Archives for February 4, 2011

Pentax teaming up with singer Bonnie Pink for limited edition Kr DSLR

Pentax Kr - Bonnie Pink limited edition

Pentax Kr - Bonnie Pink limited edition

Pentax has teamed up with Japanese pop star Bonnie Pink to offer a limited-edition Kr DSLR, “PENTAX Kr BONNIE PINK MODEL”, to be sold exclusively at Pentakkusuonrainshoppu.

The Pentax site said the Bonnie Pink model features the singers logo upon start up and will feature one-of-a-kind camouflage grip. The 100-piece limited edition features a Bonnie Pink-themed smc PENTAX-DA L18-55 F3.5-5.6AL lens. Shoppers may reserve the camera now, from Feb. 14-28, and, if orders exceed the 100 quantity, a lotter will be held March 14.

The price is 89,800 yen (tax included), and will come in a gift box.

Fujifilm continues support for troops

Fujifilm Holdings North America Corp., Valhalla, N.Y., announced its online photofinishing site, Fujifilm, in conjunction with its continued sponsorship of Homes For Our Troops, has rallied employees of the Greenwood, S.C.-based  Fujifilm Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc. plant to participate in the three-day Build Brigade to begin construction of a specially-adapted home in Seneca, S.C. in the Lake Keowee region for injured Marine Chief Warrant Officer-3 Jeffrey Pcola. Marine CWO3 Pcola suffered spinal and internal injuries and a broken neck while commanding 24-hour reconnaissance operations in Iraq. Homes For Our Troops and its team of volunteers will break ground on CWO3 Pcola’s new home today. Fujifilm employees have volunteered for the Build Brigade, and Fujifilm will provide food and beverages for all volunteers pitching in throughout the three-day project. Fujifilm will also present a donation of $21,570 to Homes For Our Troops at the Build Brigade kick-off ceremony, which is in addition to more than $125,000 the company has already donated. The new donation comes as result of Fujifilm’s digital camera “Military Appreciation Bundle” sold at various military bases across the country over the past year.

Homes for Our Troops is a national non-profit 501(c) 3 organization based in Taunton, MA, and founded by John Gonsalves in 2004 to benefit severely injured Veterans and service members.

Zoran reports results

Zoran Corp., Sunnyvale, Calif., reported results for its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010. Fourth-quarter revenues, which includes Microtune revenues subsequent to the closing of the acquisition on Nov. 30, 2010 of $5.4 million, were $74.2 million, compared to $99.3 million last quarter and $93.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. The company reported a fourth quarter GAAP net loss of $32.9 million, which compares with a GAAP net loss of $4.1 million, for the previous quarter and GAAP net loss of $2.9 million, for the fourth quarter of the prior year. Non-GAAP net loss for the fourth quarter, including the impact of Microtune, was $15.2 million, which excludes $398 thousand of amortization of acquired intangible assets, $2.4 million of restructuring expenses, $2.1 million of acquisition related expenses, $1.1 million related to shareholder consent revocation activities, $3.3 million of stock-based compensation expenses, and includes an adjustment of $8.4 million for the tax provision to a non-GAAP rate.

For the full year ended Dec. 31, 2010, revenues were $357.3 million, compared to $380.1 million for 2009. GAAP net loss for 2010 was $47.6 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of $33.0 million for the prior year. Non-GAAP net loss for 2010 was $21.5 million, compared with a non-GAAP net loss of $12.7 million for 2009.

“We believe our fourth quarter 2010 results validate the execution of the ongoing restructuring plan initiated by Zoran in the third quarter,” says Dr. Levy Gerzberg, president and CEO, Zoran. “We are confident that we have the right strategic plan in place to deliver a return to sustainable and profitable growth in 2011.

