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Mobile phones of the future

Designers have presented the latest in concept phones at the Cutting-edge IT and Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition in Chiba, Japan.
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By Erica Ogg on
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1 of 7 Erica Ogg/ZDNet
Even though few are likely to translate to real products any time soon--or ever, in some cases--the concept phones on display here at Ceatec in Japan are a good indication of what the minds behind our mobile phones are thinking.
Shown here is a phone from Kyocera's booth, called "Organic Transparent". This concept features a flip-out sheet of glass that is supposed to serve as an "augmented reality layer". The idea is that it can act as a screen on which information about businesses or a landmark it's pointed at can be projected.
Photo credit: Erica Ogg/CNET News
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This is Kyocera's concept "UFO" phone. UFO in this case stands for "User Friendly Object". The entire surface of the phone, including the edges, is supposed to provide a functional area of the phone for its owner.
Photo credit: Erica Ogg/CNET News
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These are three examples of Fujitsu's 'Fluid' phone concept. The design is intended to mimic a block of ice, and is a metaphor for how phones should change functionality and shape depending on conditions and who is using them.
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Besides watching 3D video without glasses, Sharp also sees us shooting video in 3D. Here, Sharp uses a prototype 3D camera in a mobile phone to shoot the female booth attendant. The video is projected on the displays below her, which require 3D glasses to view.
Photo credit: Erica Ogg/CNET News
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NTT DoCoMo has this solution for couples who spend a lot of time talking on the phone. It's called the Taion Heart, a mobile accessory for phones.
Each person gets a heart that they grip in their hand. The device measures your pulse in order to represent how fast your real heart is beating while talking on the phone to your sweetheart. The info from the heart is then sent via Bluetooth to the other person's phone and then to his or her own heart. When the heart heats up, vibrates, or its lights change colour, it's meant to communicate how a person's partner is feeling about them at that moment.
Photo credit: Erica Ogg/CNET News
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Fujitsu's concept "two-pane phone" is a touchscreen flip phone that morphs between a vertical flip and a horizontal flip. The two touchscreens can function as one display, much like a dual-monitor set-up--if you scroll on the bottom pane it affects the top screen, too.
Photo credit: Erica Ogg/CNET News
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Here's another DoCoMo concept phone, advertised as an environmentally friendly device. It's called the Ion Plasmacluster, and it emits ions while in use. It's intended to fill the air around you with health-promoting, toxin-fighting ions while you talk.
Photo credit: Erica Ogg/CNET News

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