At the recent Consumer Electronics Show Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo: 6502) announced the industry's first microUSB Adaptor Module for the TransferJet standard. Production will begin in March and will be targeted for smartphones, tablets, and the PC peripheral market.
The astounding thing about TransferJet is that it can transfer a one-minute HD movie in about three seconds, and it takes about two minutes to transfer a full DVD-sized movie. At CES there were a few demos showcasing how easy TransferJet is to use among tablets, smartphones, cameras, and notebooks. Basically, you simply pick the data you want to transfer, tap the two devices together (after each device gives permission), and voila, Done. It really does take just a few moments before you're able to watch the video on a completely new device.
The rate of transfer is about 375Mbit/s, which is about 8 times faster than WiFi, and about 1,000 times better than NFC. For security and functional reasons, the data transfer only works up to 5 centimeters before the devices are disconnected. The farther the devices are from one another, the slower the transfer speed.
Semico Research Corp. recently released an NFC report and had this to say about TransferJet:
TransferJet is a close proximity wireless technology with the ability to transfer large files between two devices. It has a very high data rate; it takes less than 2 seconds to transfer 100MB, and less than 2 minutes to transfer a DVD. TransferJet uses inductive coupling, similar to NFC, to make the connection.
The same chip is used in both the sending and the receiving devices. Unlike NFC, TransferJet does not incorporate a Secure Element chip, so it is not going to be used for payment applications. The technology is being targeted at transferring and streaming media files between cell phones and TVs, cameras and printers, or computer to computer.
Toshiba and Sony are currently manufacturing TransferJet chips. Sony and Epson have released a few products with TransferJet, but it is a new technology that has yet to gain much traction. However, the TransferJet Consortium has demonstrated prototypes that integrate TransferJet, wireless charging and NFC in one device.
And of course, Toshiba did indicate that its roadmap does include plans for integrating NFC and TransferJet into its Free-Positioning Wireless Charger, which it also demonstrated at CES.
Previously, wireless chargers could only charge one device per coil, and the position of your smartphone had to be exact. Toshiba is now offering a chipset with a 2-coil transmitter that enables two smartphones to charge at once in any position. This means you and your friend can just toss your phones onto the table at work, and they'll automatically start charging.
We're finally at the point where we can start abandoning all those wires we have lying around our offices and living rooms. I don't know about you, but I have two boxes full of "just in case" wires sitting in a corner that I can't wait to ditch.