TransferJet opens new front in wireless CE wars

22 Feb 2008

With equipment vendors already taking sides in the short-range wireless wars to connect all the media devices in the 21st-century living room, Sony has characteristically decided to go the proprietary route with its own close-proximity wireless transfer technology.

It's called TransferJet, and it promises high-speed transfer of large data files like photos and high definition images between consumer electronic devices - presumably ones manufactured by Sony.

At a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show 2008 in Las Vegas in January, Sony said TransferJet removes the need for complex setup and operation - just touching a TV set with a digital camera enables photos to be instantaneously displayed on the TV screen. Users can also listen to music files downloaded on their mobile phones by tapping it against a TransferJet-enabled portable audio player.

Sony also says users can prevent external data leakage by registering their electronic devices to enable TransferJet to recognize specific products.

TransferJet is already being compared to other short-range wireless standards vying for the CE space, although some differences are already apparent. TransferJet claims a faster data speed than WiMedia-based standards like Wireless USB and Bluetooth 3.0 - 560 Mbps vs around 480 Mbps. However, W-USB and Bluetooth 3.0 have considerably greater range (three meters at 480 Gbps), while TransferJet's range is just three centimeters, making it more like a consumer-electronics version of NFC. Sony says the low-power approach mitigates interference problems. Also, performance doesn't suffer when multiple users get on the system.

Whether TransferJet appears anywhere other than Sony products is anyone's guess, but it does add to the increasingly cluttered landscape of short-range wireless technologies vying for dominance in the living room.

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