We’ve covered wooden gadgets before, but NTT Docomo‘s TOUCH WOOD concept phone is possibly the first wood-encased smart phone ever. The phone, developed in conjunction with Sharp, Olympus, and a reforestation project called “more trees,” contains surplus wood from forest-thinning operations in the Kochi prefecture of Japan.
The Japanese cell phone giant’s phone uses three-dimension compression molding to resist bugs, mildew, and water. Each handset retains an air of originality, featuring the natural coloring and grain patterns of the wood sans artificial colors. Presumably, potential buyers would be more likely to hold on to their phones longer–wood has much more of a feeling of permanence than plastic.
No word on when or if the cell phone will be released commercially, but NTT Docomo will show off the concept at the ITU Telecom World 2009 conference and SEATEC Japan, both in October.