Toshiba is working on a new robot that doubles as a voice-operated remote for all your appliances. At a size of 8 x 11-inches and a weight of only 5 lb., ApriPoko learns by watching and questioning your actions, such as “What did you just do?”
Talk back to the bot (“I turned on the stereo”) and he will memorize your actions. When you want that stereo turned on the next time, he will happily oblige with an IR signal. Think of the implications in years to come for the prototype.
“I got a beer from the fridge.”
“I flushed the toilet.”
“I called my boss and told him I was very sick.”
“I have to go see my mother-in-law.”
Well, with the news that HD DVD had been killed by Toshiba, you knew that it was only a matter of time before the Xbox 360 HD DVD player was eliminated as well, right? Well, the time has come, as Microsoft sent us the following update:
As a result of recent decisions made by Toshiba, Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD. Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market. As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.
Okay, well, shouldn’t that be “HD DVD was one of the several ways…”? So, now that we know that the Xbox 360 HD DVD player add-on will no longer be manufactured, if you really really want one, they can now be had for $49.99. That is 75% off of it’s original price, for those of you keeping track. So if you want a piece of recently outdated technology, now is your chance.
Read More | Bloomberg
It’s official. Toshiba announced today that the end is here. In a public statement, Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO said, “While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.”
The company will cease selling their products to retail dealers by the end of March, but promises to continue its product support to those who have already purchased HD products. They will continue to market standard DVD players and DVRs. Toshiba will now concentrate on other tech that supports hi-def, including NAND processing, next gen CPUs, small form factor hard disk drives, and those that utilize wireless and incryption technology.
Read More | Toshiba Press Release
Toshiba has announced that it will stop using its HD DVD format. Since this company tried harder than most of the others, this undoubtedly marks the end of the disc war. The official announcement will probably be made in the next several days.
“We have entered the final stage of planning to make our exit from the next generation DVD business,” said a spokesperson from Toshiba who wished to remain anonymous. The company estimates they will lose hundreds of millions of dollars because of the concession.
Read More | Reuters
Toshiba, never admitting defeat, has once again cut its prices up to 50% to promote its HD DVD players. Their entry level players now carry an MSRP of ~$150.00. Expect an onslaught of various media-type commercials within the next few weeks. While we continue to hear rumors concerning the HD/Blu-ray War, we think we will just bide our time and revel in the news that now almost anyone can afford a player. Toshiba is still offering 5 free DVDs with purchase.
Read More | USA Today
Toshiba was kind enough to show us their full range of HD DVD-capable laptops. In the video, we go over the Qosmio $3,000 system which features a full 1080p screen (and looks simply gorgeous) and HDMI output. You can output in straight 1080p to an HD TV over the HDMI out, to glorious, CEC-compatible result. It’s also the world’s first notebook to include a rewritable HD DVD, which may or may not be terribly relevant given the recent mullings over HD DVD.
When I asked about their impression on that though they said they have absolutely no intent of giving up the fight and very much intend to continue to support the format.
Also check out the video to see the Satellite A205—a $899 laptop with an integrated HD DVD player, though no HDMI.
Warner Bros. announced they were becoming an exclusively Blu-Ray studio this weekend, apparently completely pulling the rug on the HD-DVD camp. Said a Toshiba press release:
TOKYO, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/—Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.’ decision to abandon HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD. As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor.
We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have outsold Blu-ray in the US market in 2007.
Toshiba‘s one of the HD-DVD founders and following this announcement, they pulled their CES conference entirely. A bit of a death knell ringing for the HD-DVD side, with rumors swirling that Microsoft may be pulling their HD-DVD support as well.
It makes the free HD-DVD press backpack/roller bags a bit of a sad affair.
Toshiba has a duo of Portege M700 Tablets PCs that include touchscreen LED backlit displays. The M700s have the company’s 3rd gen EasyGuard Technology, 12-inch diagonal widescreens with anti-glare, Intel Centrino Pro processors, digital pen capability, and wireless and Ethernet support. They also have a DVD SuperMulti drives and a Webcam. The M700-S7001X carries a price of $1,699.00 with 1024MB memory and features Windows XP Tablet Edition 2005, while the M700-S7002X goes for $1,799.00 with 2048MB of memory and Windows Vista Business (32-bit.)
Read More | Toshiba
Toshiba has announced that, as early as March, their new Super Charge ion Batteries will be launching for industrial use. The new SCiB batteries have roughly the same capacity as current generation Lithium Ion batteries, but are able to reach 90% charge in under 5 minutes. Once these filter down to consumer gadgets it will mean laptops and cell phones able to charge in mere minutes rather than the hours that both devices currently take.
The new batteries can be charged 5,000 times without damage (about 10 years of average use) and don’t have any weight or heat disadvantages that existing Lithium Ion batteries. While the new SCiB will be available in March their initial use will be industrial or automotive. It’s currently unknown how long it will be before Toshiba releases smaller form factors aimed at consumer electronics.