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Is this something from Darth Vader’s desk? No, it’s just a pulsating sphere speaker from JVC, on display this week at the Ceatec consumer-technology trade fair in Japan. A dodecahedron, 11 of its 12 sides function as speakers. The interlocking diaphrams are intended to provide a more natural sound. These are mock-ups, but JVC has working prototypes and may come out with something like this in a few years.
A diagram from JVC of what happens inside your brain when you listen to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” through its pulsating sphere speaker.
A portable organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display from TDK. The company integrates these screens into car stereos.
Beer, at 9 a.m.? No, it’s just complimentary iced coffee from Mitsubishi.
U.S. and Australian visitors–men and women–were amazed by this. It’s a bathroom hand dryer, but it’s better than anything you will ever see in the states. Two curtains of air blast the water right off your hand. You want to wash your hands again and again just for fun.
It’s a giant phone with a TV. Yes, it is. NTT DoCoMo is pushing TV on phones. So far, about a million people in Japan watch phone TV. Carriers generally don’t charge more for the service, but you do have to buy a fancier phone.
A version of NTT DoCoMo’s TV phone that is closer to pocket size. The screen flips sideways to offer a more normal viewing image. People use these everywhere but on the subway. The TV signals don’t carry underground. However, you can get them on the commuter train.
A fuel-cell phone. The NTT DoCoMo, like a lot of others, has tinkered with methanol fuel cells for years, but they may move closer to reality in the next few years. Current problems with lithium-ion batteries add incentive to develop the technology.
An NTT DoCoMo prototype phone with integrated digital radio. Broadcasters are working with the government to allocate spectrum for this.
A prototype 3D screen. The screen projects out 30 images of the same thing simultaneously, but at different angles, to create the illusion of depth. But to bees, it just looks flat.
NTT DoCoMo here to repossess your car. The company started issuing its own credit cards this year. They’re different from your bank-backed United Mileage Visa card. NTT is the actual creditor loaning out the money and the one that will ring you up if you go over your limit.
An array of concept phones from NTT.
A phone for kids. That orange button is an alarm. Flip it up, as shown in the picture, and it emits an ear-splitting series of high-pitched barks. Kids flip it when in trouble. It also has a GPS chip.
The grandpa phone. This one is designed for elderly people so they can read the numbers more easily.