Samsung improves 8 megapixel phone sensor

Samsung Electronics’ upcoming image sensor will enable high resolution still photography and slow-motion video capture on mobile phones.

The 8 megapixel S5K3H2 is a 1/3.2-inch back-side illuminated CMOS imager with a 1.4 micron pixel.
The sensor captures 15 frames per second at full resolution, 1080p video at 30 fps, 720p at 60 frames per second,  and VGA at 120 fps for slow motion.
The slim form factor fits in an 8.5mm by 8.5mm auto focus camera module with a height dimension of 6.0mm, Samsung says.
The S5K3H2 is sampling now, and scheduled for mass production in the second quarter of this year.

Samsung updates phone and tablet with 8MP camera

samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung Electronics claims its upcoming Galaxy S II phone’s Super AMOLED Plus screen is “the most advanced mobile visual display ever created…the best in quality in color gamut, contrast ratio and edge sharpness.”

The 4.27-inch touchscreen has an 800-by-480 resolution. The 8.49 mm thick phone has an 8 megapixel camera on the back and a 2 megapixel sensor in front. Samsung says its “AllShare” technology lets customers “capture, create and then share their experiences hassle-free.”
The phone runs the Android 2.3 OS.

Samsung also announced a larger tablet: the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has, you guessed it, a 10.1-inch TFT display. The touchscreen has a 1280 by 800 resolution. The 8 megapixel main camera has an LED flash and captures 1080p video. The front-facing 2-megapixel camera is aimed at video calls. The tablet runs the Android v3 (Honeycomb) OS on a dual-core Tegra 2 processor. The device weighs 1.23 pounds and is 0.4-inches thick. It will launch in Europe and Asia in March. Pricing was not announced.

Samsung reports it sold two million of its first Galaxy Tab, a 7-inch tablet PC.

CIPA announces camera shipment outlook for 2011

The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) announced the outlook on the shipment forecasts by product-type concerning cameras and related goods for the 2011 term.

The total shipments of digital cameras in 2010 (the cumulative total of shipments from January to December) reached 121.5 million units, marking a new record.

CIPA began compiling records in 1999, when digital cameras were still in their infancy. Since then, digital camera shipments recorded steady growth, reaching 100 million units for the first time in 2007, but in 2009 sales slackened year on year for the first time due to the impact of the global recession.

Despite these conditions, at the beginning of the 2010 term CIPA announced a return to growth in its shipment forecast, and even that forecast was substantially surpassed as shipments exceeded 120 million units and expanded the market to an unprecedented scale.

In a breakdown by product type, shipments of digital cameras with built-in lenses (i.e., compact digital cameras) totaled 108.6 million units, a year-on-year increase of 13.2 percent, shipments of cameras with interchangeable lenses (including digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras, as well as so-called mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and interchangeable unit cameras) reached 12.9 million units, a 30.0 percent increase, and shipments of lenses for interchangeable lens cameras amounted to 21.7 million, a 34.8 percent increase, exhibiting solid growth overall with especially conspicuous results in categories with higher added value, namely cameras and interchangeable lenses that serve as resources for business system deployment.

The forecast for total shipment (the cumulative total of shipments from January to December) of digital cameras in 2011 is 131 million units, a year-on-year increase of 7.8 percent.

In a breakdown of digital cameras by product type, shipments of cameras with built-in lenses and those with interchangeable lenses are forecasted to reach approximately 115.5 million (a year-on-year increase of 6.4 percent) and 15.5 million units (a year-on-year increase of 20.2 percent), respectively.

Of particular note is the expectation that the rapid growth trend will continue in the category of digital cameras with interchangeable lenses for markets outside Japan, with shipments of 13.8 million, a year-on-year increase of 21.1percent, anticipated.

The total shipments of lenses for interchangeable lens digital cameras continue their marked growth in step with the expanding market for digital cameras with interchangeable lenses and the broad range of product offerings, with a forecast for 2011 of shipments of 26.4 million units, a year-on-year increase of 21.7 percent.

Staples annouces Earth-friendly janitorial and kitchen products

Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples Inc., Framingham, Mass., announced  its new Sustainable Earth by Staples janitorial paper products and compostable kitchen items including cups, plates, and cutlery. Staples developed these eco-preferable alternatives by using renewable resources, such as plant-based plastics and sugarcane, as well as recycled fiber and post-consumer content.

Cooliris launches LiveShare “hyper-personal” group photo sharing

Cooliris, Palo Alto, Calif., announced LiveShare 1.2, a new and hyper-personal way to communicate with friends across mobile and web through live, shared group photo streams. LiveShare lets you create streams on the fly, make them as private or public as you want, and see the stream update in real time with the photos from all the people in the group. Whether it’s seeing what your best friends are doing right now, capturing a day at the park with the kids, or a bachelor party that needs to stay in Vegas, LiveShare gives you one photo stream for each event, rather than multiple albums in different places for different people. LiveShare is now available free on iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7, as well as at www.liveshare.com.

