Tech Fair

CHIBA, October 4, 2011 (AFP) – Smartphones detecting bad breath and radiation, twistable remote controls and a super-thin tablet computer featured among the cutting-edge gadgets at Asia’s biggest tech fair in Japan Tuesday. Around 600 firms unveiled their innovations at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (Ceatec) exhibition in Chiba, near Tokyo, expected to draw 200,000 visitors during its five-day run, organisers said.

The impact of Japan’s March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster gave added resonance to technologies on display, particularly those aimed at improving urban infrastructure and energy efficiency.

State-of-the-art radiation counters and power-saving technologies are in high demand after Japan’s disasters sparked fears over contamination and led to power shortages, requiring cuts to energy consumption this summer.

Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo showed off a smartphone with changeable sensor-embedded shells that can detect bad breath, vital body signs and even be used to measure background radiation levels.

DoCoMo also demonstrated how population data can be obtained from mobile phone base stations, allowing urban planners or disaster relief agencies to map population