: REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Rosamond Hutt
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Emerging Technologies

In the future, humans may no longer have to face the dreary task of folding clothes. Meet the Laundroid: a laundry-folding robot that recognizes different types of clothing and folds them accordingly.

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The machine, due to hit the market next year, was among the most talked-about gadgets on display at CEATEC 2016, Japan’s largest information technology and electronics fair, held near Tokyo.

But there were plenty of other electronic stars of the show, which this year focused on the Internet of Things.

Panasonic unveiled its new bendable battery for wearables such as watches, fitness bands and smart clothing – and perhaps, one day, flexible smartphones.

Image: Panasonic

Honda revealed a prototype single-seat electric car with a body almost entirely made up of 3D-printed panels.

Image: Business Insider
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Fujitsu’s Ontenna ‘hair clip’ enables deaf people to ‘feel’ sounds in the world around them through their hair.

The device transmits vibrations to wearers through strands of their hair, much like whiskers allow cats to sense movements in the air

And for people who don’t have hair, the company has a prototype earring version.

Image: Ontenna

Another attraction was Forpheus. Certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s first robot table tennis tutor, the machine can adjust its playing level to the ability of its human opponent.

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Among the robotic highlights of the show was Toyota's Kirobo Mini. The 10cm tall “communication companion” can talk to you, gesture and detect and respond to your emotions, according to the carmaker, which hopes to integrate the technology into its vehicles.

Image: Toyota
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