The actual process of encoding and decoding voice for transmission over the air is probably one of the less appreciated sciences (arts?) in the phone game, so we've got to take our hats off to NTT DoCoMo
for circling back and taking another look at the process. It seems our favorite FOMA carrier has gotten together with DoCoMo Communications Laboratories USA (who else?) to lay the groundwork for a new vocoder that takes about half the processing power as methods currently in use, allegedly without sacrificing call quality. It's far past the theoretical stage, too: HTC Zs were used to demonstrate the tech at Wireless Technology Park 2007 last week in Japan. Of course, less processing power means less juice drain, so we're happy to throw our support behind this little initiative.