KDI Japan has released a funky retro styled handset, the Infobar. Resembling a 1980s remote control for your old Zenith TV, the Infobar definitely has a different form factor then any phones we have seen.
The width is only 1.8 inches, and the length is an unproportionate 5.5 inches. Picture a standard Compact Flash Card half a foot long, this is pretty much what you are dealing with.
See press release below.
KDDI to Launch INFOBAR; First Mobile Handset from the ‘au’ Design Project
Tokyo, Japan, Oct 23, 2003 – (JCN Newswire) – KDDI (TSE: 9433) is pleased to announce the launch INFOBAR, the first release in the “au design project” series, a collaboration between designers both inside and outside Japan. “INFOBAR” will become available nationwide in early November.
INFOBAR incorporates a stylish design and is equipped with camera and flash, enabling users to capture both video movies and photographs INFOBAR features EZ Applications (BREW TM) and EZ navigations, and also supports EZ Chaku-uta(TM) and Chaku Movies. These high performance functions are all contained in a very compact body.
INFOBAR casing employs a high strength magnesium alloy. The unit is only 11 mm thick and weighs only 87 grams, and comes in a simple square form with large square tile keys to facilitate character entry.
INFOBAR will be offered in three grahic design packages :
1) Nishikigoi- a Japanese pond fish, featuring a vigorous red background, with colorful tile keys
2) Ichimatsu- featuring a black and white kimono pattern
3) Architecture- featuring silver tiles gleaming against the dark blue of the night sky
The au Design Project
KDDI’s ‘au’ design development project was launched in 2001. Every year, the project team announces new concept mobile phone models, the results of collaboration between designers both inside and outside Japan. These models incorporate highly original shapes created from a designer’s point of view, and features that lend themselves to new experiences for users. INFOBAR is a product based on a concept model announced in 2001, and was created by an international design team under Naoto Fukusawa of Japan.
Naoto Fukasawa, Product Designer
Naoto Fukasawa was born in Yamanashi prefecture in 1956, and graduated from the Product Design division of the Three-Dimensional Design Course, Department of Design, Tama Art University in 1980. After working with Seiko Epson as a designer, he joined IDEO in the United States in 1989. He lived in the US for eight years, and returned to Japan in 1996 where he was appointed as a representative of IDEO Japan. In November 2002, he established the Naoto Fukasawa Design group.
Fukasawa has handled a wide range of product design across a broad variety of genre, and participates in a workshop of corporate designers. His transforms the subconscious action of man into design. He was awarded the German iF Gold Award for his recent CD player design for MUJI, and in the past he has won more than 40 design awards in Japan, Europe and the United States. In 2001, he exhibited his ‘Personal Shiea to Workspheres’ series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2002, he mounted his “Designs that Follow Actions” and “Fundamental Shapes of Design” exhibitions. In 2003, he was awarded the Mainichi Design Award.
His recent works include a massage chair for interoffice ISHICORO, and INFOBAR. On September 3, 2003, he announced the “+/-0″ brand for home electronics and accessories, developed with Takara Co., Ltd. and Diamond Corporation. Fukusawa is currently a lecturer at the Department of Product Design at Tama Art University, Director of Tokyo AAD Studio, a member of Tokyo AAD Studio, and member of the Nippon Design Committee.)
A special site dedicated to the au design project, including INFOBAR, has been launched inside the official KDDI website. (www.kddi.com)
Product name INFOBAR
Manufacturer SANYO Multimedia Tottori Co., Ltd.
Size Approximately 42 (W( x 138 (H) x 11(D)
Weight (with batteries) Approximately 87 grams
Continuous talk time Approximately 150 minutes
Continuous standby time Approximately 200 minutes
Battery charge time Approximately 110 minutes
Color variations NISHIKOGOI (red), ICHIMATSU (black and white),BUILDING
(dark blue and silver)
Dots density of images (horizontal) 132 x (vertical) 176 dots
Data folder capacity Approximately 3MB (or 500 files)
BREWTM data folder capacity Approximately 1.2MB
Email outbox capacity Approximately 100KB (or 200 imessages)
Email inbox capacity Approximately 250KB (or 500 messages)
Data entry interface ATOK for au V2 *1
amongst others 40 chords or less
Date of launch Early November 2003
Retail price Open
*1 ATOK is a trademark of Justsystem Corporation
List of Functionalities Enabled
EZ Movie X (S size)
MovieMail X (S/M Sizes *2)
EZ Appli X (BREW TM)
Chaku Uta X
Chaku Movie X
EZ Naviwalk -
EZ Navi X
*2 Only receiving and replaying movie mails
About KDDI Corporation
KDDI Corporation was established in 1984 and is currently the second largest telecommunications company in Japan, providing a comprehensive range of voice, data, IP and mobile services to both business customers and consumers. After merging with KDD and IDO in October, 2000, KDDI serves over 15 million long-distance subscribers, 1.4 million internet subscribers, 13 million mobile subscribers, and 5 million PHS subscribers. KDDI has 34,000 km of highly reliable domestic network infrastructure, in addition to optical submarine cable systems such as TPC-5, Japan-US CN and China-US CN. KDDI also works to develop advanced technology in the areas of radio & mobile, lightwave, multimedia, and Internet communications. The KDDI Group consists of approx 100 companies covering a wide variety of telecommunications-related businesses such as engineering, facility hosting, submarine cable construction, and R&D. For further information, please visit the KDDI Corporation home page at: www.kddi.com/english/index.html