Toshiba Corp. prototyped a portable media player incorporating a direct methanol fuel cell and exhibited it at CEATEC Japan 2007 as a reference presentation.
The company has prototyped similar players thus far, but they have a player block and a fuel cell block provided separately from each other. In contrast, the player and fuel cell blocks are integrated in the latest prototype.
"This prototype came close to becoming an actual product," said Toshiba. The company is aiming to launch the player around 2008.
The fuel used in the cell is nearly 100% methanol. The player has an indicator that enables users to check the remaining amount of methanol fuel, although the capacity of the internal fuel tank is not specified. Users can fill the fuel tank from the side face of the console.
The player has the air electrode of the fuel cell on the backside of the console. It does not have an outlet or other means for discharging the vapor that is generated, but rather it lets the vapor evaporate naturally, said the company.
The player has a built-in 1seg tuner and allows continuous 1seg playback for about 10 hours. At the event, Toshiba is exhibiting a fuel cartridge, a prototype notebook computer equipped with a fuel cell and other items in addition to the portable media player.