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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.

R&D: Toshiba Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

In the next six months we should see Toshiba's first DMFC (direct-methanol fuel-cell). The company won't say what form it will take but it should be out sometime before the end of March. DMFCs produce electricity from a reaction between methanol, water and air.

The only by-products are a small amount of water vapor and carbon dioxide, so DMFCs are often seen as a greener source of energy than traditional batteries. Another advantage is that they can be replenished with a new cartridge of methanol in seconds.

We got a clue about the possible device at Ceatec when Toshiba showed a cell phone based on a fuel cell. The fuel cell was integrated into the clamshell phone under the keypad and made the handset a little thicker, although not considerably. Watch this space for details of the DMFC when it's announced!

Toshiba DMFC

Visit Digital World for the latest home entertainment news and reviews

(Additional reporting by Sumner Lemon and Chiara Castañeda)

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