NTT prototype phone lets you play the flute, check your blood and read e-papers (video)


These are some very early prototypes Japan’s No. 1 telecommunications company NTT recently showcased during the JPCA Show 2009 in Tokyo, but they are pretty cool to look at and may show a glimpse of the near future. The basic idea is to one day be able to offer cell phones featuring an interface for attachable and replaceable hardware add-ons.

The company’s Institute for Advanced Technology is researching on how to transform a conventional cell phone into a “physical”, two-piece flute, for example. Users would then attach the upper part of a flute to their cell phone and press its keyboard buttons to make music. Songs can even be shared wirelessly with other users.

A bit less spectacular is the blood test unit users can plug into their cell phone in order to transfer data to their doctors. Straight out of Minority Report: An add-on that lets you read newspapers or magazines displayed on the cell phone screen via an integrated sheet of digital paper so that you don’t have to read stuff on those tiny screens anymore.

NTT is hoping to develop practical versions (not commonly available phones, mind you) in 2015.