Magic mirrors and flying origami feature at Japan tech fair

Flying paper origami, magic mirrors and body fat analysing apps are among the high-tech gadgets unveiled by more than 500 companies and organizations at Japan’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC).

MAKUHARI, JAPAN (OCTOBER 7, 2015) (REUTERS) – The Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) is the biggest IT-electronic fair in Japan and is the place for major electronic companies to show off their cutting edge technology.

At the exhibition last week, a flying paper origami crane wowed visitors as it flapped around above their heads and landed back where it came from.

Remote-controlled, the paper crane is composed of a carbon tube frame and covered in 3D-printed nylon to help keep the weight down to 31 grams. Powered by a microcomputer, the makers say it is not particularly useful per se, but it nevertheless showcases the company’s prowess in creating light weight machines that could be of use in other appliances.

“We thought we’d put hi-tech into a traditional origami paper crane and make it a fun origami crane shaped flying plane so as to wish the Japanese industry a bright future with the IoT (Internet of Things),” said Naotaka Saito, manager of business development project at LAPIS Semiconductor corporation.

Toru Tsuruta, a visitor to the show, was particularly impressed as he watched the demonstration of the paper crane.

“I thought it flew very delicately, not using much power and felt it represented the attention to detail we Japanese love,” said Tsuruta.

Japan’s electronics giant Panasonic previewed their ‘magic mirror’ technology which displays the user’s weight, as well as giving make up tips and letting you see yourself from all angles.

“I think this will be of help to make people healthier and more beautiful just by sitting in front of the mirror and not even moving. I think it will be useful,” said Sachiko Kawaguchi, the chief of the development department in Panasonic, adding that she thought the magic mirror will completely change people’s daily life in the next 20 years.

For those who’d rather not wait 20 years, a portable body fat detector drew plenty of volunteers willing to give it a try.

“I’d never thought that the body fat could be so easily calculated,” said 71-year old visitor Hideaki Matsuki, who said the device gave him the same measurement in body fat he’d received from his recent medical examination at the doctors.

Using smartphone sensors to measure the circumference of the stomach, the device then uses an algorithm developed by the Association for Preventive Medicine of Japan to come up with the user’s body fat content. It was created by Kyocera, a multinational electronics and ceramics manufacturer headquarters in Kyoto.

Dancing robots and table tennis automatons were also back at the show, which is held yearly on the outskirts of Tokyo, and ended on Saturday (October 10).