LG debuts wrist-watch phone

Touch Watch Phone announced at CES.

LG Electronics announced Wednesday a high-speed wireless wrist-watch phone with video chat and text messaging capabilities at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The Seoul-based electronics company said the Touch Watch Phone will be the first 3G watch phone on the market and planned to put it on display starting tomorrow at CES. The phone will intially 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 boasted in a press conference Wednesday that it was able to sell an LG phone every second in the U.S. in 2008.

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

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