NTT DOCOMO, a Tokyo, Japan-based mobile operator and provider of advanced mobile services, announced "it has developed the mobile phone prototype made with the surplus wood of trees culled during thinning operations to maintain healthy forests." The TOUCH WOOD, the prototype's body is made from cypress wood, making it resistent to water, insects, and mildew, which is a result of "three-demensional compression molding developed by Olympus Corporation. Conventional natural wood is not suitable for use as mobile phone bodies because they tend to wear out quickly." According to the press release dated September 24, 2009, "The prototype was created in collaboration with Sharp Corporation, Olympus Corporation and 'more trees,' a reforestation project founded by musician Ryuichi Sakamoto and others." (PHOTO ABOVE: TOUCH WOOD mockup featuring ergonomic design; PHOTO BELOW: TOUCH WOOD prototype based on existing SH-04A model)
Made from surplus wood of trees culled during forest-thinning operations, "each TOUCH WOOD handset features its own distinctive grain patterns and natural coloring. No artificial colors or paints are used, so the cypress retains its original natural appearance and aroma. The wood also has an attractive shine that is created during the compression process."
NTT DOCOMO further explains, "This new commercial use for thinned wood, which traditionally has only limited applications, helps to preserve other wood resources while strengthening the health of overgrown forests. So far, TOUCH WOOD production has used wood culled from the Shimanto forest in Japan's Kochi Prefecture. The forest is managed by the more trees project."