Sony Plans To Launch TransferJet Devices

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News Posted: Tue, Jan 19 2010 11:56 PM
Sony will launch a laptop with the new TransferJet short-range wireless system on Saturday. As the first products to support TransferJet, Sony's Vaio F laptop and TX7 and HX5V digital cameras, will be launched in Japan on Jan. 23 and Feb. 5, respectively and will hit international markets sometime in February.

TransferJet has been under development for over two years. The technology works over a distance of up to 3cm. The speed of the transfers is said to rival that of USB 2.0. Because of its limited range, developers have decided not to implement device pairing and security similar to what is required with Bluetooth. To use the TransferJet technology between a camera and a computer, the only thing a user has to do is initiate sending on the camera and bring it close to a computer with TransferJet. The rest happens automatically.

The first batch of products that will launch will suffer from a limitation: they're not quite up to speed. When Sony announced TransferJet in January 2008, it said the technology would support 560Mbps transfer speeds and that users would see actual transfer rates of up to 375Mbps after networking overheads. The first-generation products will be slower. For example, transfers from a Cybershot TX7 camera to a Vaio F laptop will run at about 40Mbps, Sony said. The slowdown is due to software overhead in the PC and data processing.


The first Cybershot cameras that will support the technology won't have a TransferJet chip in them. Instead, they'll need an optional 8GB Memory Stick card that has the embedded radio chip. This card will cost $100, or $30 more than a similar card without the TransferJet feature. Sony also plans to offer a TransferJet USB adapter for $150.

Sony hopes that the TransferJet technology will eventually replace cables for transferring data from one gadget to another. However, the technology's success will depend largely on availability and the number of products from big-name companies that choose to support TransferJet. Thus far, companies such as Samsung, Toshiba, Kodak, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, Pioneer and Sony Ericsson have been suggested as possible supporters. Toshiba has been the only other company to date that has demonstrated prototype TransferJet devices.
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gibbersome replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 12:15 AM

3 cm is quite a limitation. Implementing it in cameras is great idea. You could just place your camera next to your laptop (depending where the receiver is) and quickly download pics and vids without cables. I wonder how much battery power it requires.

This technology has its limitations, but the data rate is very promising. The price would have to come down to the level of bluetooth though.

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 2:03 AM

Hmm; sounds way more advanced than IrDa transfer right. I digress it may be somewhat faster. Although with a distance limitation like that I don't see much of a point really.

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I see potential for transfer jet in mp3 players and Pocket PCs like the Ipod Touch. It would be very convenient to just kinda hold your device against someone else's for a few seconds and get the targeted content. The use is limited and mostly for convenience, making the high price tag a major deterrence.

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realneil replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 10:34 AM

Why do we need this super short range technology? We have USB-3.0 on the horizon already and the actual implementation of this technology doesn't even support it's own advertised speeds. 40Mbps is nowhere close to 560Mbps, so it's already a failing tech toy that they're trying to get back their time and money investment on. I predict a lackluster acceptance and implementation of this newest, greatest, thing

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 1:14 PM

Yeah realneil thats what I was thinking to. We also have wireless USB coming on as well which has both much greater distance and is faster considerably from what I understand. Intel is also developing something wireless for a transfer medium like this as well, which has the same greater distance and faster throughput. So I doubt this one will be around very long. Of course sony has there own memory stick medium and has for years. The only thing it is used in is Sony components generally.

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Wireless USB? This is the first time I'm hearing of it. What are the range and transfer speeds supposed to be like?

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