Sony is exhibiting at the CES 2020 being held in Las Vegas this week.
Sony’s president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, speaking at a press conference ahead of the exhibition’s public opening, comments: “Creativity is a powerful driving force that moves Sony forward. When it is combined with our technology, it is unstoppable.”
He introduced Sony’s latest offerings and new developments from its electronics and entertainment businesses.
Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that PlayStation 4 has now cumulatively sold through more than 106-million units worldwide, and the PlayStation Network has reached 103-million monthly active users.
“Our promise to the 100-million strong PlayStation community is to offer the biggest and best in content, and to deliver unique experiences to gamers with unprecedented speed,” he adds.
In live sports production, Sony presented the recent achievement of a joint proof of concept trial with NBC Sports and Verizon at an American football game.
David Mazza, chief technology officer of NBC Sports Group, noted the expectations for Sony’s technologies on media production for the broadcasts and wireless communication technology, which brings new possibilities to the live sports production workflow.
Yoshida adds: “It’s not an exaggeration to say that mobile has been the mega-trend of the last decade. I believe the next mega-trend will be mobility.”
He unveiled a prototype vehicle incorporating imaging and sensing technologies that contribute to safer and more reliable autonomous driving, and an array of highly-advanced electronics technologies that together deliver an in-car entertainment experience.
“Sony will continue to evolve as a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology,” he adds.
Among the products that Sony has on show at CES are:
Evolutions in Imaging and Sensing Technologies in the Realm of Mobility
“Safety Cocoon” represents a safe-zone concept which supports vehicle safety in various daily driving situations by detecting 360 degrees around the vehicle, enabling early preparation to help evade risk.
* CMOS image sensors which achieve high sensitivity, high definition and high dynamic range while also suppressing LED flicker to deliver accurate object recognition, even in situations where conventionally detection has been difficult.
* Solid State LiDAR which uses highly accurate distance measurement to gain a precise 3D grasp of real-life spaces.
* Sensor fusion technology which merges the capabilities of sensors of varied attributes to enable early and accurate recognition, even in challenging conditions such as fog, backlight and night-time driving.
* Time-of-Flight (ToF) in-cabin sensing solutions use distance measurement technology to detect and recognize people and objects inside the car. This information is used to provide an optimized infotainment system with intuitive interfaces such as gesture control and improve safety and comfort inside the vehicle.
New Mobility Proposals Pursuing Comfort and Entertainment
Sony’s efforts in the area of mobility – such as pursuing safety, reliability, comfort and entertainment – are being positioned as a new initiative, named “VISION-S”.
The first prototype incorporates Sony’s imaging and sensing technologies, as well as on-board software regulated using Sony’s AI, telecommunication and cloud technologies, in order to continuously update and evolve its features.
A total of 33 sensors, including CMOS image sensors and ToF sensors are embedded within the vehicle, in order to detect and recognize people and objects inside and outside the car, and provide highly advanced driving support.
Sony’s “360 Reality Audio” provides a deep and immersive audio experience through speakers built into each seat to encapsulate passengers in sound.
The front seats face a panoramic screen on which rich and diverse content can be enjoyed through an intuitive user interface.
Helping Creators Realize Their Dreams
Sony is bringing about a technological revolution at every stage of the creative process, from production to when content reaches audiences, in order to further inspire creators and help them deliver their work to viewers and listeners.
Transforming Live Sports Broadcasting through Technology
Advances in 5G and AI technologies are bringing new artistic and video production workflow possibilities to creators.
5G Proof of Concept Trial
Sony conducted a proof of concept trial in December 2019, by capturing video of a live American football game with a 5G-connected camera, showing how 5G can allow for more creative and untethered camerawork while also reducing set-up time and costs.
At CES, Sony’s PXW-Z450 shoulder camcorder, the Xperia 5G mmWave device, enables high-speed data uplink, while a prototype transmitter box encodes and transmits high-quality video in real-time.
AI-based Real-time Video Analytics
Sony is also proposing new video experiences that further enhance the excitement of sports through its AI-based real-time video analytics technology.
A table tennis demonstration was perforemd at CES by athletes, with the game captured on multiple devices including Sony’s HDC-P50 POV system camera and the cameras with Sony’s high-speed vision sensors.
From the image, the athletes’ postures and the flight path of the ball are instantly analyzed, and CG characters will mimic the movements based on estimations of the athletes’ postures by deep learning technology.
Empowering Creators’ Imaginations through 3D Volumetric Visual Technology
* 3D Spatial Reality Display Technology – Sony’s Eye-sensing Light Field Display uses high-speed vision sensors and face recognition algorithms to enable super high precision spatial reality experience not found in conventional naked-eye 3D displays. It can be easily applied to VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) content, providing a versatile volumetric content creation environment to creators in various fields such as entertainment and product design.
* Virtual Production Technology using 3D Volumetric Capture – The Sony booth also featured a virtual production set which transforms the way motion pictures and TV shows are made. The set has been captured from the Sony Pictures studio lot as photo-realistic volumetric data, and is shown as a background image on a Crystal LED display. The background changes in real time with the movement of the camera, ensuring the final image has the proper perspective and depth. Virtual production empowers the creator’s imagination by allowing directors, cinematographers, and actors to experience the scene as if they are really there, and provides creative flexibility where film production can take place at any time.
* New Content Creation Environment Provided by Large Screen, High Resolution Display System – As TVs continue to trend towards larger screens, and more content with higher resolutions and in HDR (Higher Dynamic Range) is created, there is a corresponding need for comprehensive, accurate evaluation of content on the professional monitors used by creators. In a professional editing room setup with a 4K x 2K Crystal LED display system (220 inch), visitors experience ongoing and future developments in the production environment for movies, TV shows, and online content.
Delivery of Emotional Experiences
Sony is showcasing new products featuring the proprietary technologies previously found in its Bravia flagship Master Series.
The 8K LED TV “Z8H” series brings the picture quality delivered its Picture Processor X1 Ultimate as well as Sony’s new “Frame Tweeter”, which delivers a Sound-from-Picture Reality experience while maintaining a slim design.
Additionally, the OLED TV “A8H” series newly features X-Motion Clarity, which draws fast-moving images clearly, while maintaining brightness. The TVs offer an experience of high picture and sound quality that make a difference on a large screen.
Sony has also announced the expansion of devices compatible with 360 Reality Audio, the immersive audio experience. At the Sony booth, visitors experience 360 Reality Audio by combining headphones and smartphones with participating streaming services, while a reference exhibit demonstrates how 360 Reality Audio can be enjoyed through a sound bar and a wireless speaker for an experience that feels just like being in a space with artists.