Japan's leading printer and photocopier maker Konica Minolta Inc. announced at the company will be acquiring Ambry Genetic Corp. - a US diagnostic company, in a deal valued at up to USD 1 billion. This is one of the largest deals for Konica Minolta and the company will jointly carry out the acquisition with the funds provided by Innovation Network Corp of Japan. Konica Minolta, which has a market value of around $4 billion, will account for 60 percent of the investment and the Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) will provide for the remaining 40 percent. Both the companies intend to enter into the precision medicine segment which is expected to have a great potential for the treatment of cancer. KMI has its own diagnostic technique, utilising a High Sensitive Tissue Testing (HSTT) technology, while Ambry excels in genetic tests for breast, colon and cancers, heart and respiratory diseases, etc. Further, the company will combine its HSTT technology and Ambry's genetic diagnostic technology to offer high-standard cancer diagnostic services and aid the development of new reagents which will help produce new medicines. Talking about the acquisition, Shoei Yamana - Chief Executive Officer of Konica Minolta Inc., said, “Together with Ambry, we will have the most comprehensive set of diagnostic technologies for mapping an individual's genetic and biochemical makeup." The companies expect to complete the necessary procedure for the deal by the end of October, 2017 and post which, Ambry will become a subsidiary of KMI while Ambry's business will be continued in the US.
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.
19th August is celebrated as World Photography Day every year. To add to the celebrations, ASUS announced the launch of its latest smartphone ZenFone Zoom S. With its slim and lightweight body, this new phone is specifically built for photography. It features dual 12MP cameras with 2.3X true optical zoom and 12X total zoom. Its SuperPixel camera provides a pixel size of 1.4 micron. It features the Sony IMX362 sensor and provides a large f/1.7 lens aperture. It also features a fouraxis Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and three-axis Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), RGB Colour-correction sensor for auto colour adjustments, 48MP Super Resolution mode that combines four native 12MP photos to create a single large image and 19 different capture modes. ASUS ZenFone Zoom S comes with a 5.5in Full HD 1920 x 1080 AMOLED display, along with 2.5D contoured Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, 14nm Octa-core @ 2.0 GHz processor. This new ZenFone comes with a 5000mAh battery that can last up to 2 days. The new ASUS ZenFone Zoom S is launched online and will be available exclusively on Flipkart at INR 26,999.