“In 2010 digital camera revenues grew 44 percent over 2009,” adds Gerzberg. “We are increasing our market share and enhancing our position as we broaden our addressable markets with new applications such as digital video camcorders, video surveillance, and video conferencing. Printer Imaging continues to gain momentum and revenues from Imaging hardware grew 45 percent as our investments in SoC solutions for laser technology pay off. In addition, as a result of the actions we took to restructure our DVD business, we expect it to be profitable each quarter of 2011.”

BJ’s Wholesale Club reports January comparable sales level

BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc., Westborough, Mass., reported January 2011 sales increased by 6.5 percent to $779.8 million from $732.5 million in January 2010. Comparable club sales for January 2011 increased by 2.7 percent, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 2.4 percent%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable club sales increased by approximately 0.3 percent. Severe snow storms affecting the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions had a negative impact on merchandise comparable club sales of approximately 2.5 percent.

For the fourth quarter ended January 29, 2011, total sales increased by 7.3 percent to $2.9 billion from $2.7 billion last year, and comparable club sales increased by 3.8 percent, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 2.1%. Excluding gasoline, merchandise comparable club sales increased by 1.7 percent. For the fourth quarter ended January 30, 2010, comparable club sales increased by 4.6 percent. For the year ended January 29, 2011, total sales increased by 8.3 percent to $10.6 billion from $9.8 billion last year, and comparable club sales increased by 4.4 percent, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 2.0 percent.

OmegaBrandess announces Phottix U.S. distribution

OmegaBrandess, Hampstead, Md., announced it is their exclusive U.S. photo channel distribution for Phottix branded camera accessories. OmegaBrandess will immediately carry the Hector live view remote, the Strato wireless flash and shutter trigger, the TR-90 Intervolameter, the Duo universal TTL cable and more.

Golla receives internationalization award by President of Finland

On Feb. 3 in Helsinki, the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, granted the 2010 internationalization award to Golla, a manufacturer of bags for mobile phones, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and cameras.

“One of the purposes of the Internationalization Award of the President of the Republic is to highlight concepts and business models as an example to other Finnish companies in the process of internationalization. This year, all the award winners represent a high level of specialized expertise and since their incorporation, the companies have focused on the international markets with the aim of achieving success in them”, says Finpro President & CEO, Kari Häyrinen.

“In 2001, we decided to focus on bags and set our goal as being the world’s best known brand in bags for mobile electronics. We have succeeded in this: we are now the unquestionable number one in the field measured both in market share and sales volume,” says the CEO of Golla Oy, Petri Kähkönen.

Right from the start, Golla has striven to become an international player in the industry. In 2010, 98 percent of Golla’s sales of EUR 29 million came from exports.

Mobile augmented reality attracts leading brands

A new report from Juniper Research, Hampshire, United Kingdom, has found that an increasing number of leading brands, retailers and mobile vendors are investing in mobile augmented reality (AR) applications and services, with global revenues expected to approach $1.5 billion by 2015.

The report found that the installed base of AR capable smartphones had increased from 8 million in 2009 to more than 100 million in 2010, while at the same time, AR apps – initially the preserve of smaller development companies and/or researchers at technological institutes – were now increasingly created/facilitated by the larger players.

The Mobile Augmented Reality report highlighted several developments that were key in this regard:

  • Qualcomm‘s release of an AR-software development kit for Android
  • Samsung’s decision to preload AR browsers onto several of their handsets in selected markets
  • Mobile advertising campaigns from brands such as Carlsberg and Coca Cola which have featured AR elements.

According to report author Dr. Windsor Holden, “One of the key benefits from this heightened activity is the fact that it generates press interest and public awareness: even if consumers don’t necessarily understand how it works, they can see real life examples of AR in action. Likewise, it serves to generate wider interest amongst brands and developers who can see potential applications for AR technology; it educates the market.”

However, the report warned that both developers and consumers had yet to be convinced that AR apps were more than “gimmicks” or offered much in the way of customer retention, given that many early deployments featured an AR element that had been added at the last minute to a pre-existing app, or else the use of AR was limited and failed to engage with the end user.

