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CES Digital Imaging Menu

February 2005
Far more intriguing than any of the wireless, roving vacuum cleaners and robotic dogs is the evidence of more than a few imaging innovations at this year's show. Much more prominent than in past years, digital imaging continues to gain both floor space and general attention at CES. While digital cameras continue to dominate the news here, much of what was shown at CES was done so "under the table" as most of the major camera manufacturers save the big announcements for next month's Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show. And while they may take the forefront, digital cameras are not the only products making headlines in the imaging world.

The Story on Storage

Perhaps no category got more attention in Las Vegas than the digital media/storage market. Flash memory prices continue to free fall as does the cost of tiny hard drives, and their capacities continue to head in the other direction. Hitachi hinted that its Microdrive might hit 10GB by year's end. The company also announced plans for smaller form factors for a variety of handheld devices. Maxtor announced that it is also looking into the network storage arena with the Shared Storage Drive. And Iomega is offering network storage devices for the home and office; its Network Attached Storage (NAS) 100d, a unit that acts as both a NAS device and a wireless access point, took center stage. Buffalo also cut the wires from its LinkStation NAS, incorporating an 802.11g Wi-Fi router in the box.

For the more imaging-centric, there is SanDisk's SD/USB device—an innovative memory card packaging technology that enables memory cards to plug into both SD card slots and USB ports. The SD card actually opens to reveal a USB connector so the sometimes-annoying need for a SD-to-USB adapter is eliminated. Capacities should start as high as 1GB.

Lexar has also gotten pretty creative when it comes to media/storage with its JumpDrive Trio product. While traditional thumb drives have proven to be a popular consumer product, deciding on what capacity is right for specific needs has been a bit tricky. The JumpDrive Trio product solves this problem by opening up to expose an SD card slot that allows the user to insert any capacity SD card, giving the JumpDrive Trio expanded capacity and flexibility. The Trio is one of first USB thumb drives to offer this "rubber band-like" storage capacity.

Wi-Fi and Wet Digicams

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