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.
Sony Corp. will boost production of CMOS image sensors from current monthly production capacity of 88,000 wafers in 300mm including those produced by the third party consigned partners to 100,000 wafers per month by March 2018. Demand for the image sensors are mounting for smartphone cameras, digital cameras and on vehicle cameras. As smartphones popular in China are getting feature-driven especially camera features to take better photos that most users post their photos on their SNS sites such as Instagram and Facebook. In China, dual camera models are getting popular with a high-quality front camera as well as the main cameras to take better selfie pictures. In order to take better selfies, the quality of the front camera is getting important. Image sensors are being used now to detect color wavelength or depth information that the human eyes cannot recognize, to be mounted on cars and for IoT devices. Sony will absorb such demand for industrial use to sell 680 billion worth sensors for fiscal 2017 ending March 2018 and its semiconductor business including LSI chips to sell 880 billion yen with profit in operation to 120 billion yen from 7.8 billion loss in the previous year.
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.