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WORLD PC EXPO '98 Visitors' Guide

NikkeiBP Group
(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

WPC '98 Online Show Daily

•Asia's Largest PC Showcase Opens Today

September 30, 1998 (TOKYO) -- World PC Expo 98, the largest exhibition of personal computing products in Asia, opens today at Makuhari Messe in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo.

This year's show looks to the future, taking as its theme "New Challenges for Personal Computing -- Creating the Digital Society of the New Millennium."

Now in its fourth year, World PC Expo is organized by Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. and brings together the leading lights in the international PC arena. This year's show boasts 646 companies exhibiting in 2,649 booths. Some 300,000 visitors are expected during the four days of the show, which runs until Oct. 3.

The floor plan is divided into two parks: the Personal Park in Halls 1 through 3, and the Business Park in Halls 3 through 11. The division allows visitors to move easily around areas of individual interest. The exhibits in Hall 3, where the two areas overlap, are for both personal and business users.

A First-Hand Taste of the Future

Hall 11 in the Business Park is home to Digital Space 21, one of the focal points of this year's show. Here visitors can experience first hand the transformations that state-of-the-art PC technology will soon bring to the home and office.

The Business Park comprises an Office Zone, a Home Zone, a Mobile Computing Zone, and a SOHO Zone. The sponsors include manufacturers of personal computing products, as well as Toyota Motor Corp., Misawa Homes Co. Ltd., the thermos manufacturer Zojirushi Corp., Japan Travel Bureau Inc. (JTB), and other companies that are exhibiting products and technology from their own industries.

In the Home Zone, an actual house has been erected in the exhibition hall to show the roles the PC might play in the home of tomorrow. In the kitchen, for instance, there is a home server that functions as the nerve center of the house, controlling the air conditioning, lighting, and security. Another feature of the kitchen is an Internet refrigerator, a hybrid that dissolves the division between household appliance and information devices. The product is capable of performing recipe searches and other such feats.

The house also has exhibits related to home education systems that utilize networks, Internet game possibilities, and a home office that demonstrates teleworking in tomorrow's world.

The Office Zone features an actual office of the future. Updating the standard workstation concept of desk, chair, and desktop PC, this office presents an alternative vision of how office space can be utilized, allowing the occupant to move around at will, plugging an information terminal into any nearby information outlet as the need arises.

The Mobile Computing Zone has exhibits such as miniature information terminals in the form of a wristwatch, and an automobile with e-mail and data transmission capabilities.

The SOHO Zone focuses on peripherals that exploit network connectivity to provide the user with maximum benefits, while taking up minimum space.

Together the exhibitions present a kaleidoscope of glimpses into the future of personal computing, giving visitors the opportunity to take a first-hand look at the digital society of tomorrow.

Over 120 Overseas Exhibitors

Hoping to expand sales in Japan and Asia, make new OEM contacts, and find new distributors, more than 120 vendors from outside Japan are exhibiting at World PC Expo 98, confirming its reputation as the largest PC trade show in Asia.

Among the countries that have set up pavilions at the show are Taiwan, which is now the world's largest PC production base, and China with its rapidly expanding PC market. Also represented are Singapore, the self-proclaimed information hub of Asia, and Europe, where global marketing is increasingly important in expectation of the single currency.

A new feature: Blue Note Tokyo Cafe

This year sees the launch of the Blue Note Tokyo Cafe at World PC Expo 98, a refuge from the bustle of the exhibition halls. Visitors to the Cafe can watch live video of jazz sessions on the big screen as they relax and enjoy refreshments. At 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 and 2, the Cafe plans to hold a live concert with Lisa Ono Bossanova Special Unit.

(Nikkei Events News)

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Updated: Tue Sep 29 15:35:29 1998 PDT