updated 05:25 pm EDT, Thu September 24, 2009
NTT DoCoMo shows prototypes made of wood
Japanese wireless provider NTT DoCoMo on Thursday announced it has created two prototype handsets constructed of excess wood from trees felled during thinning operations designed to ensure a healthy forest. The devices were built through collaboration between Sharp, Olympus and More Trees, a reforestation project in Japan. Either prototype handset sports cypress wood and goes by the Touch Wood name. Despite the wood construction, the bodies are resistant to water, insects and mildew thanks to 3D compression molding technology developed by Olympus.
No artificial colors or paints are used, so the natural grain pattern, color and smell of the cypress wood are retained. Further hardware specs have yet to be announced, although the user interface sports photographic art from More Trees advocate Mikiya Takimoto.
The prototype phones will be shown at ITU Telecom World 2009 in Geneva and CEATEC Japan 2009 in early October.