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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 11:31 GMT
Let your fingers do the talking
Woman holding ear, Alain Dex/Publiphoto/SPL
Soon your finger could be helping you hear people calling on your mobile
Throw away your earpiece, soon your finger could be helping you make and take calls via your mobile phone.

Japanese phone firm NTT DoCoMo has created a wristwatch phone that uses its owner's finger as an earpiece.

The gadget, dubbed Finger Whisper, uses a wristband to convert the sounds of conversation to vibrations that can be heard when the finger is placed in the ear.

So far NTT has given no date for when a commercial version will go on sale.

Very handy

The wristband for the watchphone is key to the device's many features.

According to reports the Finger Whisper phone is answered by touching forefinger to thumb and then by putting the forefinger in the ear to hear who is ringing.

The call is ended by again touching forefinger to thumb.

Some of the latest earpieces for mobile phones also use sound induction via the bones of the skull to let people hear who is talking to them.

The sound converting wristband on the watch phone is also fitted with a microphone that the phone owner can talk into.

The phone has no keypad but users can make a call by saying out loud the number they want to reach.

Voice recognition electronics built in to the wristband decipher what has been said and dial the number.

None of the early reports about the phone mention if it is possible to use the wristphone to send text messages.

The gadget has been developed by NTT DoCoMo's Media Computing Laboratory.

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