FeliCa mobile payment wallet phones at the centre of attention
by Gerhard Fasol
Wireless, mobile phone industry trends years before they reach outside Japan
Every year the Wireless Japan sets global trends in wireless communications and mobile phones. Mobile phone industry professionals cannot afford to miss this trend setting show. It is here that Japanese carriers and handset makers introduce their latest products and show design studies and concept phones which set industry trends for the next months and years.
There were some surprises: In recent Wireless-Japan shows usually the KDDI/AU-design project prototypes were at the center of attention – this year I could not find any. For example, at Wireless-Japan-2002, KDDI/AU showed “Infobar” prototypes a full 16 months before market introduction. Did KDDI/AU decide to keep future design-project releases secret until they hit the market? Could well be so, given Japan’s increasingly ferocious mobile phone competition. Another surprise was Vodafone’s absence – Vodafone in recent years used to have the biggest show.
On the other hand this time most handset makers showed impressive concept phones, Matsushita/Panasonic under the heading “Beyond 3G”. The image shows NEC’s concept design study of a flexible multimedia phone: this phone has two screens which can be bent together, and used jointly as a larger screen.
Wireless Japan 2004 Highlights: “Beyond 3G”
Beyond 3G: SANYO 3.5G phone for 2.4Mbps data download (for KDDI/AU):
Wireless Japan 2004: NEC “tag” wrapping multimedia design concept phone:
“Wireless Japan 2004” – much was expected: for example, it wasn’t surprising for anyone that DoCoMo’s i-Mode-FeliCa wallet-phones were center stage of the DoCoMo exhibit with lots of partners demoing wallet-phone applications.
Matsushita/Panasonic “Beyond 3G” design concepts:
DoCoMo UbiButton and UbiChip:
DoCoMo i-Mode-FeliCa wallet phones – for electronic cash:
DoCoMo i-Mode-FeliCa wallet phones – as an electronic door key:
We have substantial documentation about the Wireless Japan 2004 exhibition, and most other year’s Wireless Japan exhibitions. If you need information or documentation for prior art or other investigations, please contact us.
Learn more: report on Japan’s telecom sector (269 pages, pdf file):
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