KDDI has teamed up with Japanese mobile-phone manufacturers to develop a fuel-cell-powered phone equipped with functions for receiving terrestrial digital TV broadcasting. KDDI has signed joint development agreements with Toshiba and Hitachi. Although the two manufacturers will develop fuel-cell-equipped mobile phones separately on the basis of their own technology, they will use the same user interface that includes the fuel inlet.
To extend continuous operating time, KDDI has decided to incorporate the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) into its mobile phones; DMFC have a higher energy density than Li-Ion cells. The incorporation of DMFC into new mobile phones will allow users to use the device without recharging (they can use the mobile phone continuously by refilling DMFC with methanol).
KDDI plans to complete the joint development before the terrestrial digital TV broadcasting service begins two years from now. The three companies will develop the fuel-cell-equipped handset in stages. Initially, they will develop a fuel cell to be attached to the mobile phone externally as the first prototype by the end of 2004. Full story Here.