Cooliris also announced that it has raised $9.6 million in Series C funding from existing investors, which include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Venture, DAG Ventures, and The Westly Group. The company will use these new funds, and strategic partnerships, to further scale its monetizable user base and revenues.

For more on Cooliris, read a new article in TechCrunch, and listen to a DIMAcast interview with Michelle Turner, executive vice president of Cooliris.

FaceCake brings imaging technology to lipstick try-on

FaceCake Marketing Technologies Inc., Calabasas, Calif., — maker of the FrameWizard, which allows “still” digital images to move in the frame – announces the Lip Makeover mobile app in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart. Shoppers Drug Mart customers can use their iPhones to view their new favorite lipstick shades on their own image, and then send animated kisses to family and friends. The app debuts during Shoppers Drug Mart’s Free Express Lip Makeover campaign in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Lip Makeover combines FaceCake’s proprietary image animation and interactive try-on technologies to bring the benefits of “TryVertising” to the consumer’s pocket. This viral combination is the first of its kind.

Choosing from the latest lipstick colors from premium brands such as Dior, Lancôme, Smashbox, Benefit, Lise Watier, Bare Escentuals Buxom and Elizabeth Arden, Shoppers Drug Mart Lip Makeover customers can use the mobile application to preview their pucker with a number of alluring shades before deciding on the perfect Valentine pout.

SanDisk announces smaller iNAND flash drives, new implementations

SanDisk Corp., Milpitas, Calif., announced its next generation of iNAND and iNAND Ultra embedded flash drives (EFDs) featuring smaller and thinner form factors. Available in packages as small as 11.5mm-by-13mm-by-1mm, SanDisk’s new iNAND and iNAND Ultra e.MMC products support the increasing demand for slimmer and more compact smartphone and tablet designs.

SanDisk reduced its iNAND package sizes by using advanced 24nm generation NAND memory chips, which are more compact than previous versions, and reduced its iNAND package heights by using advanced packaging technologies. iNAND EFDs are based on SanDisk’s three-bit-per-cell (X3) NAND flash technology and iNAND Ultra EFDs are based on SanDisk’s two-bit-per-cell (MLC) NAND flash technology.

SanDisk also announced that several of the industry’s major chipset vendors have selected SanDisk’s iNAND embedded storage device for use in their new reference designs—the boards on which next-generation mobile phones and tablets are developed.

SanDisk works closely with industry leaders such as Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), Windows Phone, Freescale Semiconductor, Intel Corp., Marvell, Microsoft Corp. and NVIDIA to optimize how its iNAND (e.MMC interface) and integrated solid state drive (iSSD) flash storage products interact with the processors, operating systems and usage models of the specific devices in which they are used. This fine-tuning process makes it easier for OEMs to design mobile devices with the best possible performance and user experience.

InfoTrends announces 2011 Road Maps

InfoTrends, Weymouth, Mass., released 2011 “road maps” geared toward specific areas of the consumer and professional imaging market that highlight key trends that will shape the industry in the coming year. Presented as a brief, high-level summary, these documents provide a handy reference tool for product development and marketing strategies. Road maps available include:

  • Road Map 2011: Digital Photography Trends
  • Road Map 2011: Digital Photography Trends Europe
  • Road Map 2011: Photo Merchandise Trends
  • Road Map 2011: Photo Printing Trends
  • Road Map 2011: Internet Imaging Trends
  • Road Map 2011: Photo Publishing

Each Road Map is priced at $299.

Photographer sues over photo of child killed in shooting rampage

A Tucson, Ariz., TV news station, KGUN, reports portrait photographer Jon Wolf is suing media outlets that published a photo he took of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green hugging her mother. Green was one of the victims of the shooting rampage in Tucson last month aimed at Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Twenty people were shot — including Giffords, who survived — and six were killed. Green’s tragic death attracted a great deal of media attention, and the portrait was used by many news outlets.

According to KGUN, “Wolf has hired New York attorney Ed Greenberg to shake loose some cash from media that published the photo. Greenberg told the Tucson Weekly that he’s already settled some claims, is in the process of settling others, and plans to file suit against still others.”

The report also says Wolf plans to give all the money he gets to his favorite charity, Tu Nidito, which offers support services for children. The charity, however, has refused to accept Wolf’s donation.

On the DIMAcast: Keepsy allows groups to create and purchase a gift album

Keepsy is a newly launched online photo album service that brings new twist to many of other options out there: crowdsourced gifting. On this episode of the DIMAcast, Blake Williams, cofounder of Keepsy, explains how — and why — it works.