IDC Japan recently announced that in the first quarter, the sales of augmented reality and virtual reality headsets have increased by 70%. VR headset shipment rose 70% to 2.242 million units while AR devices gained 77% to 38,000 units. The market share of the companies are as follows: Samsung Electronics captured 22%, followed by Sony 19%, HTC from Taiwan 9%. While in the AR devices - Microsoft took 28%, Epson 19% and Intel 16%. In the Japanese market, Epson took 75% of total AR headset shipments and Sony 84% of VR devices' total units. IDC Japan forecasts that the sale of AR & VR headset in 2021 will grow 10x as compared to that in 2016, mainly due to rapid growth of VR terminals with reduced retail prices, focussed on consumer use. The company estimates that VR terminals will take up 73% of the VR and AR combined market. On the other hand, the IDC predicts that the AR sets will be used mainly by business sectors, such as the healthcare, manufacture and product design segments. The business-use AR devices took 68% of all AR shipments in 2016, which will be 83.3% in 2021. In the Japanese market, the combined shipments will be 1.05 million units in 2021 to grow nearly 9 times from about 120,000 units in 2016.
Konica Minolta and Screen Graphic Solutions (Screen GA) have strengthened their collaboration in the commercial digital printing area. The companies plan to promote hybrid workflows and increase user-friendliness in offset printing and digital printing. Plans also include further enhancement of efficiency, extending business opportunities, and delivering new value in the commercial printing industry. The seamless hybrid workflows will be achieved by improving data exchange between Screen GA's Equios and the Accurio portfolio of Konica Minolta. The companies have improved data exchange in the Job Definition Format between the Equios universal workflow systems and the Accurio inkjet and toner digital presses. The improved data : exchange allows users to directly carry out digital printing from the Equios, achieving seamless operation that features colour management and finishing. The solution increases commercial printing efficiency in a production; environment and provides new business opportunities by taking full advantage of ondemand printing. Screen GA business development division head and corporate officer Toru Kawada said the company has continuously improved the Equios universal workflow systems that combine CTP workflow systems with cutting-edge inkjet printing technologies.
Nikon Corp. has released a new FX-format telephoto zoom lens, AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR for full-frame D-SLR cameras. The lens employs a stepping motor to the AF drive to realise high speed and quiet shutter release, also important to videography. The lens is equipped with optical vibration reduction (VR) function giving about 4.5-step advantage. It is also equipped with a SPORT mode to photograph fast-moving subjects. The lens consists of 18 elements in 14 groups, including one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element to correct chromatic aberrations. The closest shooting distance is 1.2m for the entire zoom. The lens is also designed as ‘antidust and antisplash’. The maximum diameter is 80.5mm, length 146m and weighs about 680g. Suggested list price: 94,000 yen.