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Last Updated: Monday, 14 March, 2005, 18:05 GMT
Cebit 2005: Highlights & gadgets
Cebit 2005, one of the world's most important technology fairs, has opened its doors in Hanover, Germany.

The fair showcases many of the consumer electronics and technology products that will be released to the market in the coming months.

The latest announcements and developments will be published here over the next week of events.

MONDAY 14 MARCH

IBM UNVEILS MEMORY MILLIPEDE

Close-up of Millipede tips, IBM
The Millipede system uses thousands of tiny levers

IBM has shown off a working prototype of a ultra-high density storage technology that could cram in the equivalent of 25 DVDs in a space no larger than a postage stamp.

Dubbed "Millipede" because it uses thousands of tiny silicon tips to punch tiny pits into a polymer to create a pattern of bits. Heating the tips melts the polymer and fills in the punched pit. Each bit pit is no more than 10 nanometres wide.

The technology was first demonstrated in 2002 and IBM said it was still two years away from commercial deployment. Once available the technology could find a home in digital cameras, mobile phones and memory cards.

SATURDAY 12 MARCH

LEGAL CLASH OVER IPOD SHUFFLE

Apple's iPod shuffle, Apple
Apple is considering legal action against Luxpro

Apple clashed with Taiwanese firm Luxpro which was showing off an MP3 player that bears a striking resemblance to the iPod Shuffle.

Called the Super Shuffle, Luxpro's player is pretty much the same size and weight at Apple's version and shares many of its other characteristics too.

Luxpro removed the Super Shuffle's from display on its stand at Cebit following protests from Apple but returned the gadgets to a position of prominence on Saturday - typically one of the busier days at the giant technology fair.

Apple said it was now considering its legal options.


A SCANNER IN YOUR POCKET

Canadian firm unveiled a text scanner no bigger than a fountain pen at the Cebit fair.

The Docupen R700 connects and recharges via a USB cable and scans A4 pages with a single sweep.

Alternatively the Docupen can grab images of text and images at higher resolutions in about four seconds.

The thin scanner which weighs in at 60g has been officially certified at the world's lightest by the Guinness Book of Records. It is expected to go on sale for about 170 euros.

FRIDAY 11 MARCH

EYE CONTROLLED CAMERA PROTOTYPE

Eye controlled camera prototype
The contraption looks slightly clumsy currently

Usually technology big fairs like Cebit are a chance to show off some more whacky and unusual products, often as prototypes.

This prototype video camera device was shown off by Stanislavs Bardins from Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians-University.

The camera is controlled by the eyes, but looks slightly clumsy in its current form.

Mr Bardins, a neurology researcher, said the camera has potential use in of psychology and market research.


BLUETOOTH ROB-1 ROLLING CAMERA

Rob-1
The camera could cheekily take snaps 50 metres away

Sony Ericsson has rolled out its Bluetooth-controlled camera, Motion Cam Rob-1, designed to work with its mobile phones.

Like Sony's Aibo robot dog, it allows for remote viewing. Rob-1 lets owners of P900/P910 smartphones see what it is looking at on their phones.

It will roll around up to 50 meters from the user, and as well as taking stills, it will stream video to the phone's display.

With a light at the front, it can also pivot or tilt the camera 70 degrees upwards and 20 degrees down.

THURSDAY 10 MARCH

APPLE JOINS BLU RAY

Computer giant Apple has thrown its weight behind the new high-definition DVD format Blu-ray, according to backers of the format.

"Apple has joined us," said Victor Matsuda, vice president of Blu-ray disc group Sony Corporation of America, at a presentation at Cebit.

Blu-ray, backed by 100 firms including Sony, is competing against Toshiba and NEC-backed HD-DVD to be the format of choice for future films and games.


MOTOROLA iTUNES NO SHOW

iTunes
iTunes: On PC and Mac but not yet on Motorola

One of the early talking points of Cebit is the lack of the much heralded Motorola phone to incorporate Apple's iTunes software.

The phone firm had said the device would debut at the fair.

Volker Haebel, marketing director of Motorola's German division, said many people had been asking about the phones and a launch could come in the United States within a few weeks.


INTEL AND SAP TEAM UP

US chip maker Intel and the German business software firm SAP, are teaming up in the area of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to develop applications that could eventually replace bar codes on products in shops.

RFID uses electronic labels with tiny microchips to identify individual items via radio signal and is already used in warehouse administration by big distribution companies such as Wal-Mart and Metro.

But the relatively high price of the chips has so far prevented their more widespread use, while consumer concerns that their shopping habits could be monitored have started to surface.


HARD DISK IN A PHONE

German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder plays with the camera phone

Electronics giant Samsung has unveiled a mobile phone with a three gigabyte hard drive built in.

The SGH-i300 phone is designed for multimedia use, specifically music.

Mobile handset manufacturers are targeting the successful MP3 hard disk player market - which is currently dominated by the Apple iPod.

The company also unveiled a phone with a seven mega pixel digital camera - the highest resolution camera currently on the market.


PALM READER

Palm Vein scanner
The scanner works without being touched

Fujitsu has launched a "Palm Vein" scanner which can identify people without any direct contact.

The company speculates that the scanner could be used by bank customers to withdraw funds from cash points with a single hand gesture.

The device uses infrared light to scan the palm vein, creating a map of individuals' hands to check the unique vein layout to identify users.

Data about your hand layout can be stored on a computer or on a bank card.





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