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Flora expo specialties commercially available

2010/12/02 21:11:34

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) Specialties at the Taipei InternationalFlora Expo that showcase Taiwan's floriculture prowess, technologicalstrength and environmental awareness are commercially available assouvenirs, an expo official said Thursday.

Of the specialties, paper-thin flexible speakers developed byTaiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) being usedat the popular Pavilion of Dreams have been probably the biggest drawfor expo goers.

The speakers -- basically a sandwich of paper and metal filledwith an electro-active polymer that contracts and expands with anaudio signal's electric field -- have been a research program of theITRI since 2006 and was used and displayed for the first time at theexpo.

At 22 cm by 18 cm, the units available for expo visitors assouvenirs are about half the size of those displayed at the Pavilionof Dreams, according to the company in charge of marketing theproduct.

The speakers, which can be connected to an MP3 player or aniPhone, cost NT$1,980 (US$66) per set of two.

Another hot attraction at the expo -- "eternal flowers" made ofgenuine cut flowers -- is also available as a souvenir.

Bouquets of roses, dendrobium and hydrangea arranged with baby'sbreath have been processed using a quick freeze-drying technology andare available with all their vivid freshness that will last forever,according to the official.

Other sought-after souvenir items include thermo drink bottles,expo passports and bracelets.

In related news, 4.31 million admission tickets had been sold asof Thursday, nearly one month after the expo's official Nov. 6opening, according to Ting Hsi-yung, the expo's general producer.

Total revenues had reached NT$820 million as of that day, withsome NT$200 million coming from the sale of food, beverages, farmproducts and souvenirs, Ting said.

The number of souvenir items exceeds 1,500 and is expected to beincreased to 2,000 in the near future, he added.

The Taipei International Flora Expo 2010 -- which has not onlyadded much needed color to the capital city's environment but hasalso solidified Taiwan's place as the world's "flower kingdom" -- isscheduled to run until April 25, 2011.

It is home to 14 pavilions and more than 800 varieties oforchids, 329 million stems of locally developed plant varieties, fromimpatiens and bamboo to bonsai trees, as well as award-winninglandscape and gardening designs from 22 countries and 26 cities.

(By Chen Hung-chin and Deborah Kuo)