First TransferJet devices coming in February

Short-range wireless technology could rival Bluetooth

The first devices based on TransferJet, a short-range data-transfer technology, will be coming in February from Sony, the company said Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The Sony-developed technology uses a low-power, ultra wideband signal to send data at up to 375 megabits per second over distances of around 3 centimeters and is designed to replace the cables that are typically needed to connect gadgets.

The first products to get the technology will be CyberShot digital still cameras. Stan Glasgow, president of Sony Electronics, demonstrated the function during a CES news conference. Several images were sent between two cameras in a few seconds.

TransferJet is eyed as a simpler way to send data between devices than existing technologies such as Bluetooth. Because it only works over a range of a few centimeters it doesn't include many of the security and identification settings found in rival systems.

Users will still need to initiate transfers through the devices but won't have to fiddle with settings to get data moving.

Sony said users will require new TransferJet Memory Stick cards to utilize the technology. Details of the cards and their price were not announced.

TransferJet should begin appearing in other Sony products during 2010. Sony's Vaio F-series will be the first laptops to feature the system.

The technology was first unveiled at CES in 2008 and since then has attracted wide support from many of the biggest names in consumer electronics. It counts Samsung, Toshiba, Kodak, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sharp, Olympus, Pioneer and Sony Ericsson among its members.

Only one other company, Toshiba, has demonstrated a TransferJet prototype. That system, shown at CES 2009, used TransferJet to send images from a PDA to a laptop and television.

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Martyn Williams

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