NTT to launch wristwatch-sized handyphone

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MANILA -- Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. is testing the release, in the Philippines, of its revolutionary wristwatch- sized mobile phone that runs on a personal handyphone system (PHS). According to NTT officials, the commercial release of the product in the country is still being decided.

They said the phone is the smallest of its kind, weighing about 45 grams (including batteries) and is the size of a matchbox strapped to the wrist of the user. It is too small to have a key pad so the phone uses a voice recognition system to dial. The standby time of the phone is 100 hours and talking time is about one hour.

NTT officials said the current wristwatch-size phone is based on the prototype the company announced in the summer of 1996. At that time, NTT managed to pack a complete PHS telephone into a wristwatch-sized unit that weighed 70 grams and 40 cubic centimeters in volume, with only 30 minutes talk time and 12 hours standby time.

NTT also said the new phones were used by 40 officials at the Nagano Winter Olympic Games.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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