Thursday, May 04, 2006

Detachiness Is NEC's Godliness

NEC is diligently working on a next-rev cell phone that receives terrestrial TV.

If you've been watching NEC develop its terrTV cell phones, you might remember that NEC announced its first working prototype back in mid-July 2003. This prototype had an integrated Digital TV antenna and receiver.

What was the prototype missing? A stylus.

NEC found a clever solution. Engineers designed a retractable antenna that detaches and doubles as an input pen.

NEC filed for patent protection on October 31, 2005, and none too soon. If you've been following terrTV mobile products, you might have seen this blurb on November 28, 2005 at engadget, where Thomas Ricker suggested the antenna resembled a stylus. Too bad. NEC beat you to the punch by at least a month.

So now the real question. What do the mock-ups look like? Here are two drawings from the patent application (20060094464) that the USPTO published today. (You can click on the image to get a better look.)

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