Mobile Phone Weekly News Round-up: May 9th

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Although we haven’t met any, there are people out there who obviously think their mobile phones don’t smell enough, and are attempting to reverse this ‘issue’. German tech folk at ConVisual have joined forces with the Institute of Sensory Analysis and Marketing to create a ‘smell-force’ intent on bringing smell-emitting chips to mobile phones. Apparently in the works for eight years, 2010 has been penciled in as a possible year of launch, with as many as 100 smells available at that time. Perhaps even more worrying than someone spending eight years on this project, is that Japan already has a similar system where you can send a lucky recipient a picture of an item and a corresponding smell via a special ‘fragrance emitter’. The mind boggles as to what pictures and smells could potentially be available in the cobwebby corners of the Internet!

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Staying just on the edge of all that’s normal, a couple of cool concept mobile phones made an appearance this week. First we have the Egg phone which looks, as if you hadn’t guessed, a bit like an egg. It has a touchscreen, but they’re getting tiresome, but it does have a swish light encircling the handset which glows enticingly. Second is something a little more daring, it’s a phone with a detachable screen created by a Japanese design network called Cuusoo. With the screen detached the idea is to either use the separated screen for video calls or to fit new bits on to the handset, such as the widescreen pictured.

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Our final piece of mobile ridiculousness this week has gone beyond the concept stage (although how, we’ll never quite understand) and will be available to buy! If you’ve been behind enemy lines and needed to make a call, perhaps for orders…or what time tea will be, but haven’t wanted to give away your position thanks to a shiny metallic phone, help is here thanks to the Mobiado CAMO! The hand-painted camo effect sits so well with the delicate keypad and will undoubtedly be the choice of many a combat-hardened soldier who are prepared to stump up Mobiado’s usually high prices.

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Motorola’s rumoured Kodak collaboration returns us to the real world with a set of official pictures. Called the ZN5 it will feature a 5.0 megapixel camera capable of shooting in camera-phile favourite RAW format, making it of great interest to keen photographers everywhere. It’s reported the ZN5 will be a smartphone, but there is no word when it’ll be released. Motorola are also running a mobile-shot movie competition similar to Nokia’s reported last week, but this time the winner will bag a new Z10 handset plus a cool £10,000. Take a look at the rules and have a go here.

Other mobile makers with new products on the horizon which have received some coverage this week are Sony Ericsson with the Paris slider smartphone, complete with P-series style keypad and possible 5.0 megapixel camera, and thanks to a document leaked to Engadget, news that the XPERIA smartphone could well be out in September this year. Nokia have had a quieter than usual news week, but still managed to get some unofficial pictures of the upcoming E66 and E71 out. The former is a slider phone of dubious beauty and the latter features a full QWERTY keypad!

Finally, if you’re a frequent traveler outside of the UK, or have been stung by a higher than normal bill after making some calls while your phone is roaming outside of the UK, the European Union are calling for comments on the system, hopefully in order to revise the whole thing in the next few years. You can join in with the survey by visiting this site. At least it’s nice to be considered!

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