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Technology Looks To Get Friendlier At Japan Expo

posted 1 Oct 2013, 06:05 by Mpelembe   [ updated 1 Oct 2013, 06:06 ]

Technology looks to get friendly and reduce human workload at Japan's biggest electronics expo.

CHIBA CITYJAPAN (OCTOBER 1, 2013) (REUTERS) -  At Japan's yearly CEATEC tech expo on Tuesday (October 1) many of exhibits on display took on a friendlier disposition, while others showed how technology could be used to reduce the workload on humans.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda even showed up to take a test ride on one of his companies' Winglet mobility devices.

The Winglet, a Segway-like vehicle, allows the rider to cruise around at up to 6km/h (3.7mph).

When asked whether Toyoda saw more of these sort of things in his company's future, he said that this was only the start.

"Expect great things! Fun to drive!" he said before zipping away.

Other companies looked to making technology's much more friendlier, with Sharp showing off its "Smart Sweet Home" concept that allows nearly all of one's appliances to speak.

Whether it's a simple "Good morning!" or reminding one of when to throw out the trash or even having one's oven recommend recipes, the Sharp concept allows the appliances themselves to talk with those in the house.

Sharp's Cloud Business Development Center General Manager Jun Yoneda said that he hopes that eventually it will allow one's entire house to become one's friend.

"We hope to have your appliances become your friends, and then all that connect and so your entire house becomes your friend. That's the thinking in which we hope to create further appliances," Yoneda said.

Sharp said that all of their talking appliances are already on sale as well as the robot vacuum cleaner and speak English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

Eventually, they hope to link them all together into one large friendly family with vacuums and more sometime in the future.

Nissan was also at the expo to display their autonomous car, unveiled earlier last month in the Untied States.

The newest version is able to completely drive itself using a combination of cameras and laser rangefinders with Nissan motor's engineering department expert leader Tooru Futami saying that the ride itself is also smoother than most expect.

"While many would think that the driving itself wouldn't be that smooth, it reality it's very smooth. We feel that we've managed to make a car that makes it feel as if there's someone else there driving," Futami said.

The car is able to determine whether it has the right of way in intersections, and is designed for areas so that they don't need new infrastructure.

The CEATEC expo itself is scheduled to run until October 5 and open to the general public, with last year seeing 162,000 visitors to this exposition in the outskirts of Tokyo.