Sanyo Epson Develops 1.1mm Display

Sanyo Epson Imaging Devices Corporation has announced the development of a 2.2-inch amorphous silicon TFT liquid-crystal display (LCD) that is just 1.1 mm thick, making it ideal for use in mobile phones and other portable devices. The Company succeeded in developing this 1.1-mm-thick amorphous TFT LCD by using ultra-thin components, including the backlight, polarizing plate and glass substrate. These features are considered to be ideal for displaying video and watching “One Seg” digital TV broadcasts viewed on mobile phones in Japan.

Video Round-up: Ultra-cool Mobile Tech at Tokyo's CEATEC 2006

Video Round-up: Ultra-cool Mobile Tech at Tokyo’s CEATEC 2006Last week, Tokyo’s annual CEATEC show (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) was once again a showcase for some of the coolest mobile technology on Planet Earth. Today’s video round-up features audio QR, Fujitsu’s ‘UB Wall‘ – an ultra-high-tech, one-to-one customized video advertising display – and FP codes, and – not to be missed – NTT DoCoMo’s 3G mobile-based ‘Drunk Driver’ detector, apparently in high demand by bus companies and trucking firms.

Organizers said that the consumer electronics event drew 550,732 during the public days, 4-7 October, while WWJ ducked in out of the torrential rain during the press & industry day on 3 October, when the crowds weren’t quite as waku (wild).

WWJ thinks the FP codes (essentially, invisible barcodes) and audio QR technology stands a pretty good chance of fast adoption, given the masses of rabid advertising agencies out there trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of (a) camera phones that grab info via QR code and (b) digital broadcasting. An audio QR code is simply broadcast as metadata in a digital audio signal, such that the browser displays text, a clickable URL or other advertising message while you listen to a radio or tv program on a suitably enabled mobile phone. But for sheer outdoor-advertising-meets-mobile marketing genius, the UB Wall can’t be beat!

SoftBank Announces HTC & HSDPA

SoftBank Mobile and HTC Corp. held a press conference at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo today to annouce 14 October as roll-out date for HTC’s X01HT smartphone which is compatible with the carrier’s new high-speed HSDPA 3.5G network. SoftBank also confirmed their new dual-flat-rate pricing plan offer of unlimited data usage for 9,800jpy per month with a limited time trial offer of 5,700jpy until January 2007. We have video here of the same unit at DoCoMo’s booth during the Wireless Japan 2006 trade show in July.

SoftBank Announces First Branded Handset

According to a company press-release today SoftBank mobile will release the first handsets branded with it’s corporate logo (replacing Vodafones) starting Sept. 2nd. The Sharp 705 series 3G phones will be limited to 10,000 units and feature the usual specs. with 2 mega-pix. camera, ASV display and bluetooth on-board. They have also released images of the popular 1Seg digital TV enabled 905 model, made by Sharp as well, with the SoftBank logo however no details were provided about it’s availability.

KDDI Launches New Handsets and 3G Services

KDDI - 12 New Handsets with Massive 3G Services LaunchKDDI today launched the first strike in Japan’s mobile number portability wars with no less than 10 press releases announced today at Tokyo’s ultra buttoned-down Imperial Hotel. The line-up of phones and services includes new units from Casio (W43CA), Hitachi (W43H), Kyocera (W43K and W44K), Sanyo (W42SA, W43SA and A5522SA), Sharp (W41SH), Sony Ericsson (W43S) and Toshiba (W45T and W47T), plus a new in-house designer model (also by Toshiba) code named Drape.

The accompanying new data offerings unveiled today include a scrolling news service (ala i-channel) and mobile video conferencing, the first such service from KDDI (which, until now, has philosophically posited that video conferencing was not suited for mobile), as well as several improved mobile music and digital TV offerings.

Drink Beer & Win a 1-Seg Digital TV Watch

Asahi Breweries has teamed up with Willcom to give away 5,000 1-Seg digital TV watches. According to the Willcom contest info page: “By inserting W-SIM in a slot, you can make a telephone call and use mail over the microcell network of Willcom.” No info on the hardware specifications, such as battery run time, etc., that we could find in a hurry; however, we’re looking forward to seeing these units popping up around town and are actually just rushing out the door now to buy a flat of brews so we hopefully get one of our own!

Welcome to Japan's Wireless Frontier

Welcome to Japan's Wireless FrontierCurrently in it’s 11th year, Wireless Japan is evolving from Japan’s largest wireless & Mobile network technologies and services trade show into one of the largest in Asia. This event has become the hub of wireless dedicated gatherings in Asia with over 150 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees expected. Running July 19 – 21 at the space-age Tokyo BigSite exhibition center the annual event is attended, and endorsed, by most of the major players in mobile.

WWJ was on the scene, as usual, we have video interviews with Qualcomm about their new MediaFlo digital tv efforts and a hands-on demo with HTC’s new smartphone coming soon from DoCoMo. We also attended the Mobile Entertainment Forum session this afternoon and will have some of the presentations from that coming online as well. Meanwhile here’s a quick peek at some of the sights and sounds from the show floor today and links to our coverage from the event in years past.

Brazil Adopts Japan Digital TV Standard

Brazil has selected a HD digital television system based on a Japanese standard for its more than 120 million television viewers, instead of the standards used in Europe and the United States. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday signed a decree authorizing the use of the Japanese standard in a ceremony attended by Japanese Communications Minister, Heizo Takenaka. The new system is expected be operational within seven years and the transition to digital television from the current analog model will occur over 10 years, the presidential press office said in a statement.

NEC Announces New LCD Module

NEC LCD Technologies, Ltd. today announced that at SID 2006 in San Francisco it will give a presentation and demonstrate a sample of its new 3.5-inch color quarter video graphics array amorphous-silicon TFT liquid crystal display module boasting a viewing angle and contrast ratio of the industry’s highest class for small liquid crystal display modules. This new LCD module was realized by a combination of super-reflective natural light technology, NEC’s proprietary transflective technology for adapting objects to outdoor light.

Au Blitz Unveils Seven New Handsets

KDDI has just held a press conference in the New Otani hotel to introduce another seven new handset models for the summer season just as the most recent batch announced earlier this year are now hitting the streets here in Japan. The new hardware on tap includes a Walkman branded model from Sony Ericsson and Casio’s follow-up to last years popular G’zOne water-proof ‘tough phone’ offering. They have also announced another Hitachi handset with the felica mobile wallet chip, a super-slim Kyocera coming in at 18mm thick with a 2.4inch ASV liquid crystal screen (and analog tv tuner), a new Toshiba ‘mass music’ model with bluetooth and 1GB memory on-board plus an additional digital TV tuner enabled unit (with PC site viewer) coming from Sanyo.