NTT Docomo demonstrates hands-free videophone

October 05, 2012 // By Mayuko Murao
NTT Docomo demonstrated a wearable, hands-free video phone this week at Japan’s CEATEC consumer electronics show.

The prototype videophone, worn like a pair of glasses, is embedded with several ultrawide-angle cameras. All but one of the cameras are pointed at the user to capture images of the users’ face in several different quadrants.

Once recorded, the images are combined to create a 3-D picture of the user. The moving image of the user’s face is then sent in real time to the caller on the other end. The unit has one camera pointing backward so the video phone can simultaneously send the background behind of the user.

Asked why consumer's would want the device, an NTT Docomo’s spokesman said, “When you are videoconferencing via a mobile phone, you need to keep holding the phone up, restricting your movement. The hands-free video phone will let you move around freely.”

The prototype videophone shown at CEATEC, however, does not display the face of the other caller. “It’s a little difficult at this point due to the limited area of a lens on the glasses,” the spokesman said.

According to NTT Docomo, a future headset will incorporate a variety of sensors designed to gauge the user's blood pressure, pulse and temperature and can relay that information to the user’s physician. Alternatively, a new video phone model could display a keyboard, allowing the user to control a PC virtually.