The Mobile Augmented Video Whitepaper and the Mobile Augmented White Paper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the study Mobile Augmented Reality: Opportunities, Forecasts & Strategic Analysis 2011-2015.

Gentec upgrades B2B website

Gentec's B2B website

Canadian-based Gentec International, Markham, Ontario, has launched its updated B2B website. The new design sports a sleek new look and simple, intuitive navigation to all product divisions, brands, and other important tools. More than just a cosmetic update, however, the new user-friendly site features additional content and improved functionality, making it significantly easier to navigate and find information about the products and services Gentec offers.

The new Quick Order page offers a fast and easy way to place orders. Credit card customers can now securely place orders online. And the site now provides customers with comprehensive information for all online orders, including email notifications with shipment tracking numbers. Clearance listings have been made more concise and user-friendly to help customers take advantage of special offers. Online shopping sessions will remain active for one hour after inactivity before timing out, and items saved in an open order will remain in the cart for 48 hours, allowing the session to be continued at later time. To ensure easy customer access to the site, a new quick-recovery system has been implemented to promptly provide forgotten passwords without a processing delay.

The search field has been completely reprogrammed to significantly improve advanced searches by brand, model, or keywords. Results pages feature a new, simpler layout with user-selectable fields in the sidebar allowing refinements to the search parameters. And searching by brand not only results in a comprehensive product listing, it also provides additional information specific to each brand, including manuals, videos, warranty information, product photos and other marketing and support materials.

Product information is also available in the online product guides.

The Accessory Finder will help locate everything on the site that will work with a particular device, whether it’s a battery for a digital camera or a case for a mobile phone.

The site content has also been expanded to offer more information about Gentec and all of its products and services.

LinkedIn text ad service emerges from beta with enhanced targeting capabilities

LinkedIn Ads, the  self-service pay-per-click text advertising offering from LinkedIn, Mountain View, Calif., emerged from beta with a new set of targeting options the company says will increase the return on investment of ad campaigns by providing advertisers access to a high-quality and relevant audience of professionals.

Originally launched as a beta product in July 2008 under the name LinkedIn DirectAds, the text advertising service now offers ad targeting by exact job title, company name or LinkedIn Group, in addition to the previously available options of geography, job function, industry, company size, seniority, age and gender. LinkedIn Ads allow companies to show ads only to the members most likely to purchase their products or services. This deeper level of targeting ability offers advertisers more precision for their advertising dollar and greater return on investment. Customers who have launched campaigns with these new targeting options report click-through rates 3 to 4 times higher than other campaigns, LinkedIn says.

Be the last kid on your block . . .

The last PoGo

Last call. If you’ve been hankering for a PoGo printer, hop to it, ’cause the last batch known to man is on sale.

The folks at The Impossible Project, Vienna, Austria – who brought back some of the iconic Polaroid films in new formulations – is selling off the last batch of Special Edition PoGo printers.

With its iconic metal body creating analog digital prints using Zink Paper, the results “are just waiting to be caressed and manipulated,” says Impossible. (Uh . . . kinky.)

Not only do you get a PoGo printer, but also a carefully branded Moleskine album, “the most perfect accessory to collect your PoGo photos,” and two packs of Polaroid PoGo Paper (hidden in the expandable inner pocket of the Moleskine album).

The instant mobile printer takes images from your laptop, digital camera or cell phone (works with most models except the Apple iPhone) using the Bluetooth connection or a USB cable, and makes 2-by-3-inch borderless, color, smudge-proof, tear-resistant, sticky-back prints in 60 seconds.

Price? Just 39 euros – roughly $44.

Ummm, one catch. European power plug only.

Need more paper? How about the 6-Pack Edition, with 60 Polaroid ZINK Photo Papers. Price is 12 euros ($14).

And Impossible is throwing in a free Moleskine album when you buy one Polaroid PoGo Special Edition and four PoGo Photo Paper 6-Packs.