We love the leftfield news that Japan seems to specialise in, so it was with joy unbounded that we unwrapped a gift of a news release detailing how NTT DoCoMo has come up with a phone made of leftover wood.

The Japanese telco has teamed up with Sharp, Olympus and Ryuichi Sakamoto to create the 'Touch Wood' mobile phone, a prototype designed to convey a message.

Hard body

Its body is made of surplus cypress wood gathered when forests are thinned to maintain their growth. After processing, it is compressed in a mould to make it suitably durable for protecting the phone's innards.

Musician Sakamoto's involvement comes through the use of forests managed by the 'more trees' environmental-awareness project he co-founded in 2007.

While the phone is just a proof of concept for now, it will be on show at the ITU Telecom World 2009 event in Geneva from 5 October.