Compiled by Patrick Avenell

The Salmat Group, which currently handles all of Woolworths’ cataloguing, amongst other companies selling consumer electronics, has appointed a new CEO for its Digital business, which has been creatively named Salmat Digital.

Nick Spooner, who has previously worked at Channel 10 and Ninemsn, is the new recruit.

“Nick has an excellent track record in launching consumer-led digital media platforms for some of Australia’s leading media and communications companies,” said Salmat CEO Grant Harrod.

“Nick will be charged with further accelerating Salmat's digital strategy by leveraging our existing portfolio of digital services into our substantial client base and by launching new digital solutions to help businesses find, acquire, grow and retain customers.”

American sat nav specialist Garmin has announced that it will imminently acquire German personal navigation brand Navigon. This acquisition in intended to expand Garmin’s presence in Europe and in the overall smartphone market.

“This acquisition is a great complement to Garmin’s existing automotive and mobile business,” said Garmin president and COO Cliff Pemble.

“Navigon has invested significantly in the European automotive OEM business, and we feel that we can rapidly expand our automotive OEM footprint and capabilities through this transaction.

“With Navigon, we are also acquiring one of the top-selling navigation applications for the iPhone and Android platforms – something that we expect will help drive revenue for the combined company going forward.”

Blanco is riding the cooking and cocooning phase at the moment, though not necessarily with its ovens and cooktops. The German appliance brand, distributed in Australia by Hagemeyer, is more concerned with the kitchen sink.

Kyle Gammon, the product manager for sinks and taps, said sinks and taps that respond to the zeitgeist are also in demand right now.

“Blanco has seen increased interest in solutions that deliver more bench space, smart ways to cook, as well as beautiful presentation,” Gammon said. “Our Blanco Statura range of sinks has been designed with transverse bowls allowing for increased food preparation and bench space, even in the smallest kitchen spaces.”

“This range appeals to many people embracing apartment living. Single person households accounted for 24.3 per cent of total households in the last Australian census and this is predicted to rise to between 28 to 30 per cent by 2021, so we are expecting the demand for compact solutions to grow.”

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FujiFilm has announced what it will be launching at this year’s PMA conference in Sydney.

There are two self-described ‘Australian firsts’: one is a collaborative media surface table (“where consumers can create photo books using 360-degree multi-touch table technology”) and the other is the Instax Mini 50s (a 2-inch thick camera that produces credit card size images instantly).

Also being launched is the FinePix X100, which is described as a “much anticipated…professional compact camera [that] has the photographic world excited”.

PMA opens at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre next Friday (24 June 2011).

Also on today:

McTivia launches with Harvey Norman, providing a stack of PC/Mac to TV features
Nokia to launch ‘disruptive’ new smartphone
Maxim fireplace heater recalled