Gizmag: Mobile phones and the beach are generally not a great mix, but for anyone looking to stay in touch while soaking up the rays there are a few more details filtering through regarding Sharp’s waterproof, solar-powered phone. [...]. There’s no word on if or when the phone will be released outside Japan.
The new phone will claim a world’s first in being the first waterproof phone to embed a solar panel into its lid. The solar panel can charge up to 80% of the battery’s capacity and can draw enough power from ten minutes of direct sunlight for a one-minute call, or two hours of standby time. Other details about the Solar Ketai are thin on the ground. Going by the picture it won’t be a touchscreen model like Samsung’s previously announced Blue Earth solar powered offering, but with still no release date set for the Blue Earth, it could beat its solar-powered competitor to market.
The Solar Ketai by Sharp is expected to be priced somewhere in range of 40,000 to 60,000 yen, (approx. 300-450 euro) and will be released in June through Japan’s KDDI – just in time for summer.
Techradar: If it isn’t already obvious from the megapixel measuring contest phone makers indulge themselves in that phone imaging is the next big battleground, then this announcement from Renesas will make that doubly clear.
The Japanese chip specialist has one-upped all the competition by going not for more pixels per picture, but for a processor package that will allow cameraphones to shoot proper high-definition video.
Its new application processor will be made public at a trade show in San Francisco in February, but it has revealed most of the details to whet the appetite.
The CPU will run at up to 500MHz, which is enough to process 1920x1080p video at 30fps. That video can be encoded in any of AVC/H.264, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video formats.
T3: Releasing a mobile phone with a $28,360 (22,340 Euros) price tag might not seem like the best idea in these troubled times, but when we tell you this is the Christian Dior mobile phone, you’ll probably realise it isn’t aimed at the likes of us.
Movie moguls, Russian billionaires and footballers will no doubt be all over it, loving the choice of crocodile skin or Swarovski crystal finish, whilst no doubt being slightly disappointed by the paltry 2MP camera and 2.6-inch screen if they have an ounce of intelligence.
But don’t be too downhearted, apparently ModeLabs has spend several million Euros on research and development, so there might be a few whizzy features on-board when you finally get to rip open the box.
Register Hardware: If none of LG’s talkers have yet taken your fancy then fear not, because the mobile maker’s inked plans to maintain its fast-paced phone production.
Next year, LG aims to launch a stupendous 125 new phone models globally.
A spokeswoman for the company told Register Hardware that they would all be new models, and not just re-sprayed variations of a single handset, or existing models with an extra button on the side.
By the end of this year, the company also hopes to have launched 125 new talkers globally.
ITProPortal: Arguably counted amongst one of most useful technical gadget so far, the mobile phone has completed 25 years of its existence.
The first mobile handset that appeared in market was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X and it was 13 inches long and weighed almost 1.75 pounds, obviously too bulky for contemporary mobile users.
In 1983 when the mobile was first launched, one had to pay USD 50 a month in rentals and calls would cost 40 cents per minute during peak times.
Incidentally Motorola poured a whopping USD100 million investment and 10 years in developing the first ever mobile handset.
At the end of this year the total number of mobile phones will be more than four billion.
PC Advisor: Mobile phones have always been about helping you keep in touch. Now they’re helping you stay healthy.
Eager to discover the next new trend in mobile phone technology, Japanese mobile carriers are developing and rolling out services that tie a user’s desire to keep fit with their mobile phone and network-linked services.
First off the starting block has been KDDI’s Au unit, which launched a service earlier this year called Smart Sports.
Most of its new handsets incorporate the service to some degree but three recently-launched models are fully equipped to take advantage of the technology. Inside the phones, a motion sensor and GPS work together so that when you’re running, the number of steps taken, distance, and calories burned are measured and recorded – and the phone does this even if the phone’s dedicated ‘Run&Walk’ application isn’t launched.
When you’re done work-out information can be sent to a server and later your run can be mapped and analysed through a PC.
And because the beat of music can help you during your daily exercise, the service links in with Au’s ‘Lismo’ music download service and can send selected tunes to a pair of wireless headphones. Using the ‘Beat Run’ playback mode, it will also match musical tracks and the pace of the exercise.
Rival carrier NTT DoCoMo is also developing health-related applications.
VNUNet.com: Mobile phone owners typically make the same errors as physically handicapped PC users, according to a new study from the University of Manchester.
Research funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council indicates that many able-bodied people make the same mistakes when using mobile phones as physically impaired users of desktop computers.
Researchers working on the Reciprocal Interoperability between Accessible and Mobile Webs project at Manchester explained that many mobile owners press the wrong key, or press the same key repeatedly by mistake.
They also found that mobile users tend to click the wrong area of the screen, click the screen multiple times in error, and make mistakes when trying to drag and drop information.
The Register: We’ve all had some shocking news delivered through a mobile phone. But if you’ve got a dodgy ticker, thank your lucky stars that someone’s applied to patent a handset with an integrated defibrillator.
The application for a “wireless communication device with integrated defibrillator” describes a handset that’s capable of “delivering an electrical charge to defibrillate the heart of a victim experiencing cardiac distress”.
The inventor claims the phone’s inital design will be capable of determining when the victim’s heartbeat has become irregular, if defibrillation is necessary and, crucially, if the shock’s been successful.
BBC News: The music business has been in decline for the last seven years. CDs are not selling in the numbers they used to, which is a worry for the record industry as well as retailers.
The online revolution took the record industry by surprise and it has been playing catch-up ever since. The recording industry is finally hitting back and mobile phones are leading the charge.
Globally, various mobile music stores have launched; the UK has seen three launch in recent weeks. Generating more hype than the average Hollywood blockbuster, Apple’s iPhone downloads songs using wi-fi from its already successful iTunes store. Muscling in on the download action, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has launched its own store.
Both of these are download-to-own options, which means music is purchased and downloaded to a mobile – that music then belongs to the phone’s user. Mobile music company Omnifone has teamed with networks in the UK, Sweden and Hong Kong to provide a subscription-based service.
Guardian: Google has confirmed that it will be taking part in next year’s sale of mobile phone spectrum in the US, heralding its entrance into the wireless market.
The company’s executives have said over the past few months that they would be willing to spend upwards of €3,1bn buying up capacity when the Federal Communications Commission sells off part of the 700 megahertz (MHz) band.
The move means that Google could become America’s newest wireless network operator. It already runs relatively small-scale wireless internet access networks in its home state of California, but winning new spectrum would allow it to start a national network.
But the search engine giant will be fighting the auction against bidders including existing mobile phone companies AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless, part-owned by Vodafone, who are looking for more capacity for their existing networks.
WSJ.com: Italian designer Giorgio Armani’s announcement that he is teaming with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics to develop a line of high-end electronic goods underscores how top fashion houses are stretching the boundaries of the luxury-goods industry as they search out new products to brand.
Under the alliance, Mr. Armani will design electronics such as handsets and liquid-crystal-display television sets manufactured by Samsung, and will distribute them through his world-wide network of boutiques. He will unveil the alliance’s first product — a credit-card-sized cellphone — at his fashion show in Milan today, the companies said.
Mr. Armani, 73 years old, is the latest Italian designer to plunge into the highly competitive electronics industry. Fashion house Dolce & Gabbana has introduced a gold-colored Razr cellphone made by Motorola and Prada has designed a touch-screen cellphone for South Korea’s LG Electronics.
Phones, Mr. Armani said, are a logical next step for designers. “We make as much of a personal statement with the mobile phones that we carry or the televisions we have in our living rooms as we do with the shoes and bags we wear or the furnishings we choose to place in our homes,” Mr. Armani said in a prepared statement.