Remember that "e-ink" phone we showed you yesterday? We just got the details and better pics. It's a DoCoMo prototype hard-keypad phone that actually uses e-paper from SiPix, not e-ink, to change the meaning of the keys.
E-paper works slightly differently than Sony Reader's e-ink, which has black and white balls of opposite charges, floating in a clear liquid, which change position when polarity changes. Here, the particles are just white, and are suspended in a colored liquid, floating up when needed. Engineers have come up with five e-paper colors—blue, red, green, yellow and black—and the prototype plastic bodies are meant to correspond with those colors. It takes about one second for the display character to change.
There doesn't appear to be any kind of a backlight, so you may have to carry your own Itty Bitty Book Light around to see what buttons you are pushing, which sort of defeats the purpose of having hard keys. There doesn't appear to be a halitosis monitor either, but surely that will come in time. [Nikkei]