Not content with blowing my mind with its vision of a 4G future, NTT DoCoMo has just announced a bunch of new handsets and services for Japan. The most intriguing: an earthquake warning system for phons called Area Mail.
It delivers emergency reports and messages to handsets via a technology called CBS – no, not the TV network, but ‘Cell Broadcasting System’. The messages are displayed on the phone’s home screen, rather than sent to its inbox, and there’ll be special ringtones to ensure the correct degree of panic when you receive one.
Also interesting is a new automatic translator application called Shabette Hon-yaku, which lets you speak a phrase and have it translated from Japanese to English, or vice versa. Intriguingly, the technology could also be adapted for use in mobile games, allowing you to speak to control some facet of the action.