Sony today (in time for CES 2001) announced a new prototype "InfoStick module" (same form factor and connectors as memory stick) which provides a Bluetooth communications module for compatible hardware. In theory (in future digital cameras) a module such as this would allow your camera to communicate directly with (say) a digital wallet type device carried on your belt, your mobile phone or even a pair of Bluetooth video goggles, the possibilties are endless...

Full press release (Japanese), rough translation:

Presenting the "in development" InfoStick Bluetooth module by which the world of the memory stick is expanded to the wireless network.

The cordless network is achieved using the memory stick slot.

Sony have developed a prototype InfoStick Bluetooth module which is compatible with the memory stick expansion module (tentative name) specification, this prototype will be exhibited at the 2001 International CES held in Las Vegas on January 6. The memory stick expansion module enables new hardware functionality to be added by inserting such an extension module into the memory stick slot of equipment, the module adopts the same terminal shape as memory stick and has similar basic specifications.


InfoStick Bluetooth module (prototype)

The InfoStick Bluetooth module developed at this time achieves a wireless network connection by using Bluetooth technology. The prototype module contains the Bluetooth singal processor, control, memory stick interface and memory controller on a single LSI chip, additionally inside the module is the RF module, flash memory, antenna and EEPROM.

A wireless network for data exchange can be quickly established with products such as digital cameras, personal computers or even Bluetooth enabled televisions. Bluetooth has a range of about 10 m and a bandwidth of 1 Mbps.

The memory stick expansion modules are now in development as four products: "Camera module", "GPS module", "Fingerprint collation module" and the new "Bluetooth module".

Specifications of InfoStick Bluetooth module

Dimensions 21.5 x 55 x 2.8 mm
Weight About 4 g
Transport frequency 2.4 GHz
Forwarding rate (bandwidth) 1 Mbps
Transmission electrical power 0 DBm (class 3)

(subject to specification change)