Docomo Handset Splits Into Touch Phone, Bluetooth Peripheral Device

Nov 11, 2009
Shinya Saeki, Nikkei Electronics
The "Separate Keitai F-04B" developed by Fujitsu
The "Separate Keitai F-04B" developed by Fujitsu
[Click to enlarge image]
The display and keyboard units are attached together.
The display and keyboard units are attached together.
[Click to enlarge image]
When the two units are separated, a QWERTY keyboard appears.
When the two units are separated, a QWERTY keyboard appears.
[Click to enlarge image]
Both of the two units are equipped with a lithium-ion battery.
Both of the two units are equipped with a lithium-ion battery.
[Click to enlarge image]
The projector unit is connected to the handset.
The projector unit is connected to the handset.
[Click to enlarge image]
The front view of the projector unit
The front view of the projector unit
[Click to enlarge image]

NTT Docomo Inc announced the "Separate Keitai F-04B," which can be separated into a display unit and a keyboard unit, at its product announcement meeting Nov 10, 2009.

The display and keyboard units communicate data with each other via Bluetooth. A prototype of the handset, which was developed by Fujitsu Ltd, was exhibited in October 2008 at CEATEC JAPAN 2008 (See related article).

"We have been working together with Fujitsu to commercialize the handset since 2008," NTT Docomo said.

The main functions of the F-04B, including the main board equipped with a communication circuit and an application processing circuit, are integrated in the display unit.

The 3.4-inch LCD panel of the display unit is mounted with a touch panel that allows to input characters. Therefore, it is possible to make a call, send an e-mail and watch 1seg digital TV broadcasts without the keyboard unit, the company said. In a sense, the keyboard unit is a bluetooth peripheral device that can be used as a keyboard, microphone and speaker.

When the two units are attached together, the F-04B becomes a slide handset. When they are separated, the keyboard unit allows QWERTY style typing. If one of the two units is lost, it is possible to make the lost unit emit light and sound (the Keitai Search function).

Each of the display and keyboard units is equipped with a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of about 800mAh, NTT Docomo said. To charge the batteries, the two units have to be jointed together, and the power terminal on the display unit is used.

Projector Unit Comes With 'DLP Pico' Chipset

When combined with an optional projector unit, the F-04B can project a movie or still image stored in the handset. The pricing of the projector unit has not been determined yet.

"We intend to ensure a luminance of 6lm," NTT Docomo said. "Also, we plan to enable to adjust the luminance in several steps."

The projector unit has a battery with a capacity of about 800mAh and can be continuously operated for about two hours at the highest luminance.

The light source of the projector uses RGB color LEDs. As a drive element, Texas Instruments Inc's second-generation "DLP (digital light processing) Pico" chipset seems to be used. The pixel count is 854 x 480 (equivalent to WVGA).

NTT Docomo exhibited a prototype of the "Projector Keitai" at CEATEC JAPAN 2008 (See related article 2). But its projector unit was integrated with a handset.