NTT DOCOMO announced today it has developed the mobile phone prototype made with the surplus wood of trees culled during thinning operations to maintain healthy forests. The prototype was created in collaboration with Sharp Corporation, Olympus Corporation and "more trees," a reforestation project founded by musician Ryuichi Sakamoto and others.
The authentic cypress wood body of the prototype, which is named TOUCH WOOD, features excellent durability and resistance to water, insects and mildew thanks to special three-dimensional compression molding developed by Olympus Corporation. Conventional natural wood is not suitable for use as mobile phone bodies because they tend to wear out quickly.
Each TOUCH WOOD handset features its own distinctive grain patterns and natural coloring. No artificial colors or paints are used, so the cypress retains its original natural appearance and aroma. The wood also has an attractive shine that is created during the compression process.
The TOUCH WOOD is made from the surplus wood of trees culled during forest-thinning operations. This new commercial use for thinned wood, which traditionally has only limited applications, helps to preserve other wood resources while strengthening the health of overgrown forests. So far, TOUCH WOOD production has used wood culled from the Shimanto forest in Japan’s Kochi Prefecture. The forest is managed by the more trees project.
The prototype phone’s graphical user interface (GUI) is based on the photographic art of Mikiya Takimoto, a more trees advocate.
A mockup of the TOUCH WOOD handset will be exhibited at ITU Telecom World 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland from October 5 to 9 and CEATEC JAPAN 2009 at Makuhari Messe, Chiba Prefecture, Japan from October 6 to 10.