NTT DoCoMo Inc exhibited a prototype of the "Separate Keitai," a mobile phone whose key operation part can be separated from the display part at CEATEC JAPAN 2008.
With this handset, users can make a call while reading an e-mail or checking a schedule. DoCoMo plans to create new usage scenes of mobile phones with the Separate Keitai.
However, the company said, "This is a concept model so we have not decided a schedule for practical application."
The prototype has the same shape as normal foldable mobile phones. But the operation part and the display part are joined by a magnet, and they can be detached with a small force. Both of the parts can be operated and viewed when they are separated. As for the prototype, the two parts communicated with each other via Bluetooth wireless technology.
Also, one of the displayed mock-ups featured another function: its operation part (touch panel) shows different images depending on the direction in which the display part is joined with it. For example, when the display part is vertically joined, the operation part shows a numeric keypad for making a call. When it is horizontally attached, the operation part displays a character entry screen. And it is technically possible to turn the operation part to a gamepad, NTT DoCoMo said.
For other applications, it is possible to use the display part as a music player while the operation part is stored in a bag. In addition, like exchangeable covers of mobile phones, there will be various combinations of display parts and operation parts. For example, when a user is running, a wristband type display might be used instead of a normal display.
In regard to the Separate Keitai, not only DoCoMo but also Fujitsu Ltd exhibited some concept models.