Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo is demonstrating a novel mobile phone at the CEATEC exhibition in Japan that comes in two parts.
NTT's Separate Phone prototype includes one handset with a touch-sensitive display and another with a keypad. The parts, which connect via Bluetooth, can be attached magnetically, allowing the phone to take the shape of a standard clamshell handset. They can also be connected with the screen in landscape mode, or used separately, depending on a user's whim.
The Separate Phone aims to eliminate the phone juggling that happens when users are talking to friends and need to access data stored on the handset. With the Separate Phone, a user can talk on the keypad half of the phone, while using the display to look up phone numbers or access email.
While that capability may come in handy for some users, others could struggle with having to keep track of the two phone parts, especially those already prone to losing their smartphone.
A working prototype of the Separate Phone was a hit among CEATEC attendees, with visitors lining up for the chance to play with one of several prototypes on display.
Unlike many of the concept phones shown at Ceatec this year, the Separate Phone actually works. But the handset is still under development and DoCoMo has not revealed when the phone will be available commercially.
Video: see the separate phone in action: