Sony debuts new slim image sensor for cameras

Cameras seem to be getting smaller and smaller as new technology enable developers to pack a lot of things into a tiny metal case. Now, with Sony’s creation of a smaller CMOS image sensor, the battle for camera sizes are on.

This small image sensors is going to be used in developing cameras of higher quality for cameras and as well as smartphones. According to a statement by Sony, “The popularization of smartphones and other devices in recent years has been accompanied by an increasingly diverse use of camera functionality. This has brought heightened demand for more sophisticated camera, to ensure adaptability to a wider range of scenes, and Sony developed this stacked CMOS image sensor to meet such demand.”

The new image sensor has no supporting substrates between the pixel layer and chip circuitry. The pixel section, which contains the back illuminated structure pixels, and the circuit section can now be manufactured independently.

This technology has built-in signal processing and uses large scale signal processing circuits than is possible with current image sensors. This new technology gives a better image quality, better speed, low power consumption and more features for the camera.

Sony SmartWatch: Your Android phone’s partner

A watch that serves as the command center for your Android phone? Sounds silly at first but the SmartWatch gives you the ability to do just that.

The 1.3 inch OLED touch screen watch has Bluetooth 3.0 and is compatible with Android smartphones. The Sony SmartWatch’s predecessor was the Sony Ericsson Live View that was released in 2010.

The SmartWatch basically is the same with the Live View. Though it is much prettier than its predecessor, Sony’s latest device has an accelerometer and a vibrating feature. It is also a wristwatch that anybody can wear.

You can do a lot of things with the SmartWatch. Just like your Android smartphones, you can send text messages and e-mails or check the weather if you’re going out for a walk. If someone calls you while you jog, you can simply look at your SmartWatch and view the caller with its caller ID feature. You can also check updates from Twitter and Facebook with your watch.

The Sony SmartWatch is pegged at $149 and is targeted to be released this coming March.

Google teams up with Samsung, LG, Sony for smart TV

The top three TV makers in the world has just teamed up with Google in a bid to conquer a new and different market after it has successfully barged into the smartphone market with its Android.

With this new development, the Internet giant is going to release a “smart” television set at the CES in Vegas. Dubbed as the Google TV, it will empower its users by letting them connect to the Net and enjoy its services. It is due to be released in the first half or 2012.

Google is planning to use the same strategy for its TV business as what they used with their Android. The TV giants will make the sets based on Google’s Android software.

Market researcher Gartner said that the Android OS ranks first with a 52.5% share in the smartphone market during last year’s third quarter. Apple’s iOS had 15% share.

Google tried the TV market once when it partnered with Logitech and Sony. Unfortunately, this attempt failed as the partnership was not with the top TV developers in the market and American TV stations.

Now, Google’s latest gamble seems like a very sound decision. Not only are they partnering with three top tier companies, but they are also teaming up with Vizio. The company is also partnering with Marvell and Mediatech.

There are already 150 TV applications available and thousands of Android applications as well.

Sony Slashes Tablet S Price

Fans of Sony and their tablets have something to be thankful for this new year. The company announced that they have slashed $100 off their S series tablets.

This development makes their 16GB Tablet S now only $400 from $500, while its other device, the 32GB is now priced at $500 from $600.

The Tablet S  sports a 9.4 inch 1280×800 display, cameras in the front and rear, Android Honeycomb and 1GB system memory.

This doesn’t come as a surprise as other tablets, such as RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook, have already slashed off their prices.

Other 10 inch tablets like the 16GB Lenovo IdeaPad K1 tab and the 16GB Acer Iconia (Wi-Fi) are priced quite low. The two are priced at #319.99 and $359.99 respectively. Toshiba’s 16GB Thrive and Asus’ 16GB Eee Pad Transformer are both pegged at $400.

Is this already a sign that people are now into 10 inch tablets? For that, we’d have to wait and see in the coming months.

It seems that Apple is the only one not disturbed by their rivals and other market problems. Even without the price cut, Apple still sells about 10 million tablets per quarter.

Sony’s Playstation Vita sells 321,000 in two days

Some bad news for the Japanese brand Sony. According to game-tracking firm Enterbrain, Sony’s Playstation Vita only sold 321,400 units on its first two days out in the market. While their rival Nintedo sold 50,000 more units of 3DS during the same period early this year.

Sony launched its latest toy last weekend. The new device has similar Playstation buttons on the right side and dual thumbsticks. It also has a Wi-Fi capability, 3G and front and rear cameras. It has a 5 inch display that is touch screen and has touchpads at the back of the gadget.

Though boasting of awe-inspiring features, the Vita is fighting an uphill climb in the tight gaming market.

2009 statistics show that the Nintendo DS captured 70 percent of the portable gaming revenue in the U.S.. Apple’s iOS and the Android had a combined 19 percent share while Sony’s PSP lagged behind with an 11% market.

According to Flurry Analytics, Nintendo’s share has dipped to 36 percent in just two years and Sony dropped to 6 percent. By year’s end, it is estimated that Android and iOS will account to 58 percent of the portable gaming devices sold in 2011.

The issue here is that Nintendo and Sony’s devices are solely for portable gaming. Smartphones such as the iPhone and the Galaxy Tabs gives individuals the ability to use their gadgets both for gaming and to make calls, access the web and popular apps.

According to CNET’s Jeff Bakalar, “portable console gaming no longer has a practical place in the current landscape of casual flick, drag and swipe games. He also added that, “there is no room for the 3DSes and Vitas of the world when all-in-one functionality is now more important than high-tech, gaming-focused mobile systems.”

Sony eyeing multi-core processor for coming PS4

Yes, after a decade of life span, Sony’s PS3 may have a big brother coming soon.

Kotaku, a video games-focused blog, reports that the Japanese company is considering a multi-core CPU design to power its next-gen PlayStation 4 consoles.

Kotaku, citing the Japanese website PC Watch, notes that some developers found it challenging to find alternatives for the PS3’s Cell architecture.

“One early alternative include Cell and Intel’s Larrabee. Wanting a bit more horsepower, Sony has apparently abandoned this plan. Sony was also apparently considering a modified version of the Synergistic Processor Unit, but is now supposedly working on designs that include a mulit-core CPU.”


On the rumor mill: Firefox soon on Sony PS3

Wouldn’t it be better if Sony’s PS3 to have much more decent web browser?

Well, that possibility might not be that far behind. A post from the PlayStation Insider says the creators of the PS3 might be doing a deal with Mozilla to incorporate Firefox on the device.

We recently received a tip from a source very close to Sony who says that they have been in talks with Mozilla lately about possibly porting firefox over to the PS3. That said, our source made sure to point out that they were unsure if any deal had actually been reached at this point, but it is great news none the less considering the complaints Sony has been getting about the lack of reliability with their current built in PS3 web browser. Throwing firefox into the mix would give PS3 the ultimate advantage when it came to internet functionality.
True? We sure hope so. 🙂


No Sony Reader Daily Edition this Christmas for some

Credit: Sony

The company announced today that the Sony Reader Daily Edition is now available for preorder. However, Sony’s Web site also says the orders will ship December 18 through January 8 – not a good news for those expecting to have their hands on one before the holidays.

According to the website, “actual delivery date cannot be guaranteed”.

A company spokesman said that the number of people who signed up to find out about the device’s availability has exceeded Sony’s expectation. It will try to deliver as much as it can before the holidays but it will have to be on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We’re deeply concerned we won’t have enough to get them under the Christmas tree, so we’re giving a range and telling people upfront that we may not get to everybody over Christmas. We may be able to do it, we just don’t want to over-promise,” Steve Haber, president of its digital reading division, told the FT .

The Sony Reader Daily Edition is being sold for US$399.


Sony recalls 69,000 adapters due to short-circuit risk

It seems that there’s no end for Sony’s power problems on their Vaio.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant announced that it is recalling 69, 000 Vaio AC adapters for risks of short-circuiting.

The adapters on the recall list include models VGP-AC19V17, VGC-LT, VGC-JS240, VGC-JS250, VGC-JS270 and VGC-JS290. Sony will also be recalling two notebook docking stations, the VGP-PRBX1 and VGP-PRFE1.

According to Sony, the AC adapters may short-circuit and cause an electric shock because insulation inside the adapter can fail over time. Although the company received only four related complaints – all of which did not result to any injury in the US – Sony is not taking any chances.

Despite its seemingly huge number, this problem is somewhat tamer to what the company has had to encounter before.

In 2006, Sony had to recall 9.6 million batteries and in September 2008, the company had to recall 438, 00 Vaio laptops due to overheating concerns. The latest was in October 2008 where the company had to again, recall 100,000 batteries.

For more information on the recall, you can visit Sony’s support site here or call Sony at (877) 361-4481.


Netflix movie streaming soon on PS3s

Credit: Sony

There’s more to celebrate for PlayStation 3 fans!

Shortly after Sony PlayStation 3 was hailed last month’s top-selling video game console after three years, the guys from Sony are giving you a treat.

Sony Corp. and Netflix announced together today that starting next month, owners of PS3 will be able to stream movies and TV shows from Netflix to their TVs via the gaming console.

Users who have a Netflix subscription starting at $9 can access Netflix’s 17,000 collection of movies and TV shows for free. The company will be sending out special Blu-ray discs which the users will have to pop in their PS3s. The disk will access the internet and activate the Netflix system.

This recent partnership is a win-win situation for the two companies.

For Sony, they are staying true to their product’s slogan “It Only Does Everything”, making the PS3 more than just a gaming console. And with their new target market of both men and women between 18 to 49, this new service will definitely be a come-on for them.

“I think we always knew we made a significant investment in the PS3 and we were ahead of the time in terms of technology,” Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, said. “But technology that was mystifying to the consumer three years ago is being coveted now.”

As for the DVD rental company, Netflix can now tap the 9 million PlayStation 3 users in the US alone and more than 25 million users worldwide, all potential new customers.  🙂