Translation app

NEW ORLEANS--Though it has few operations in the United States, you always can count on Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo to show up at CTIA. And it's a good thing that it does because it always brings along some cool stuff to handle.

The first thing I tried was an instant translation app on this Sony Xperia phone. The app works in real time so even callers who otherwise couldn't understand each other can speak over the phone. Each caller will hear the other person speak in their native language before hearing the translation in a computer voice. Likewise, when you speak, you'll be able to hear your words translated and see the translated text on the screen.

In my trial I asked, "What time is the meeting?" before hearing the question in Japanese a few seconds later. You need an Internet connection to use the service, but you can listen to each translation individually if you want to brush up on your language skills later.

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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

Translation app

For now, the app can translate between English and Japanese, English and Korean, and English and Chinese. A company rep said it will expand the service to 30 additional languages later.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

Translation app

On the demo phone, the app was located in the main icon tray below the home screen.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

3D avatar

NTT DoCoMo also had a demo of a 3D avatar that you can use for text and video messaging. It used the photo on the left to create the avatar of Abraham Lincoln. As Abe talked, his head and mouth moved.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

3D avatar

To get started, you'll need to take a picture of the person you want to make into an avatar. Don't say cheese, as you're not supposed to smile.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

3D avatar

Next, you'll upload the photo to the company's service.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

3D Avatar

Once uploaded, you'll need to help create the avatar by dragging the green points to map the shape of the head and major features like the eyes, nose, and mouth.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

3D avatar

The next step is to download the 3D avatar.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

3D avatar

Once you have your avatar, you can drag your fingers to stretch out the forehead.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

3D avatar

You can turn a frown upside down.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

3D avatar

And you even can make your own fun house mirror.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:

Ultra Charger

On the more practical side is the prototype Ultra Charger, which promises to zap your phone back to life in just 10 minutes.
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Photo by: Kent German/CNET / Caption by:
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