Designed to overcome the frustration of listening to phone calls in noisy environments, Kyocera's new URBANO PROGRESSO smartphone provides an alternative to the traditional speaker by transmitting sound through vibrations in the handset’s display screen.

Developed by Kyocera and KDDI Corporation, the phone's "Smart Sound Receiver" technology uses a piezo-electric actuator to create vibrations in the display screen. This means that when held to against the ear, sound reverberates through the tissue in the face and your calls will no longer need to compete with ambient noises and distractions.

There’s also the potential for Smart Sound to help the hearing impaired, but while "tissue conduction" can handle a phone call just fine, it's unlikely to cut it when listening to music.

The URBANO PROGRESSO runs on Android 4.0 and is expected to launch in the Japanese market at the end of May.

Here's a run-down of the key specs:

  • Operating System: Android 4.0
  • Display: 4.0 inch WVGA (800 x 480) OLED
  • Dimensions: 64 x 125 x 10.8mm (2.52 x 4.92 x 0.43-inch), thickest part -11.3mm
  • Weight (battery included): 139g 4.9-ounce)
  • Main Camera: 8.1-megapixel with auto-focus and anti-blurring functions
  • Front-Facing Camera: 0.32-megapixel
  • Talk Time / Standby Time: approx. 530 minutes / approx. 360 hours (excluding Wi-Fi/WiMAX usage)
  • Internal Memory: 4GB
  • External Memory: microSDTM /microSDHCTM memory card, up to 32GB

Source: Kyocera via The Verge

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