updated 12:30 pm EST, Wed February 27, 2008
Softbank 'robot' phone
Japanese carrier Softbank is preparing an unusual addition to its lineup. Toshiba is developing an exclusive phone for the carrier called the 815T PB, meant to help promote a TV drama called Ketai Sousakan 7, directed by Takashi Miike. Owners can attach a set of flexible robot limbs to the phone, enabling various poses; for full effect, the phone also comes installed with an AI personality called "Buddy Talk," which makes various expressions and responds to voice conversation, gradually improving its answers.
The PB is also integrated with games relating to the TV show, but it is still intended to be a serious competitor in the Japanese market; some features include 3G broadband, a microSD slot, and a 2.4-inch QVGA screen. The phone is also capable of FeliCa mobile transactions, and has a 3.2-megapixel camera. A release is expected in late April. [via Impress Watch]