By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
SAN JOSE, CALIF.— Hoping to further propel the already strong sales of USB flash drives, a new industry alliance was officially launched last week around the diminutive data portables. The USB Flash Drive Alliance (UFDA) was established to educate consumers about USB drives and to position the devices as replacements for floppy disks and blank CDs. Sponsor members include Genesys Logic, Kingston Technology, Lexar Media, PNY Technologies and Samsung Semiconductor. Associate members include Crucial Technology, Microsoft, SimpleTech and Viking Interworks. The UFDA projects that over 5 million USB flash drives will be sold in 2003 in the United States. UFDA plans to launch an educational Web site and proselytize on behalf of the devices at events throughout the upcoming year.
TOKYO— Looking to ease the flash memory supply crunch, Toshiba and SanDisk announced an accelerated construction schedule to a NAND flash fabrication facility originally announced in December of last year. The new 300-millimeter (mm) wafer fabrication facility at Toshiba's Yokkaichi operations is expected to allow mass production in the new facility to be advanced to 2005 from the originally planned opening in 2006. Toshiba plans to start construction of the building in the first half of 2004. Once on line, the facility will be operated by FlashVision, Toshiba and SanDisk's joint venture for NAND flash memory. Non-volatile NAND flash memory is the basic component in flash memory cards.
MAHWAH, N.J.— Konica Minolta Photo Imaging announced the retail availability of a boxed CD-ROM version of Minolta DiMAGE Messenger 2.0 digital imaging software. The software allows users to automatically link written text, additional images or an audio track to specific portions of digital images, share the combination with others via e-mail or printed copy, and invite related comments to be added from the receiver. A new search feature allows specific comments to be located quickly. These annotated images can be sent to others via e-mail from within the application. Image files can be automatically resized. A DiMAGE Messenger reader can be attached to the e-mail automatically so non-user recipients of the e-mail can view a Messenger file.
JACKSON, MICH.— Seeking to drive revenue from the printing of digital images to retail, the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) launched a program to increase awareness of making prints from digital cameras at retail locations. Called the Qualified Digital Processing Center (QDPC), the program is open to active PMA members who can produce a print from a digital file on equipment on site. Retailers must provide a Web link and contact info for a staff person at each location. Once a QDPC, retailers receive Digital AdMaker 2 with royalty-free images and copy to be used in advertising. PMA will direct consumers to QDPC labs through ads, public service announcements and news programs. Members will be added to PMA's Web-based "lab finder" on its consumer site (www.prints-are-memories.com).
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.