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October 2008's 8 coolest gadgets revealed

Ceatec: robots, video cards and games consoles

October 2008 saw Japan's biggest electronics show: Ceatec. More than 196,000 visitors to Ceatec got a chance to see the best of the Japanese electronics industry, including some exciting prototypes of devices that are still a long way from hitting the market.

KDDI Au Box

While today's mobile phones offer a wide range of multimedia functions, it's sometimes difficult for users to make the most of everything the handsets offer.

Japanese mobile carrier Au is hoping to bridge this gap with its Au Box, a device that allows users to easily gather and enjoy music and video content from CDs, video cameras, TV's and the internet and get them all in their mobile phones.

At its simplest level it can be used to rip music from a CD to a mobile phone and with a broadband connection users can also connect to Au's music download service and grab songs over the speedier broadband line rather than through their mobile phones.

The Au Box also allows users to surf the internet and watch videos on demand from Au's Lismo video store using their televisions. This function is believed to benefit Japanese youngsters, most of whom do not own computers so access the internet solely through their mobile phones.

Au Box

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