Wired is reporting on an interesting new phone coming soon in Japan with advanced security features including the ability to recognize its owner, monitor the owner’s location and automatically lock when that person gets too far away, and a satellite-based phone tracking location system. NTT DoCoMo’s 903i handset works with a movie-ticket sized card called an ANSHIN-KEY that the phone owner keeps with them to wirelessly track how far they are from the cell phone. Once the distance exceeds a user-specified range the phone will automatically lock. The 903i is being made by the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, and also includes mobile commerce capabilities, a facial identification lock, and GPS satellite navigation that will allow a user to locate a lost phone using a Web browser.
Overall those are some pretty cool features. I’m not so sure about the facial recognition lock, I regularly change the length and style of my facial hair and would hate to find that I couldn’t make a call on my phone because I’d just aggressively trimmed my beard. But I’d definitely pay for the ability to look up on a Web site just where the heck it was that I lost my phone. The 903i is expected to hit the Japanese market in a couple of months.