We've just gotten out of a meeting with Thomas Eriksson, co-founder and CTO of Neonode
, and we've learned some very exciting information about the company's newest, as-yet-unannounced phones. We were shown designs of the mobile-maker's next lineup of devices, including an iPhone-esque model called "Earth" which has been confirmed for production (though Thomas insisted that some features and design would change, of course). The phone will feature a 2.9-inch, true 16:9 ratio infrared touchscreen (an updated version of the Neonode N2
's touch surface), HSPA connectivity, and will operate on five separate frequency bands (a first as far as we can tell), allowing 3G use in both Europe and the US. However, the most interesting thing that we were shown was a live prototype of the company's latest OS, which blows the doors off of previous iterations. The new interface is a much more robust platform, featuring a homescreen made up of a number of small widget-like icons, all updating live with things like RSS feeds, phone logs, weather, and mail. The UI is still meant to be operated via one hand, though Thomas confirmed that the device would sport a virtual QWERTY keyboard, and would deliver more PIM / smartphone features than we've seen from them in the past. The design of the interface is still being tweaked, but it looks very contemporary to current
phone OSs we've been seeing, with lots of nice shading and alpha layers. From the little we peeped, this platform could be a contender if handled correctly -- Thomas told us that Neonode had plans underway to partner with carriers in the US, so stay tuned to this space for more info.