Among the interesting technologies and concepts appearing this week at the CEATEC 2014 trade show in Chiba, Tokyo, are Konica Minolta's glasses that project holographic images, Omron's table tennis robot and a LED-based technology that projects 3D images in the air. Japanese electronics maker Konica Minolta has on display a prototype model of a smart glass called "Wearable Communicator", which projects full-color holographic images and features sensors including web camera.
The glasses feature a "holographic optical element" (HOE), a transparent film that sits on the right lens of the glasses along with an electronics module. The glasses is powered by a battery unit connected to it by a wire. The device also houses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules for smartphone connectivity.
When you are wearing the glasses, you could see images through it overlaid on a background objects. The device also displays a timetable and other information.
The prototype device is still in development, and could also be fitted to regular glasses.
Healthcare electronics maker Omron is also showcasing a ping-pong robot at the exhibition.
For continuation of ping-pong rallies, the robot forecasts the ball trajectory and velocity based on information about the movement of the human opponent and position of the ball. It then "thinks" and returns the ball to a spot facilitating return by the human opponent.
Omron also demonstrated an LED-based technology that projects 3D images in the air. The technology consists of various LEDs that move along the bottom edge of transparent plastic sheets. While one sheet can display one image, adding multiple sheets enables animated images. The sheets are flexible and can be wrapped around glass or other transparent objects.
Omron showcased a set of sheets featuring a colored 3D ring floating in space, as well as directional 3D arrows pointing the way over a background image of a highway.
Applications include 3D billboards, station signage, window displays and gestural interfaces.