Toshiba’s presence at CTIA Las Vegas 2008 was almost non-existence. Their booth was tiny, they didn’t have much to show, and their booth reps didn’t speak an English. All in all, the Toshiba booth experience was dismal.
But, that doesn’t mean that Toshiba didn’t have anything cool to show. On display at their booth was the company’s methanol fuel cell technology. The “Micro Direct Methanol Fuel Cell” is basically a liquid-methanol-powered fuel cell that strips electrons from the Methanol as it leaks out as air. The stripped electrons are used to power the device.
Toshiba was displaying a prototype handset and a portable battery charger fitted with the Micro Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology. The booth rep was able to say that the technology was slated to go live late this year or next year – seemingly the only bit of English he was trained to use.
The fuel cells can be re-filled with liquid methanol that comes packaged in squeezable plastic bottles. It’s an interesting alternative energy source for handsets, but the viability of toting around extra stores of methanol is questionable. Still, an a “greener” age, we can’t wait for Toshiba to launch their Micro Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology.