Archives for February 1, 2011

Ricoh announces the development of GXR lens mount unit

Japan’s Ricoh Co. Ltd. today announced the development of expansion unit for the GXR interchangeable unit camera system,

GXR Lens Mount

GXR Lens Mount

which went on sale Dec. 18, 2009. The GXR is an interchangeable unit camera system in which lenses can be changed by mounting camera units integrating lens, image sensor, and image processing engine into a single unit. In addition, fully utilizing its unique capabilities, the GXR line will expand to include a variety of devices through the addition of interchangeable units other than camera units.

The GXR line now includes four camera units, but the newly developed unit being announced here is the GXR Lens Mount Unit. According to Ricoh, with this lens mount unit, photographers can mount lenses such as Leica M lenses and use them for shooting with the GXR. The lens mount unit is being designed to make the best use of the optical characteristics of the lenses mounted. It will have as its image sensor a 23.6 mm × 15.7 mm (APS-C size; total pixels: approx. 12.90 million) CMOS sensor, and it will also feature a newly developed focal plane shutter. The lens mount is scheduled for release in the fall.

Mobile ads tricky for marketers

eMarketer reports on a new survey from Yahoo! and The Nielsen Co. that reveals consumers have high expectations from mobile ads. Many consumers “are still less than thrilled” about ads on this very personal device, eMarketer says, but catering to their preferences for ad formats and features could help the mobile audience warm up to them.

According to the survey, being informative was the most important quality of mobile ads for a wide variety of products and services. Relevancy was a relatively close second in most categories.

Respondents cared relatively little about the graphical and multimedia elements of the ads. This contrasts with research on iPad advertising, which has shown that tablet users pay more attention to and feel more engaged with interactive ads with striking colors.

A recent survey conducted by Ipsos Observer found mobile ads were most likely to be disliked by internet users, at 63 percent. Just 15 percent of respondents liked them. Mobile ads were over 50 percent more likely to cause negative feelings than website ads.

Powis offering iPad cases in three limited edition covers

Powis Parker Inc., Berkeley, Calif., announced its iPad cover, the Powis iCase, is now available with three Limited Edition Valentine’s Day designs, including the ability to have a personal photo on the front cover. The stylish case, inspired by the traditional book, enhances the sleek look of the iPad, while offering quality protection. The sturdy designer stand offers 9-plus positions, and the case is available in more than 40 leathers and patterns. The limited edition Valentine’s Day designs are available now through Feb. 12: Pop Art Couple, Passion Red, and Pink Alligator. The Passion Red iPad case is designed to be the ideal background for a personal photo to capture that special memory.

iPad cases from Powis are available in many different leathers and patterns, ranging from $49.95 for a patterned case with a printed laminated cover to $79.95 for a premium leather cover.

ExactTarget integrates Microsoft Dynamics CRM to power targeted interactive marketing campaigns

ExactTarget, Indianapolis, Ind., announced a new integrated solution, giving organizations the ability to power targeted interactive marketing campaigns directly from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, the cloud version of the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 release.

Coinciding with the global launch of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, the integration allows Microsoft clients to create, send, track and automate targeted email marketing campaigns directly from Microsoft’s new online customer relationship management technology that’s now available to clients in 40 global markets.

The integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and ExactTarget allows organizations to use customer data housed in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to create targeted email marketing campaigns for lead nurturing, life cycle marketing and automated alerts and notifications.

IDT unveils single-layer multi-touch capacitive touch screen controller

Integrated Device Technology Inc. (IDT), San Jose, Calif., announced a touch screen controller IC optimized for IDT’s proprietary single-layer multi-touch projected capacitive touch screen technology. This new touch screen technology and controller offers a true single-layer solution, not requiring cross-over isolation points that other solutions require, yet still maintaining full multi-touch capability. The result is a lower-cost total solution that does not sacrifice features or performance. Typical applications include mobile handsets, personal navigation devices, and handheld gaming platforms with screen sizes up to five inches.

Boxee Box featured on CBS show “The Talk”

D-Link, Fountain Valley, Calif., announced Boxee Box by D-Link was featured on Friday’s segment of the new CBS daily daytime talk show “The Talk.” Given to everyone in the audience, the Boxee Box aggregates Internet content and locally stored media into an intuitive on-screen interface allowing consumers to enjoy movies, TV shows, clips, photos, and more from the Internet on a TV.

“The Boxee Box is changing the way today’s families are viewing and sharing content,” said Daniel Kelley of D-Link. “Whether its reminiscing over photos and home videos, catching up on the latest episode of your favorite TV show, or sharing movie picks with friends on Facebook and Twitter, the Boxee Box is a complete entertainment hub for today’s connected families. We are delighted to be a part of the latest episode of ‘The Talk’ and to give audience members a first-hand look at the Boxee Box home entertainment experience.”

“The Talk” examines topical events and contemporary issues through the eyes of five female hosts who are all mothers: Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini. It airs weekdays (2:00-3:00 PM, ET; 1:00-2:00 PM, PT), on the CBS Television Network. ”

Boxee Box by D-Link is currently available throughout D-Link’s network of retail and e-tail outlets in North America, and at the company’s online store, with a street price of US$199.

Digicam maker Altek sees record 2010 shipments, revenues

DigiTimes reports Altek, the Hsinchu, Taiwan-based ODM, saw historically highest annual shipments and consolidated revenues in 2010 but the corresponding gross margin of 9.38 percent decreased 6.79 pp from 2009, according to the company. The drop in gross margin was because retail prices of digital cameras continued to fall but costs of labor in China and components rose in 2010, says Alex Hsia, president. He added, in addition to existing clients Eastman Kodak Co. and Fujifilm, Altek has obtained orders from two new clients with shipments to begin in the first quarter of 2011.

Global demand for digital cameras in 2011 is projected at 120 million units, two-thirds of which will be produced by Taiwan-based ODMs, Hsia pointed out.

Altek announced fourth-quarter 2010 consolidated revenue, net income, and EPS were NT$31.01 billion, NT$1.33 billion, and NT$3.51, respectively, compared to 2009 figures of NT$9.19 billion, NT$338 million, and NT$0.89, respectively.

Artensoft offering photo mosaic software with variable photo tile shapes

Artensoft, Smolensk, Russia, introduced Artensoft Photo Mosaic Wizard 1.3, a Microsoft Windows software tool specifically

Artensoft Photo Collage preview screen

Artensoft Photo Collage preview screen

designed to let anyone create a mosaic picture from hundreds of smaller tile images. The new software incorporates Artensoft’s technology to automatically arranges all elements of a photo mosaic by color, shape and orientation in accordance with an original picture. Unlike most other photo mosaic tools that place tile images into a grid with equal-sized cells and use superimposing or cell colorization, the Artensoft software carefully analyses an original picture for shapes and colors, selects a photo for each location and sets its orientation for the best overall look. Because distribution and orientation of tile images look chaotic, the resulting mosaic is very clear and realistic, the company claims. Samples mosaics are here.

The program offers a simple wizard-driven interface that allows the beginner to create the first photo mosaic project in a few minutes, without opening a manual. The user can move, resize or replace individual tiles to fine-tune a mosaic before saving it to file.

B&H Photo Video releases Android app

B&H Photo Video Pro Audio, the New York City electronics retailer, released its first Android App, giving

B&H Android App

electronics shoppers with an Android device access to hundreds of thousands of items. User can purchase items and checkout on their Android device, as well as download PDFs of users manuals of their gear in the field.

Get professional reviews, specifications, features, and watch demonstration videos—all prepared by our expert staff. The app is a free download, and is now available in the Android Market.

Sony cameras zoom 16, 30x





Two new long-zoom Cyber-shot cameras from Sony feature 16-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensors and Full HD video shooting at 60 progressive frames per second for “fast-moving action with exceptional smoothness and clarity,” the company says.

The H Series cameras can also capture 3-megapixel still pictures while simultaneously shooting video, with dedicated still and video buttons.

The cameras feature a new Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode that creates a wide image with a 10480×4096 resolution. This is in addition to Sony’s 3D Sweep Panorama and 3D Still Image modes, as well as multi-capture HDR and blurred-background functions.

Both units also have GPS and Compass functions, and 3-inch LCDs.

The DSC-HX100V is an SLR-sized camera with a 30x optical zoom that starts at 27mm, and a manual control ring. It’s $450.

The smaller DSC-HX9V’s 16x optical zoom starts at 24mm, for $350.