TOKYO - Japan's major high-tech fair opened Tuesday, with exhibitors pitching a wide lineup of cutting-edge products including handheld devices with advanced image quality and "wearable" terminals from Japanese electronics makers, which are facing an uphill battle amid intensifying global competition.
A total of 587 companies and groups, including 163 from overseas, have registered to display their products and technologies at the five-day CEATEC Japan exhibition at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo, organizers said.
Around 2,340 booths have been set up for the annual event, but the number of exhibitors is down from 624 last year, according to the organizers.
Among the main products on display from electronics makers is Sharp Corp.'s next-generation display panel, which has been jointly developed with Qualcomm Inc. of the United States under a business and capital tie-up.
The energy-efficient Micro Electro Mechanical System Display for smartphones and tablet computers is being developed by integrating Sharp's technology for advanced "Igzo" liquid crystal displays and technology called the micro electro-mechanical system, which is owned by Qualcomm.
NTT Docomo Inc. is pitching its wearable terminal, as companies such as Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea are also in the market for such devices.
NTT Docomo's Intelligent Glasses allow users to access various data through a display on the frame. The terminal is equipped with facial recognition functionality enabling users to browse the profiles of people they see, but the company has no plans to put the device on the market in the immediate future.
Many electronics makers are exhibiting smartphones and tablet computers as they try to win back market share lost to Apple Inc.'s iPhone, which is proving extremely popular in Japan.
Sony is showcasing its new Xperia Z1 smartphone that has an improved lens to boost camera performance, while Panasonic Corp. is pitching a 20-inch tablet computer with enhanced image quality enabled by "4K" technology, which displays images at four times the resolution of high definition.
From the auto industry, Nissan Motor Corp. is demonstrating its automated driving technology for the first time in Japan, using its Leaf electronic vehicle equipped with advanced driver assist systems.
Nissan has set up a special driving course at the venue with virtual representation of roads typically found in Japan, and it will give a live demonstration of automated driving made possible by artificial intelligence, which can predict other vehicle's movements and choose the most appropriate driving action.
This year, more automakers are joining electronics companies at the fair as vehicles increasingly employ advanced information technology. Honda Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. are exhibiting their products for the first time, while Toyota Motor Corp. is taking part in the annual event for the second straight year.
CEATEC, which stands for Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies, has been held every year since 2000. Around 200,000 people are expected to flock to the event, the organizers said.
The fair will be open to the public from Wednesday and admission will be free on Saturday, the last day.