I don't think I need one, but apparently Mitsubishi Electric Corp. built one and demonstrated it at CeBIT 2003. The company showed a prototype mobile phone handset with a digital camera having a resolution of about 100 million pixels and wireless LAN capability.
The new mobile phone model comes with a small digital camera attachable to the hinge of the folding handset. The digital camera has a MPEG4 encoding capability to take photos of animation. It is also capable of transmitting images taken to any access points nearby via wireless LAN. The model will have a compatibility with UMTS, the third-generation mobile communications protocol adopted in Europe.
Here is what this prototype looks like.
The built-in wireless LAN is in compliance with IEEE802.1b at 2.4GHz. Mitsubishi Electric assumes that users can use either wireless LAN or UMTS, depending on the intended purpose. For example, they can use UMTS for larger areas, and wireless LAN for particular areas for faster downloading, the spokesperson explained.
And what about prices and availability?
The maker does not have a concrete plan to commercialize the mobile phone yet. "We have developed this model to prove a multi-functional, operable mobile phone handset is technically feasible although it is still a concept model," a spokesperson at the lab said.
OK, the technology permits to build this handset, but it's almost absurd. How long will it take to send an image of 100 million pixels to someone? And what's the purpose of having that many pixels on such a small display?
This reminds me of an article about how designers are creating minuscule gadgets, with buttons too small for our fingers, and screens so tiny that nobody over 40 can read them easily.
If you haven't seen yet, please read "Hello, tech designers? This stuff is too small." Here is a short quote about how ridicule the situation is today.
Jeff Parrish, the manager of user experience at Palmsource, the software arm of Palm Computing, points out, anyone who squints at Palm screens can call on many tools to make it easier. An $11 program called Teal Magnify enlarges the type; a $30 magnifying glass available in stores from Officeonthego clips onto Palm units.
So, you first buy a gizmo with a small screen, then you have to add a magnifying glass!! Amazing!!
Sources: Hiroki Yomogita, Nikkei Electronics, March 17, 2003; Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, March 3, 2003
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