Easy access: Big things have small beginnings, or at least Sony hopes. The company has launched the much- anticipated Transfer Jet system with a wafer of plastic at a miniscule 2 grams, and it comes out this month. The principle behind Transfer Jet is that the technology can transfer data at high speeds, rivaling USB 2.0 standards, between gadgets without cables. Simply sit a pair of properly equipped cameras next to each other and pictures can be moved seamlessly between them. The “next to” part is crucial as Transfer Jet has a range of only 3 cm. Interestingly, 3 cm is the same length of Sony’s new 8-gigabyte MS-JX8G Transfer Jet Memory Stick , which is the first device to support a proximity-wireless system. Apart from the limited range, the speed claims behind Transfer Jet are also optimistic. There is a hoped-for 560 Mps, but Sony admits the initial speeds are going to be more like 40 Mps before the technology matures.

Those hoping to buy the card, plug it into their Sony digital camera and transfer away will be disappointed. The card only serves as a go-between. A Transfer Jet-capable device loaded with one of the cards is needed to send data and another such capable device is required to receive the data. Sony has several gadgets on the way — the Vaio F laptop and TX7 and HX5V digital cameras. Moreover, Sony is not alone in backing the groundbreaking technology, as the consortium supporting Transfer Jet includes Samsung, Toshiba, Kodak, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, Pioneer and Sony Ericsson. Considering the caliber of electronics firms in the group, Transfer Jet has a decent chance of becoming a ubiquitous technology. Sony certainly has faith, with 16- and 32-gigabyte cards and, presumably, more gadgets in the pipeline.

The appeal of a wireless technology that appears at first like a dentally- challenged version of Bluetooth might be hard to see. The attraction of simplicity of use and the promise of much greater speeds in the future shows where the hype is coming from. But if you want performance now, the new Memory Stick might be best left to early adopters. Those in a rush for the future, however, aren’t taking a big risk as the card will work perfectly fine as an ordinary memory card and will cost just a bit more at a tad over ¥10,000. However, unlike an SD card, you are stuck with using it in Sony products, and not even all of those. www.sony.jp/cyber-shot/products/MS-JX8G

A singing router: Lack of imagination is one accusation that can’t be lobbed at local electronics-maker Planex. The company’s all-in-one wireless router, the MZK-WDPR , somewhat resembles a rugby ball with its oval shape and rounded ends. Apart from being as far removed in design from a standard router as functionality will permit, the Planex product also does double duty as a digital photo frame. This is not an ability normally associated with routers, wireless or otherwise. It does this in the form of its 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen, which sits in the middle of the device.

In its primary role, the MZK-WDPR handles the typical trio of B, G and N versions of wireless. As a digital photo frame, it does the usual in providing viewing of JPEG and BMP files, as well as handling MPEG -1 and -4 and AVC/H.264 video files. Moreover, it can play MP3 and WMA audio files. It comes with 2 gigabytes of internal memory and, of use for its secondary functions, a pair of 1.5-watt speakers, an FM radio tuner and joy of joys, a YouTube function. It is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7, as well as Mac OS X. The unit measures 193 × 130 × 119 mm and is 450 grams.

The device’s need to do everything is something of a disease among gadgets now, and the Planex gizmo has contracted a fair dose. Still, on the market now for ¥26,040, the MZK-WDPR offers you a wireless router that can sit on your desk and keep you entertained. www.planex.co.jp/news/release/2010/

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