This month, CES, the largest consumer electronics trade show in the world, took place in Las Vegas, with many Japanese companies introducing new products. On: Tech looks at some who expect to change the way we monitor and use information.
Car racing continues to accelerate
The gadget maker Cerevo is a regular CES and, as usual, has introduced several new products, many of which this time are related to the sport.
The ZECH-1 is a new line for the XON brand of sports gadgets from Cerevo and is a vehicle sensor device for motor sports. It connects wirelessly to an OBD-II vehicle (On-board diagnostics II) – the on-board computer that most cars have to check diagnostics – and can transmit information to others about the vehicle's operating state in real time . Its six-axis GPS sensor records the position of the car's lap, speed, acceleration, angular velocity and other changes in the conditions under which it is being driven. All this can be seen through a graphic overlay of dials and icons on the camera images taken from the windshield of the car.
Designed to provide racing team members with real-time information on a racing car, the device connects to 3G, LTE or wireless LAN and is powered by a car battery and an external battery. With the launch scheduled for summer, the ZECH-1 is not something for the average driver, but it can change the face of racing.
Pouting pinheads to improve health
You want to keep up with your health, but are you finding it a little depressing to weigh yourself and check for other details? Tanita, known for producing smart scales and other health monitoring equipment, has created a way to make it more fun.
Tanita Pinball, currently in the conceptual model stage, can do 13 health measurements, including weight, BMI and muscle mass while the subject plays pinball. It uses the professional smart balance Tanita DC-13C, which makes readings of an electronic current passing through the body.
Players enter the balance and hold two handles, facing a large screen that shows a pinball game. Once the measurements are taken, the balls appear on the screen and players can control the flippers using the buttons on the two handles while the results are printed. The type of game shown on the screen depends on the measurements taken, so each time users take measurements, a different pinball layout is likely to appear on the screen.
Tanita's goal is to encourage people to monitor their health, making it less scary and tedious. Although the idea was presented at CES, the company has not yet announced a release date.
www.tanita.co.jp/press/detail/2018/1211/ (Japanese only)
Where there is a Whill, there is a path
Autonomous driving vehicles have been a hot topic in the technology industry for some time, but Whill has found another universal application for the concept. The startup has developed autonomous electric wheelchairs for facilities that lend them to the public. Designed to automatically return to your docking station, the Whill is designed for places like airports, hospitals, shopping malls and tourist attractions.
Mounted on the wheelchair arms, there are stereo cameras, which use wide-angle views to determine their location and detect obstacles, while sensors prevent collisions. The information collected by the cameras and sensors is also checked against the pre-installed map information to ensure that the location of the wheelchair is correctly recognized.
He predicts that his autonomous wheelchair will be able to pick up people, drop them off and return to the docking stations, and are already discussing options with multiple airports and businesses. But his long-term plan is to see Whill in more everyday situations, where users can simply program it through an application, sit back and relax.