What we lost with TransferJet

Sony continued its momentum in digital imaging with a particularly strong digital imaging portfolio at IFA. One of the highlights was the $399 “Honey-I-shrrunk-the-DSLR” Alpha A3000 for $399. However, the product that certainly raised the most eyebrows were the $250 QX10 and the $500 QX100 phone accessory cameras, which give new meaning to what is considered a “back.” The cameras, which appear to be just lenses, include the optics and sensors of an average 10x zoom or the superior imaging of Sony’s Cyber-Shot RX100 model. They can attach to Sony’s own XPERIA Z1 with a special case or to other smartphones with a spring-loaded bracket. (Interestingly, though, they support their own storage.)

From there, they communicate with the host smartphone using theiir own Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows for nearly universal compatibility, but which creates many tradeoffs — lag and theinability to connect to another Wi-Fi hotspot among them. This, might say fans of superhero cliches, would be a job for TransferJet. TransferJet enables high-speed data transfers between objects by touching them together, kind of a USB 3.0 cable replacement initiated via NFC. The standard is actually under active development, but updates about it are rare and it hasn’t been seen since finding its way into the palm rests of a few Sony Vaios a while back. And since it’s so marginalized, implementation is expensive, making it impractical to include in a smartphone by Sony, perhaps its biggest champion.

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