Mobile World Live‘s Asia editor Joseph Waring was in Shanghai this week for CES Asia, the Consumer Technology Association’s second event in the city. Here’s our picks of the most quirky action from the showfloor:
Google Glass goes industrial
Taiwan-based Jor Jin’s Chinese subsidiary showed off its smart glasses and headgear designed for industrial applications, such as first responders, police and military, and manufacturing. Shanghai Top Smart Technology, an OEM producer that supplies to Epson and Hitachi, can fit the headsets with a variety of sensors depending on the application. In addition to a camera and optical display, they can feature touch control, night vision and a distance sensor that automatically turns the device on when worn.
iParent coming to China soon
A robot from US-based Movia Robotics is designed to “engage and educate” children up to eight years old. According to a representative onsite, iPal can teach English and math, tell stories, answer questions and, of course, sing and dance. A brochure claims children with special needs respond better to robot-assisted instruction than they do to humans. iPal will be available in China for about CNY8,000 ($1,230) in the next couple of months.
JD.com, a massive online and offline retailer in China, wowed the audience on Day 2 with an army of dancing robots (with glowing blue eyes) before the company’s CTO, Chen Zhang, gave the afternoon keynote. He talked about 6.5 billion interconnected devices in 2017; 30 per cent growth.
All about the celebration
Another Bubble Lab product, the Plen2 Mirror Robot, can’t show off any football trickery on the tiny pitch, but it can kick a ball towards the goal and make the requisite arm gestures to celebrate – even without the ball being near the goal.
Cars trump drones, VR
Mercedes Benz consistently drew in the largest crowds at the exhibition with its ‘Concept IAA’ car showcasing the latest aerodynamic technology. What’s there not to like?
All too real
Visitors lined up to experience Pimax’s VR flight test, which was impressive just to watch from afar as the robotic arm raised and rotated the cockpit. Judging from the look of those exiting the simulator, the 30-second ‘flight’ was all too realistic.