This is some serious Dick Tracy-esque technology

Here it is: The Touch Watch Phone, by LG Electronics.

A mad throng -- mad, I tell you! -- cranes for a look at the Touch Watch Phone.

What do the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo and CES conventions have in common? Dick Tracy.

I say that because, in the adult world, Dick Tracy would make a great name for a porn star. Maybe it already is – Dick Tracee or something – but I’m not going to be caught trying to Google “Dick Tracy male porn” even if I am writing this from the AVN AEE press room. So, for the record, Dick Tracy would be a great porn name even if it is already so.

But Dick Tracy is relevant at CES because, this afternoon, I actually found a watch-phone that performs all the tasks that Tracy’s famous wrist radio performed in the old comic strip. In fact, when some of the more, shall we say, mature conference attendees happened upon the gadget at the LG Electronics booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Center Hall, many said, “Hey, that’s just like Dick Tracy’s wrist radio!” And it is. This is one product I can actually see myself using, all the time.

It’s the first market-ready (which I take to mean, “Johnny-ready”) Touch Watch Phone. It’s a graduated model of a prototype that LG Electronics debuted last year. “It’s one of the most innovative products at the show this year,” said Marc LaBelle (hey, a phone-type surname!), who is a field product trainer for LG.

The Watch Phone scales all off the features available in the most advanced models of mobile phones down to watch-sized sized scale. You can speak into it, as Tracy did, or use a BlueTooth connection. To quote directly from the company’s new news release about the product, the features include “its Flash Interface, MP3 player, Voice Calling, Text messaging and Text to Speech.” Text to Speech is a function that speaks a text message to the recipient so he/she (or, in this case, Johnny) does not try to read the message off his wrist while driving at high speeds in his Mazda 6. The device also offers two-way video conferencing capabilities and, we expects, keeps OK time, too.

The phone is set to go on sale in Europe sometime in the second half of this year. No price has been set and there are no firm plans for U.S. distribution just yet, as the model will be “bugged out” on the European market before Americans can wrap their wrists with it. That’s fine – Dick Tracy would approve, anyway.

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