Nikon signed a multi-year license agreement for access to WiLAN

wi-fiNikon is probably planing to push built-in Wi-Fi to new camera models - they just signed a multi-year license agreement with WiLAN which will provide Nikon with access to WiLAN technology for use in Wi-Fi-enabled products. Several Nikon Coolpix models already have built-in Wi-Fi (for example the Coolpix  S50c). It is interesting to see if Nikon will add Wi-Fi to their DSLR models.

For the full press release, click the link below:

OTTAWA, Canada – October 29, 2009 – Wi-LAN Inc. (“WiLAN” or the “Company”) (TSX:WIN), a leading technology innovation and licensing company, is pleased to announce that Nikon Corporation (“Nikon”) has signed a multi-year license agreement for wireless technologies. This license agreement provides Nikon with access to WiLAN technology for use in Wi-Fi-enabled products.

Nikon has been a pioneer in optical technology around the world since 1917. Today, Nikon is a global leader in the manufacture and sale of precision optical equipment and imaging products including a range of professional digital single lens reflex (DSLR) and its COOLPIX line of consumer-focused digital cameras. Wi-Fi connectivity has been available in select Nikon digital cameras since 2005.

“Nikon, a technology leader in the digital imaging industry and well-respected consumer electronics OEM from Japan, is a welcome addition to our licensee family,” said Andrew Parolin, Vice President, Wireless Technologies. “Securing this license with Nikon reinforces the value of our wireless technology in the Wi-Fi market, one of our key technology markets.”

The specific terms of the agreements are confidential. This license agreement brings the total number of new companies licensed in the fourth quarter to seven, the total number of companies that have licensed wireless technologies to date to 79 and the total number of companies that have licensed WiLAN technologies to 202.

About WiLAN
WiLAN, founded in 1992, is a leading technology innovation and licensing company. WiLAN has licensed its intellectual property to over 200 companies worldwide. Inventions in our portfolio have been licensed by companies that manufacture or sell a wide range of communication and consumer electronics products including 3G cellular handsets, Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, Wi-Fi/DSL routers, xDSL infrastructure equipment, WiMAX base stations and digital televisions. WiLAN has a large and growing portfolio of more than 720 issued or pending patents. For more information:

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  • Anonou

    More Coolpix crap for you.

  • alex

    or for CLS. remember that patent which didn’t specify the type of wireless connection?

  • Patrick

    I wouldn’t read much into this regarding Nikon’s future plans. My guess is that WiLAN threatened to sue for patent infringement and Nikon took a license rather than litigate.

  • plug

    Gosh, I’m sure that all this will improve my photography.

  • WoutK89

    Finally, internet on my DSLR, so I will never miss the latest rumors at Nikon rumors 😛

  • Db

    “WiLAN has a large and growing portfolio of more than 720 issued or pending patents”

    So do they actually invent stuff (Oh wait WiFi is from CSIRO) or are they a patent troll/retailer?

    • soap

      WiLAN “invents” proprietary standards and patent trolls people who dare not use them.

      IF Nikon is willing getting into bed with them it is a bad sign, as we’re looking at a Nikon offering which does not “play well with others”.

      I assume, though, (as an above poster postulated) that Nikon is taking protective action and covering their ass through a license deal. (Frickin Cost of Doing Business)

  • Adam

    Now I can tweet while I take photos from my DSLR!!!

  • I just attended a Product Introduction session on the Canon D7, and I’ll tell you this, when it comes to bodies Canon is moving in the right direction and Nikon had better get their sh** together or will all be sporting white lenses.

    WiFi, 1080p, Muti-level cross-point focusing, etc to name a few I could buy in a 2 grand canon I can’t get in Nikon’s top of the line.

    • Tobi

      I rather have the High ISO anyday!

      • I agree, however at a certain point it becomes mum. I’m still running around on ISO800 with a f1.2 lens and it works very well. However I would love to get good results from 1600, or 3200 ISO but now a days most cameras are already past that.

