CEATEC 2008: More impressions, pictures, booth babes

It’s the third of five days at CEATEC 2008, Asia’s biggest exhibition for consumer electronics (think Asia’s CES), and I must say it’s better than last year.

Here are my impressions of the exhibition:

The level of internationalization at CEATEC stands at an estimated 5%. I am seriously wondering how foreign journalists are able to understand what is actually being showcased. 99% of all text-based information is Japanese-only (brochures, maps, booth displays, etc.).

Most of the staffers at the booths can hardly speak English, which is not really helpful either (I am fortunate to speak Japanese).

The number of real innovations is too low: too many flat screens (yawn), a huge/deserted Blu-ray-only booth (seriously), obvious vaporware, etc. etc. Who cares if a flat screen is now 1.2cm thin instead of 1.3cm?

But this is probably an issue at most tech exhibitions.

Tech powerhouses like Pioneer, Sharp and Hitachi totally disappoint this year. For example, Sony is displaying its 11-inch OLED TV XEL-1 again this year and in almost the same manner as 2007.

Despite of the lack of innovations, Japan shows that it’s still a tech nation to be reckoned with. Some of the tech I saw at CEATEC 2008 is just amazing. Panasonic’s virtual wall for the living room, for example, is fantastic.

I will keep covering the highlights of the event in a series of posts over the next days.