Sony and Company Introduce TransferJet

I thought Sir Howard was supposed to put an end to this type of thing. Apparently not, as Sony is back with another proprietary technology. Making it worse, they are offering up a wireless technology to transfer video and image wirelessly, a market where there are seemingly PLENTY of standardized technologies to do just this. Sure, they’ve pushed a consortium around TransferJet [PR], at least giving this effort the appearance of an industry-wide effort, but in the end this looks and feels like classic Sony pushing an internally developed technology as a solution where there already is one.

After all, Wi-Fi is plenty capable of image and video transfer, as is next-generation Bluetooth. 802.11n will go up to 600 Mbps in raw throughput, and even ol’ 802.11g has plenty enough speed for file transfer. Bluetooth 3.0 (Seattle) is targeting 480 Mbps using UWB. From what I can tell, TransferJet’s main mission is file transfer, not live streaming to a device (though certainly that could be part of the intention of the group), but there is no reason Wi-Fi or Bluetooth can’t suffice.

Boiled down, consumers want three basic features with wireless connection to image and video capture devices:

1. Playback on a screen
2. Transfer to a PC or media tank
3. Image upload to the Internet

No cameras do these functions very well today, and I don’t think a wholly new wireless PHY/MAC standard is what will get us there. These are, by and large, software problems, since the software stacks for easy image transfer and upload to online imaging services are not well built out. To that end, I think Sony and company would be better off making devices UPnP compliant, as well as work with Windows Connect Now Media Transfer Protocol.

Bottom line, there needs to be in industry approach for easy image transfer to online imaging services and social networks, not just to a single camera vendors imaging and print merchandising website. None of the camera vendors really do this well, and while I don’t think cameraphones are going to replace digicams (like was the fear back in 2004-5), as more consumers do image uploads to online services and to their social networks, the digicam vendors face being increasinly second choice so long at image quality from that new iPhone is passable.

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Filed in: Home Networking Gear, Industry Buzz