Sony has introduced a short-range, wireless technology that appears to be a direct competitor to the new wireless USB standard, which has far wider industry support.
TransferJet offers a theoretical maximum data-transfer rate of 560Mbps in the 4.48GHz band, although its real-world application will see rates closer to 375Mbps. It operates only at a distance of 3cm or less, because of its low-powered nature.
Wireless USB, on the other hand, offers a maximum rate of 480Mbps within a distance of 3m but, as it uses a variety of spectrum bands, it could theoretically suffer from greater radio interference as a result.
Sony is pushing TransferJet, which it unveiled last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as ideal for transferring data from devices like mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders to television sets, where images or footage will be displayed simply by touching the host device to the TV. Another application suggested by Sony is downloading music over a cellular network, then transferring the content by touch from the phone to a personal music player.
Sony seems to be the only major manufacturer that is not lining up to implement wireless USB. However, the company is notorious for creating its own proprietary rivals to widely accepted standards, possibly to encourage customers to buy further Sony products for easy compatibility. The decision to use Sony-specific Memory Stick flash cards rather than SD or CompactFlash cards in its devices is a classic example of this practice.
It is not yet known when Sony might start integrating TransferJet into its products.