What Weird Gadgets Will Be at CEATEC?

Senior Contributor

Televisions only clear on one side?  Creepy talking CGI characters?  3D video cameras?  Glasses-free 3D TVs?  Creepy unicycle robots?  Check, check, check, check and OH GOD KILL IT KILL IT WITH FIRE! in this look at Japan’s craziest trade show, courtesy of Uproxx News.

The crazy trade show in question is CEATEC, which stands for something that with our journalistic standards we can’t be bothered to look up (OK, fine, it stands for Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies.  Happy?).  CEATEC is essentially the Consumer Electronics Show, which, we remind you, is held in Las Vegas, only even more debached and very, very Japanese, by which we mean weird.

Don’t get us wrong: most of this stuff, while awesome, is relatively prosaic.  Take, for example, Toshiba’s awesome glasses-free 3D TVs.  Granted, the sizes we’re talking are absolutely dinky by home theater nerd standards: one screen is a foot, and the other is 20′, but they take a 2D frame and extrapolate it into 3D.  So they’re ridiculously expensive, really cool, and you might never see that technology outside of a Nintendo 3DS.  But, hey, they exist!

Other neat but not bizarre goodies include Hitachi-LG’s announcement of the hybrid optical/flash drive.  This is a big deal because it basically lets laptop makers cram even more components into an ever smaller space, so we might actually see a netbook with a disc player, right before the entire market segment is wiped from the face of the earth by the rise of the tablet.  Also for computer nerds is WiMax 2, the new standard in WiMax, which Samsung is showing off, and can achieve download speeds of 330mpbs.  Too bad it’s the Beta to Wi-Fi’s VHS, that sounds like it might have been awesome.

On the slightly weirder scale, there’s TDK.  The manufacturer, who you mostly probably recognize from when you used to by VHS tapes, does still exist, and they’re making screens that are transparent on one side; basically, you can see what’s on the screen and also see through it.  Finally!  We knew that eventually, technology would catch up to the greatest imaginations of the ’80s!

TDK also was showing a flexible display, as in, you can bend it around poles.  We’re pretty sure these things are going to be everywhere in about a year, and probably as annoying as hell.

Taking a pit stop in weirdville, we’ve got MMDAgent.  What is MMDAgent?  Why, it’s a life-size CGI character who can interact with you in a life-like way!  And that you can customize to your liking!  We’re kind of surprised TDK didn’t snag this, pair it with their flexible displays, and start putting out interactive anime pillows for sad, lonely men (and not all of them are Japanese).

Finally, going right to the home office of weird is Seiko-Chan, the cuddly little unicycle-bot with the glowing eyes of DDDDDDOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!! Just kidding; they’re just cameras.  Powered by hatred of the human race.

Seiko-Chan mostly exists to demonstrate balance and advance robotics, and also be a creepy robot six-year-old.  Seriously.  That slice of nightmare fuel up top is supposed to be in kindergarten.  We’re remember that, as it will add a little frisson of terror to this robot brat haunting our dreams.  Anyway, they’ve upgraded her, so that’s nice.  And scary.

And just think!  The show has barely opened yet!  Who knows what sorts of goodies will pour forth to amuse, delight, and possibly terrify?  We’ll have more, once we get out of the fetal position and stop crying tears of fear and shame!  So maybe we won’t actually have more!


  • Toshiba’s neat 3D HDTVs (Tom’s Guide)
  • Hitachi-LG’s mildly exciting flash/Blu-Ray drive (Akihabara News)
  • TDK’s displays and MMDAgent’s scary future as a “companion” for the nerds nerds scorn. (CNET)
  • Seiko-Chan wants you to be part of her family. Forever and ever, and she’ll stab you with her family-making pointy thing to do it! Wait, what the heck did I just write? (PC World)



  • Hey, speaking of creepy, smothering love, Google is rolling out a new technology, and is going to reach out to the 0.05% of sites that won’t actually work with Chrome’s fancy new nanosecond saving technology to get them to upgrade.  Translation: your mirror of your crappy Geocities site is keeping Google’s stock from going up a penny, and you can either change it or have all your personal information released on Google Buzz.  So nothing will change, but who wants to offend Google?  (Imperial Violet)
  • Also, Twitter has a new CEO!  #slownewsday #morejapangadgets (Mercury News)



  • How many people attended CEATEC last year? Over 200,000! And there were only about a dozen fatalities! (Infoworld)


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