Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba Join Forces for Planned LCD Venture

  • Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi announced they plan to merge their small screen divisions into one liquid crystal behemoth, to be known as Japan Display.
  • “The deal could create the world’s biggest maker of LCDs for mobile phones and cameras,” reports the New York Times, “with 22 percent of the market for small and midsize screens, according to DisplaySearch, an industry research firm.”
  • “By integrating each partner company’s wealth of display expertise and know-how, I am confident the new company will become a driving force for technological innovation and new growth in the rapidly expanding market,” says Howard Stringer, Sony’s chief executive.
  • The Japanese government has reportedly encouraged its nation’s manufacturers to consolidate as a means of competing with rivals such as South Korea’s Samsung, which is presently more profitable than any Japanese electronics manufacturer.
  • The venture must gain approval from antitrust regulators in Japan in order to move forward.

Toshiba Glasses-Free 3D Laptop Available this Month

  • CNET offers a largely positive hands-on review of Toshiba’s new glasses-free 3D laptop, the Qosmio F755.
  • A prototype of the 3D laptop was awarded CNET’s “Best of CES” award in January and Toshiba wasted little time bringing the concept to market (the post includes a video review of the prototype from CES 2011).
  • The $1,699 Qosmio F755 will be available in the U.S. starting August 16.
  • Toshiba’s new laptop “has a 15-inch 1080p display that uses special eye-tracking software to track the viewer’s head movement and adjust the stereoscopic image accordingly, via the built-in Webcam.”
  • Features include an Intel Core i7-2630QM CPU, 6GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GT540M, a 750GB hard drive and a Blu-ray-RW drive.
  • According to CNET: “Blu-ray content in 3D looked excellent, but took a resolution hit. Like a 3D TV, it requires a few moments to orient your eyes, especially if you’re not used to watching 3D content. But the eye-tracking allowed for a reasonable amount of freedom of movement, and the 3D effect worked from an off-axis side view.”

Yahoo! Connected TV Claims 8 Million Devices and 140 Apps

  • Yahoo! Connected TV has over 140 apps and will be introducing the Y! Connected TV Store to sell apps on a 70/30 percent revenue sharing model.
  • Yahoo! made a widget development kit available that provides publishers the opportunity to build new apps.
  • The company is rolling out broadcast interactivity that tailors ads based on viewer interests.
  • Device control technology allows television interactivity with smartphones and tablets.
  • Watch in 2012 for the platform to appear in new TVs by Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, LG and Vizio.

Toshiba Releases its Thrive Tablet with Honeycomb

  • Add another new tablet to the growing list of available devices… Toshiba began taking pre-orders last week for its 10.1-inch Thrive Tablet, expected to hit retail shelves in early July.
  • The $430 Wi-Fi-only 8GB tablet runs on Android 3.1 Honeycomb and is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip.
  • PC Magazine reports there will also be 16GB ($480) and 32GB ($580) models available.
  • Inputs include: USB 2.0, Mini USB, HDMI and SD Card.
  • Features include: Multitouch 1280×800 LED display, front and rear cameras and a replaceable battery.
  • According to a PC World review this week, interoperability may be what makes the Thrive stand out from the pack: “The Thrive is the first Honeycomb tablet to include a full-size SD Card slot. None of this microSD card nonsense for Toshiba; ditto for only having a micro- or mini-USB port. By including the SD Card slot and USB port, the company recognizes the need for interoperability among devices. And only with interoperability can a tablet begin to replace a laptop in your arsenal.”
  • In related news, Hewlett-Packard also recently announced its first media tablet, the 9.7-inch webOS-powered TouchPad. The Wi-Fi-only TouchPad is priced at $500 (16GB) and $600 (32GB).

Toshiba Introduces Two New Camileo Pocket Camcorders

  • Toshiba recently announced two new additions to its Camileo line of pocket digital camcorders.
  • The 3-ounce Camileo B10 ($120) offers FullHD 1080P and a 16x digital zoom.
  • The 4.7-ounce Camileo P100 ($180) also offers FullHD 1080P, plus a 5x optical zoom and 8x advanced zoom in video mode.
  • Both are Windows- and and Mac-compatible.
Is the demise of the Flip good news for the Camileo line and others such as GoPro, Creative Vado, Kodak Playfull and Sony Bloggie?

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