NTT DoCoMo, Inc. will release a mobile phone handset able to slow down speakers' voice speed on the phone in August 2005. The key targeted users are the elderly. The speed converter technology used in the handset slows down speakers' voice speed up to 0.7x, so the listener can feel like that the speakers' dialogue goes slowly. Users can start the function by pushing the camera button on a handset's side during a phone call. The technology does not slow down the voice part, but shortens the part without sound between phrases. When a time lag between the original voice and the converted voice exceeds one second, the function automatically stops.
The handset achieved better screen visibility as well by adopting a semi-transmissive LCD panel called an "all-round LCD," compared to the previous product using a full-transmissive LCD panel. In line with the product's market debut, DoCoMo also prepared a main menu screen exclusively designed for the handset. By reducing the number of menu items as well as using relatively large icons, screen operation became easier than before. The handset also features other functions including a system to start an emergency alarm of about 80 dB and a pedometer. If users input their body weight and length of stride, the handset calculates walking distance and energy consumption.
Takahiro Kikuchi, Nikkei Electronics