Tokyo, Japan - Sony Corporation today announced that the "Memory Stick" format has gained support from an additional nineteen companies in Japan, the United States, and Europe to license its hardware specification. These companies will now work with Sony to finalize definitive agreements.
Together with the six companies announced in September (Aiwa Co., Ltd., Fujitsu Ltd., Kenwood Corporation, Pioneer Corporation, Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., and Sharp Corporation), the total number of companies to license the "Memory Stick" to date are twenty-four for hardware specification, and one (Fujitsu) for media specification. As a result, "Memory Stick" applications will broaden substantially to encompass the automotive and telecommunications industries, while further enhancing the areas of consumer electronics and computers. Commercialization of "Memory Stick" compliant devices is anticipated from the above companies, and this is certain to further promote the use of the "Memory Stick" IC recording media.
"As more and more businesses and consumers depend on Adobe PDF for exchanging documents, we are pleased to know that Sony is developing media as flexible and portable as PDF," said David Lehr, Senior Business Development Manager at Adobe Systems Incorporated. "'Memory Stick' is ideal for moving information and entertainment from one device to another and shows much promise in the ever-evolving electronic device market. We see this as a boon for Adobe PDF users and look forward to future developments from Sony in the portable media area."
"Memory Stick will be a very important and flexible solution for use in future Digital Music Devices," said Guy Demuynck, President of Philips Business Group Audio. "It will enable Philips to offer consumer products with great portability, upgradeability and ease-of-use."
"We regard 'Memory Stick' as one of the most remarkable media for our input and output devices, such as digital cameras and printers," said Haruo Nakamura, Senior General Manager of Personal Products & Design Center, and TP R&D Center at Seiko Epson Corporation. "We have no doubt that Memory Stick will be a promising media in the home electronics industry."
"It is good to see that Sony is working with its partners to develop technologies for secure and easy-to-use digital media for distribution of images, data, and audio via the 'Memory Stick' architecture," said Keith Plant, Vice President of Business Development at Western Digital Corporation. "The industry is still in the early stages of development in terms of digital devices and the method of distributing electronic content to businesses and consumers. The success of future devices will depend on an easy-to-access, secure format that meets the needs of consumers. We look forward to working closely with Sony to provide solutions for our customers utilizing their Memory Stick technology for our future products."
"Memory Stick is well suited for electronic music distribution as well as for transferring of images over digital networks," said Christiane Schwartz, Director of Innovation at France Telecom. "France Telecom is planning a feasibility study with Sony to jointly study the services using the 'Memory Stick'. The purpose of this study is to assess the added-value brought to the customers by using this technology together with France Telecom's services."
"Quite a few of the added-value features in automobiles today are electronics," said Dr. Falk Beil, Group Senior Manager of Infotainment Department at Volkswagen AG. "The array of new ideas that Sony has demonstrated over their "Memory Stick" is very challenging for in-car applications. Due to its small size and easy operation, this sophisticated IC media is best suited for in-car usage. It can serve in connecting the home and in-car environment in a way consumers perceive clearly. With 'Memory Stick', Volkswagen and Sony will jointly develop new exciting technologies which brings great benefit to our customers."
Official statement from Audi AG: "Audi is looking forward to developing a wide variety of new applications with Sony. 'Memory Stick' is a promising media for in-car entertainment and information systems. It manages to bring your home and portable applications easily into your car environment. It is an ideal means of transferring and sharing data, which makes it so useful in the car. Digital networking is the eminent future of the car industry and Audi is committed to offering these advantages to the consumers."
About the "Memory Stick"
"Memory Stick" is a compact-sized IC recording media incorporating the rewritable flash memory technology. Along with its compact-size and stick shape, the "Memory Stick" features a reliable connector structure and a locking switch to prevent accidental data deletion. All of these features make "Memory Stick" the best suited media for a wide variety of applications.
Since the introduction of the "Memory Stick" in September 1998, Sony has developed and introduced a number of compliant products, including Handycam digital video cameras, Cyber-shot digital still cameras, VAIO notebook and desktop computers, CyberFrame digital photo frames, digital photo printers, and voice recorders. In December 1999*, Sony will commercialize the "Memory Stick" Walkman together with the "MagicGate Memory Stick" (32/64MB) with robust copyright protection technology to offer a new type of digital audio application such as music distribution over the Internet.
*For Japanese market. For the US and Europe, commercialization is planned for the beginning of year 2000.
The "Memory Stick" is currently available in storage capacities of 4MB, 8MB, 16MB, 32MB, and 64MB, with 256MB slated for introduction within the year 2001.
With today's announcement, the "Memory Stick" will enter a new stage of growth. Along with the cooperation of the supporting companies, Sony will continue to actively promote the broad use of the "Memory Stick" to a variety of industries as the IC recording media for the coming digital network era.
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $56 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999.
Sony's Home Page URL: http://www.sony.co.jp/