[CEATEC] KDDI Exhibits Handsets Inspired by Music Instruments

Oct 3, 2008
Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics
Strings for fingers
Strings for fingers
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Band in my poket
Band in my poket
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Sticks in the air
Sticks in the air
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Key to touch
Key to touch
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Box to play
Box to play
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Trio in your hand
Trio in your hand
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PLY
PLY
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The layer equipped with a projector function (PLY)
The layer equipped with a projector function (PLY)
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SOUP
SOUP
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voyage
voyage
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The solar battery appears when the back is opened (voyage)
The solar battery appears when the back is opened (voyage)
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gem
gem
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The solar battery can be seen (gem)
The solar battery can be seen (gem)
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KDDI Corp exhibited a series of concept models of mobile phones developed by the company's design development project "au design project" at CEATEC JAPAN 2008 currently running at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

The concept models include the "gakki to keitai" featuring the fusion of a mobile phone and a musical instrument as well as a model equipped with a solar battery.

The gakki to keitai was designed in collaboration with the Yamaha Design Institute. Six models inspired by musical instruments were developed on the concept of "a mobile phone that plays music / a musical instrument that can be used as a mobile phone."

The phone with the guitar motif "Strings for fingers" has 10 strings under the sliding display on the handset. The strings respectively correspond to the numbers from 0 to 9, and the user can dial the phone by pulling the strings instead of pressing the buttons.

The "Band in my pocket" is a bar-shaped terminal equipped on its side with an attachment that functions as a harmonica, trombone, etc. Five attachments are offered so that users can enjoy the sounds of five different musical instruments by changing the attachments.

The "Sticks in the air" phone is designed to look like a drum stick. The user can use it as a musical instrument by moving the terminal, which is vertically split into two parts, up and down just like playing an actual drum. To use it as a mobile phone, the split parts need to be joined together.

In addition to those models, KDDI introduced (1) the "Key to touch," which combines a mobile phone with keys covering two octaves, (2) the "Box to play," which has four operating faces and functions as an MP3 player, a speaker, etc depending on the shape and (3) the "Trio in your hand," which is composed of an input pad, a display and a ten key pad that can be operated like a turntable.

The concept model introduced as a "plywood-inspired mobile phone-PLY" was designed by designer Hideo Kambara. PLY means lamination, according to the company. The terminal has six layers, and the top layer is for the display. The other layers respectively function as a projector, a printer, a game controller, etc. Looking back on the history of designs and mobile phones and wondering what the future would be for mobile phones, "I finally reached the idea of 'PLY,' the layers," the designer said.

As concept models equipped with a solar battery, the "SOUP" designed by Hironao Tsuboi as well as the "voyage" and the "gem" designed by the designer group "mile" are exhibited.

The SOUP reflects the image of "soup," in which the functions and elements of a mobile phone are concentrated and blended. It was designed so as to "obscure and blend" the edges between the display and the chassis as well as the borders of the solar battery, the speaker and the camera, the designers said.

In respect to the "voyage," when the back of the chassis is opened, the solar battery appears and the terminal transforms into a shape that looks like a satellite.

The "gem" reflects the image of gem stones dug out of the earth, according to the company.