Do you remember back in the '90s, when high-definition TVs first started to become popular? Seeing that HD for the first time, the sharpness seemed almost impossible compared to existing technology. But this year, several top tech companies showed off 8K screens with 16-times as many pixels as those old 1080p HD TVs. For me, seeing these new super sharp TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) felt like the first time all over again.
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Video: I know that it's pretty darn obvious that if you sharpen a knife over and over again, you'll eventually get a razor sharp edge to slice things with. But that doesn't make it any less fun to transform a $1 knife bought from a dollar store into a beast of a blade that destroys everything as if it were descended from the Damascus, Ulfberht and Valyrian steel gods.
Foxconn is best known as the sometimes-controversial Taiwanese manufacturer used by Apple to assemble iPhones. Sharp is an ailing Japanese company that used to make plasma TVs, and now makes iPhone displays.
Earlier this year, we reported on Tomotaka Takahashi, the famous engineer who sent the first talking robot into space, and his plans to make robots as popular a consumer electronic as smartphones. He'd been teasing a humanoid phone to debut this year, and here it is: a cutesy, talking, limbed phone that hitches rides in your front pocket.
The new Galaxy S6 may have the best display yet with the most most pixels. But we need more, and Sharp is going to give it to us with an absolutely bonkers 5.5-inch LCD 4K display -- that's 806ppi for anyone keeping count.
Sharp just unveiled a salvo of 4K TVs at CES, and even one that approaches near 8K resolution. One of the neat sets that enjoyed a brief sidebar during Sharp's press conference was a TV the company is calling a "Super Slim" set because the panel is less than half-an-inch thick (not including the set mount).
4K is still in its infancy. Even if you've got the $US7,000 burning a hole in your pocket for a top-tier 4K set, I'd recommend a gorgeous 1080p OLED panel instead. But if you simply must have a 4K television, you don't necessarily need the very best.
The digital camera megapixels arms race might be over, but now smartphone display makers have taken up the cause, trying to cram as many pixels as possible into their screens. And Sharp has now claimed superpower status with a 4.1-inch display boasting a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, or 736ppi. For comparison, the iPhone 6 plus has a ppi of just 401.
In a factory that once made floppy disks, herbs are growing. Inside an old semiconductor factory, there's lettuce taking root. Oddly enough, electronics factories make great farms. And Toshiba, Sony and Panasonic are swapping industrial infrastructure for a business that's as old as civilisation itself.
Japan builds phones differently to the Western world. We typically want better performance, more dazzling displays and faster processors. Japan just makes the thing look awesome. And not many have done it better than Sharp.
It's not designed to replace your family doctor, but this sensor-laden chair concept from Sharp could definitely reduce the number of times you need to stop by the clinic every year. The chair looks like it could actually be capable of time travel, but its capabilities are limited to measuring your blood pressure, pulse, temperature and other vital stats in one fell swoop.