MAKUHARI, Japan--A smartphone-only TV broadcaster will begin beaming programs to handsets in Japan next April, offering users live commenting as well as text content and games.
Promoters for Nottv were staging fashion shows in a TV studio set up at the Ceatec 2011 trade show outside Tokyo to drum up enthusiasm for the concept.
Japanese consumers have been able to watch conventional TV on their phones for years using the 1seg service. But Nottv will be the country's first dedicated smartphone TV channel.
Nottv shows will make use of frequencies left vacant when the country officially switched to digital … Read more
MAKUHARI, Japan--Want to add functionality to your smartphone? NTT DoCoMo is showing off phone cases at Ceatec 2011 here that can detect ultraviolet and gamma radiation, bad breath, and even how fat you are.
On the opening day of the trade show outside Tokyo, visitors flocked to see the phone jackets, which are larger than regular cases due to the sensors they incorporate. They were on display with a DoCoMo Medias smartphone, and don't have a release date yet.
"You blow into these sensors to measure how much alcohol you have consumed, or whether you have bad breath," says Masanori Ishida of DoCoMo's Advanced Technology Group, pointing out a breath sensor on one of the prototypes. "Data from this UV sensor, meanwhile, can be quickly posted to an online map of your area."
Another case has four metallic sensors that you press with your fingers to get a reading of your body fat. After inputting your height, age, and weight, an associated app will tell you whether you're carrying around a few too many pounds. … Read more
MAKUHARI, Japan--If you forget to charge your phone overnight, NTT DoCoMo has a prototype case that can do the job.
The prototype super-fast rechargeable battery case, being shown off here at Ceatec 2011 takes only 10 minutes for a full charge. When your phone battery dies, just slip it into the case for a recharge.
You still have to charge your phone at the regular speed, of course, but you have a portable source of power that's fully juiced in minutes.
That could be handy if you're not near a power source.
The case uses a lithium-titanate (LTO) battery that's much faster on a recharge than lithium ion.
It's similar to Toshiba's Super Charge Ion Battery, which can recharge in 5 minutes and lasts for 6,000 charge-discharge cycles.
DoCoMo hasn't said when the battery case could hit the market, or a possible price. … Read more
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo today announced 24 handsets for its summer lineup, and one of the most interesting has two operating systems: one mobile OS, and one OS you wouldn't expect to find on a cell phone.
The Fujitsu LOOX F-07C, one of the most peculiar hybrid smartphones in recent memory, can use the Symbian OS or Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit). The QWERTY slider features an 1.2GHz Intel Atom (Moorestown) processor, 1GB of RAM, and 32GB of built-in storage space. A trackball and left click button are also located near the keyboard. My notebook, which was already feeling a bit irrelevant due to tablets, is shaking in its sleeve.… Read more
Japanese are using social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Mixi as cell phone networks are jammed following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck northern Japan on Friday, killing at least 300 and leaving nearly 500 missing.
Carriers were limiting voice calls on congested networks, with NTT DoCoMo restricting up to 80 percent of voice calls, especially in Tokyo and in northeast Japan, where 30-foot tsunami waves caused extensive damage. (See video below.) But service was nil or patchy throughout the country.
Carriers Softbank and Au were also affected, with Tokyo residents unable to send text messages to friends and loved ones. Friends have reported that they were able to contact family members on DoCoMo, but not others.
Twitter, Facebook, and Japanese social-media site Mixi were helping fill the communication gap though, as online networks held firm. However, Internet service was on-again, off-again in Tokyo.
Friends in Tokyo reported walking miles to get home from the Marunouchi district of the capital's downtown as subway services were suspended. Streets in the capital remained gridlocked, with highways shut down, early Saturday.
"The streets were so full of people walking, and it was so crowded it was like being in a morning rush-hour commuter train," said Toshie Niida, who works at a cable broadcaster in central Tokyo, in a Facebook chat. "It took me more than an hour to walk home." … Read more
CHIBA, Japan--3D displays aren't just for passive consumption, as NTT DoCoMo is showing here at Ceatec.
Japan's largest mobile carrier is showing an experimental display that combines glasses-less 3D technology with a stylus and force feedback, which could make for some interesting interactive possibilities.
Here's how it works: On-screen is a video of a chameleon. When you run the stylus over the screen, the chameleon tracks the location of the magnet-tipped stylus and flicks its tongue out to where the stylus tip comes in contact with the display. Cameras track the position of the pen, and a … Read more
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo is set to demonstrate a prototype handset based on high-speed wireless data technology LTE later this month, according to its handset partner, NEC.
NEC said on Monday that NTT will demonstrate the handset receiving streaming high-resolution video across an LTE network at Mobile World Congress, which kicks off February 15 in Barcelona. According to NEC, the handset uses an LTE chipset that was developed by Fujitsu, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, and Panasonic, and first sampled in October.
LTE, the "long-term evolution" of 3G, is the successor to HSDPA and is roughly 10 times faster, providing … Read more
If you don't think plastic is fantastic, here's some good news: Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has created a new prototype cell phone made from cypress wood.
The Touch Wood handset is crafted from surplus wood culled during forest maintenance work.
DoCoMo teamed up with Sharp and Olympus to create the prototype (seen bottom right, with an ergonomic mockup above). More Trees, a reforestation group supported by musician and actor Ryuichi Sakamoto, was also involved.
Olympus contributed "three-dimensional compression molding" that made the wood usable for phones, according to DoCoMo. The molding also made the cypress shiny … Read more
Considering many MVNOs have failed or been acquired in recent years (Helio, Disney Mobile, Virgin Mobile, just to name a few), we can't help but think they're a bad idea. (MVNOs are Mobile Virtual Network Operators that sell their own service plans and handsets, but piggyback on another carrier's network). Still, that apparently hasn't stopped Japan's NTT DoCoMo from thinking about starting one up in the U.S.
Indeed, it seems that the Japanese company is contemplating leasing capacity from either T-Mobile USA or AT&T. While we can't imagine it'll make … Read more