        As I’m in the market for a new camera I really don’t see ISO or MP a big factor in comparison to features that improve the ease of my photography.

  • Tim

    Well actually I’d think Nikon will be adding some of the plug in goodies like WiFi into their next generation dslrs. Makes sense to me. I’m not sure how much further the pixel race will go as Nikon pushes the contraints of the sensors size / high sensitivity / hi res ability. We probably don’t need a great deal more pixels anyway (18mo is great for a dps). And AF seems pretty good too. So how to improve a camera? Built n WiFi. Built in GPS. Built in flash commander (a la SU800). I know this is available on the D700 / D300 but not the pro series cameras. They’ll probably dream up some other ‘must have’ features. It won’t make for a better picture-taking machine, but it will improve the value of the overall pacakge. Just my two cents worth.

    • T140Rider

      I have a D700 and a CLS Setup. I find that using the Flash Commander via the hotshoe far easier and more flexible when out on a shoot or in the studio.

      Using the Hotshoe commander is IMHO a no brainer and not something I’d think is a must have in my next Body which will probable be a D3X replacment. Macro shooting with a FX body is much better than with a DX one even though I still use my 200mm Macro on a DX body for some things.

      WiFi is another non critical thing to have in a camera. I GPS Tag my pictures with a GPS receiver that resides in my camera bag and the data gets converged when I upload it onto my mac.

  • Etienne

    Could also be very valuable for built-in WTA type applications. I’d pay more for a dslr that saves to CF and at the same time pumps whatever I’ve shot to a notebook for instant review/backup. Heck, just in terms of sports shooters this would make a huge difference if you don’t have to worry about an additional bit of gear clipped to your belt. Same with GPS for landscapers.

    Technology wise, think of all the things that have moved from being additional add-ons to being built in. Modems and card readers on notebooks for instance.

    The market is moving away from simply just looking at what takes a good picture – as much as some would disagree they have that bit pretty much covered. The high end dslrs are first and foremost BUSINESS tools. Anything a manufacturer can do to make it a better tool in terms of convenience and workflow than their competitor’s offering is going to get them more market share.

    • soap

      I assume you mean “in body” as Nikon already has GPS and WiFi solutions.

      • Etienne

        Your assumption of “in body” is correct :D.

  • bwyan

    Whats with the “Coolpix crap for you” and “I’m sure that all this will improve my photography” kind of talk? What did you guys say when they introduced auto focus? I never understood why nifty features that exists in cheap P&S cameras and even mobile phones, can’t also be implemented in DSLR’s. My impression is that most P&S shooters don’t know that those functions are there even, its the enthusiasts and the pro that could use a little help in busy situations. I know that some features make it to the DSLR’s but its too slow and they choose strange things. Why implement auto horizon before GPS? Wi-fi, so you could shoot tethered without being cable connected, maybe even get the pic on your iPhone (then we can stop the swivel-screen debate;) face recognition should be a natural part of any auto focus system, why can’t we have the pano-stitcher help on today’s DSLR’s? Before I even got the tripod legs out my mate had done a pano on his phone!? Embarrassing! (yeah, yeah there’s a difference in picture quality, but that’s not the point!) Want time lapse on that super-camera of yours? Buy an separate remote pls! And don’t give me the “more things that could go wrong” speech pls! I don’t have the numbers, but it would surprise me if the main cause of failure is due to “horizon-level-module-failure” rather than mechanical parts as shutter blinds etc.

    Bring on the good stuff!

    Puh…that felt good;)

  • Adam

    I predict….in the future if professional video cameras do not drop price and vDSLR becomes very popular among indie film makers…then….we will see DSLR turn into RED kind of camera where almost everything is customizable.

    Instead of a battery pack, we get a battery grip which gives better hand hold support for video and allows a swivel LCD attachment.

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