More Memory Stick Expansion Modules Planned
Sony has plans to release several Memory Stick expansion modules this year. In addition to the Bluetooth Infostick covered recently, they have also developed working prototypes of digital camera, GPS and fingerprint recognition modules which are planned for market introduction in 2001.
The camera module is 3 x .94 x .6 inches at .44 ounces and is equipped with a 100,000-pixel CMOS image sensor capable of taking 332 x 288 pixel photos, though they don't say in what format. The GPS module is 4.4 x 1.2 x .45 inches and 1 ounce and has a 16-channel parallel receiver.
The fingerprint recognition module uses biometrics technology to recognize the fingerprint of the authentic user for secure authorization of electronic transactions and access to protected information. It is 2 x .84 x .11 inches and weighs .14 ounces. It has a false rejection rate less than 1% and a false acceptance rate less than 0.1%. By the way, all these sizes and weights are for the working prototypes but the final versions may be different.
Next generation modules also under development but not planned for release this year include advanced GPS and camera modules capable of operating independently. A microphone module is also under development and they are considering TV tuner, modem, and LAN modules.
Sony has a set of specifications for Memory Stick expansion modules to allow companies to develop for it, though at this point all of the development appears to be going on at Sony alone. For some reason, they are discouraging companies from developing expansion modules that combine memory storage and other functions. As the official Memory Stick site says, "To avoid function overlapping with existing Memory Sticks, the maximum memory area provided for free reading and writing by the host should be limited to 512 KB."
Next Generation Modules
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