September 25, 2003 9:58 AM PDT

Nokia pictures wearable photo gear

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Nokia on Thursday announced that it's planning to launch new products that will let consumers take pictures from camera phones and transfer them onto tiny digital lockets and bracelets.

The new devices, Medallion I and II, are designed for storing, wearing and showing off images transferred wirelessly from a cell phone or computer, the company said.

Consumers can take photos and upload them to a wearable display on the medallions, which can be worn as necklaces and bracelets. The devices each store up to eight images and include a backlit clock. The Medallion I hangs on a steel chain or a choker-style necklace, while the Medallion II has leather straps, so that it can be worn as a bracelet or a necklace.

"Technological innovations are now making these small, intelligent, wearable accessories possible," Frank Nuovo, chief designer of Nokia mobile phones, said in a statement. "Nokia intends to lead and shape this exciting new mobile lifestyle as it emerges over the next few years."

The company simultaneously announced plans for the Nokia Kaleidoscope, which looks much like the instrument after which it was named. The gadget is 2.75 inches long, weighs roughly 3 ounces, and can be used to upload and store digital images for private viewings.

The wearable gear will be available in the United States, Europe and some Asia-Pacific markets during the first quarter of 2004. Pricing was not announced for any of the products.

Wireless gear makers have been trying to woo customers with wearable gadgets, but so far, the devices have been a hard sell. The gear has yet to appeal to the mass market.

In March, Japanese cell phone carrier NTT DoCoMo launched Wristomo, a wristwatch that unfolds into a cell phone. Meanwhile, Microsoft is eyeing the nascent market with its Smart Personal Object Technology, which is expected to be used in wristwatches and refrigerator magnets.


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