updated 03:00 pm EDT, Mon August 27, 2007
Willcom Wilcon Cellphone
Sanyo and Willcom today partnered to reveal the unusual Wilcon, a concept cellphone the two hope will pave the way for more easily-powered devices. Helped largely by the extra longevity of Sanyo's eneloop battery design, the similarly battery-shaped phone can operate for up to five full hours of conversation or 250 hours of standby on a single AA battery; users could simply recharge the battery (up to 1,000 times) or replace it altogether at a local shop, Willcom says. The power demand is reportedly light enough that a solar panel could recharge the device without much difficulty.
The prototype achieves its performance in part by abandoning a conventional screen, relying instead on LED lights for feedback and sharing only basic functions. Both of the involved companies say they would like to ultimately mass-produce a version of the technology but don't have an immediate timetable for production, noting that the Wilcon marks the first of what could be multiple revisions before a finished phone is available for the public. [via Impress]