- Title: JAPAN: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi tries out new 'Wrist phone'
- Date: 27th May 2003
- Summary: (W4) TOKYO, JAPAN (RECENT) (REUTERS) GOOD SHOT WOMAN WALKING DOWN THE STREET WEARING WRISTOMO, ANSWERING A CALL
- Embargoed: 11th June 2003 13:00
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Domestic Politics,Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA43G764W7SW6NW4DDZICG1X1XN
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: For people who find it cumbersome to carry their phone in their pocket or keep losing it in their handbag, a new wristwatch phone may be what they need.
Tired of carrying a mobile phone in your pocket or rummaging through your handbag to find it as it rings incessantly? A new mobile phone called the "Wristomo" may be answer. In true sci-fi fashion the latest technology means the device can be strapped onto the wrist - and it is selling fast across Japan.
Weighing just four ounces including batteries, the wrist watch-style phone has all the functions of a regular phone, e-mailing facilities and even internet access.
The creators of the wrist watch phone, Japanese mobile phone firm's NTT Docomo, say the telecommunication aspect of the gadget was a cinch to develop compared to the time it took to devise a handset.
"The reason why we could put it into practical use is because we were able to develop a way in which the watch could change shape into a handset with the click of a button," said Godo Irukayama, developer of Wristomo.
"Even though users want to have a mobile phone around them 24 hours a day, it's rather difficult to do so with ordinary mobile phones. But with the Wristomo, people can wear their phone day and night," he added.
The phone has a waterproof plastic exterior and uses a battery that allows calls for up to two hours.
NTT DoCoMo sold the first 1,000 units of Wristomo via the internet earlier this month. Flooded by orders, the phones which were offered for 37,000 yen (316 U.S. dollars) were sold out in just 10 minutes, much to the surprise of the company which thought that the gadget would not be taken seriously.
There are now 2,400 Wristomo owners in Japan and DoCoMo soon hopes the number will rise to 5,000.
And Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi may be one of them.
On Tuesday (May 27) he tried out the phone at a science and technology meeting.
"I think this will be a big hit," he said into the phone after detaching it from his wrist.
The phone only comes in one color - grey. It is sure to win the approval of Dick Tracy and spies who want to keep a low profile but Docomo plans to introduce an array of colours so people can wear them on their sleeve.
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