BUSAN, South Korea - Wireless technology capable of letting Internet users surf the Web at speeds almost as fast as wired connections, even while moving about, was among innovations exhibited this week at an Asia-Pacific summit.
World leaders and other delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit witnessed the first-ever trial of wireless high-speed Internet access called WiBro, which is based on the emerging WiMax standard.
The service will be offered to South Korean consumers next year, in the form of WiBro-enabled phone handsets, laptop computers and expansion cards. It will permit, among other things, voice and video calling via the Internet.
The star of the technology showcase at APEC was a 54-inch-tall, two-legged robot topped with a head modeled after Albert Einstein. "Albert Hubo" has 31 motors behind its face that let it laugh, blink — and even scowl — when someone tries to tip it over. It can also speak in sign language using its five-fingered hands.
Not all the gadgets performed flawlessly.
During a demonstration of a heavy-lifting robot that can carry a person weighing up to 220 pounds, the machine appeared to want to dump its cargo — a model in a leather miniskirt and calf-high boots posing for TV cameras.
Oh Jun-ho, director of the government-funded Humanoid Robot Research Center, blamed the error on the computer used to control the robot. It was running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, which Oh said wasn't always very stable.
Not to be outdone, Albert Hubo chipped in with a chuckle to break the tension.