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Virtual reality, robots and the cloud


The InnoVEX innovation and start-up section at this year’s Computex Taipei provided a stage for start-up teams and major manufacturers from home and abroad to showcase their innovative technologies.

HTC Corp used its Vive virtual reality (VR) system to demonstrate a number of VR applications and games, some developed by its in-house innovation team and others in conjunction with international partners. As well as the shooting games that one would generally expect, other applications that had visitors gasping in amazement included Birdly VR, which lets you soar into the sky like an eagle, and the Holodia VR fitness system, on this occasion combined with a rowing machine. Besides these, visitors’ eyes also lit up at the sight of mixed reality projections that transport the user’s real-body image into virtual worlds.

Taiwanese start-up company NextDrive exhibited its accessibly priced Cube Plug with a set of applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) and home use. The hub unit — the Cube Plug itself — is only as big as a charger but can be connected to a wide range of USB devices, including accessories such as the Cam wide-angle night-vision camera, Motion Pixi motion detector and Thermo Pixi temperature and humidity detector. All you need to do is plug them in and the Cube instantly turns into an intelligent host unit for IoT, smart home and personal cloud solutions, allowing you to keep an eye on your home at any time.

ASUS’ adorable home robot Zenbo, the first such product from ASUS, also drew a lot of wows. Defined as a home service provider, Zenbo can provide functions including assistance, entertainment and company to the whole family. It can move independently, hear and obey verbal commands and provide everyday reminders on its own initiative. It also has an inbuilt camera and can connect to and control many kinds of home electric appliances and detectors.

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