LG debuts wristwatch phone at CES

Touch Watch Phone to ship in Europe later this year

LAS VEGAS -- LG Electronics Inc. announced today a high-speed wireless wristwatch phone with video chat and text messaging capabilities at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

The Seoul-based electronics company said that the Touch Watch Phone will be the first 3G watch phone on the market and that it plans to put the device on display starting tomorrow at CES. The phone will initially ship in late 2009 in Europe.

Whether the watch phone ever ships in the U.S. depends on carriers in the U.S., an LG spokesman said. However, the company has strong relationships with all the major U.S. carriers, and it boasted in a press conference today that it was able to sell an LG phone every second in the U.S. in 2008.

LG said the device will be 13.9mm thick with a curved glass face and metal casing. It will run on HSDPA networks, offering 7.2Mbit/sec. of speed, LG added. The touch screen will be 1.43 in. in size.

The device will have voice recognition, text messaging and text-to-speech capabilities, LG said. It has a Flash interface and an MP3 player and will work with video telephony services where available. Details on the price and shipping date were not provided.

LG also said it will ship the LG Incite, a phone focused on business customers that runs Windows Mobile 6.1 and includes a 3-in. touch screen with vibration feedback, Wi-Fi and other features. In all, LG will feature 10 phone models at CES.

The electronics maker also said it is showing for the first time a large device called a Skycharger that will be used to gather wind and solar energy to provide electric charging capabilities for up to 104 cell phones per hour.

Users at airports or other public locations will be able to open a locker and connect a cable to any cell phone to get it charged. Details on the cost and the size of the Skycharger device were unavailable, but an LG spokesman said the Skycharger can generate 1.8 kilowatts of electrical power.

LG Touch Watch Phone
LG's Touch Watch Phone offers high-speed wireless service along with video chat and text messaging.
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