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  • NEC Markets Low-priced Version of Virtual Fish Bowl
  • July 8, 1998 (TOKYO) -- NEC Corp. announced that it started sales of a low-priced version of its visual interior system called the Sakana Hakkei series, which displays images of tropical fish and goldfish reproduced in a real water tank.
    The earlier series, which was priced at more than 1 million yen (US$ 7,100), saw sales of 5,000 units in three years. It was mainly installed in the lobbies of hospitals and hotels. Those versions included a 32-in. high-definition TV display.

    The new version uses a 24-in. wide display, and is priced at 488,000 yen (US$3,470).

    The latest series is called Sakana Hakkei Junior. (See chart.) Graphical software in the system, which is on laser disks in the first-generation system, is compressed by the MPEG2 format and installed on a smart card. A smart card including image data for a 5-minute display (equivalent to about 160MB) costs 38,800 yen (US$275).

    Sakana Hakkei Junior offers seven types of fish images including goldfish and Asia Arowana. NEC will market another five software products in November.

    The Junior series also employs the same trick of placing a thin water tank in front of the display.

    NEC expects new demand from such customers as restaurants, barber shops and hair saloons for Sakana Hakkei Junior, because it is less expensive and smaller. The company is targeting sales of 150,000 systems and 450,000 units of packaged software in two years.

    The system is 580mm wide, 468mm deep and 405mm high, and weighs about 35kg.

    Chart: Virtual Fish Bowl "Sakana Hakkei Junior"

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    (Hi-Tech News Center)

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    Updated: Tue Jul 7 16:42:26 1998