CHIBA, Japan--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 are a good indication of what the minds behind our cell phones are thinking about.
Shown here is a phone from Kyocera's booth, called "Organic Transparent." This concept features an 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.
This is Kyocera's concept UFO phone. Not the kind of UFO you're thinking of though. This one stands for "User Friendly Object." The entire surface of the phone, including all the edges, is supposed to provide a functional area of the phone for its owner.
These are three examples of Fujitsu's Fluid phone concept. The design is intended to mimic a block of ice. The design is a metaphor for how phones should change functionality and shape depending on conditions and who is using it.
Besides watching 3D video without glasses someday, 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 required 3D glasses to view.
NTT DoCoMo had this solution for couples who spend a lot of time talking on the phone. It's called the Taion Heart, a mobile accessory for cell phones.
Each gets a heart that they grip in their hand. The device measures pulse, which is supposed to represent how fast your heart is beating while talking on the phone to your sweetheart. The info from the hearts is sent via Bluetooth through the phone to the other person's phone and then to his or her own heart. When the heart heats up, vibrates, or its lights change colors, it's meant to communicate how a person's partner is feeling about them at that moment.
Fujitsu's concept "two-pane phone" is a touch-screen flip phone that morphs between a vertical flip and horizontal flip. The two touch screens 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.
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.