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Rundown: Sony at CES


The new year is a wonderful time for new devices, and Sony made sure they aren’t left behind as regards announcements. This year, at CES, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai opened up with a quick word on “The Interview,” and the tremendous support it got from both inside and outside the company. Hirai then went over the big picture, going over the performance of Sony’s different concerns in 2014. Gaming, Sony Pictures, Imaging, mobile, and audio were all highlighted, with great developments in each, and more promised in 2015.

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PS View, for one, which has been in limited beta since late last year, will be made public in the first quarter of this year, allowing users to have access to a lot of live TV, as well as other on-demand content from wherever they are. In imaging, Sony has remained a solid player in the digital imaging scene, with technology surpassing what the human eye can perceive.

The increasing overlap of consumer technology and the automotive space is another thing Sony intends to focus on this year. With an already impressive array of different sensors that can be used to make your daily commute just a little more convenient, Sony is looking to take the lead in sensing technology in automobiles.

The LIFE SPACE UX is another field Sony is hoping to strengthen this year. By removing the physical boundaries that enclose the tools we use for entertainment, they hope to give a much more immersive experience. Music streaming from the ceiling, images right on your walls, and other similar tech are common themes here, and devices such as their Ultra Short-Throw and portable Short Throw projectors meet the imaging needs, while the LED Speaker Bulb and Symphonic Light Speaker handle the audio.

The Symphonic Light Speaker is of particular interest, with its distinct lamp form factor, and glass that actually makes sound for a unique combination of design and functionality unlike anything else available right now. It echoes Sony’s desire to make devices that aren’t just functional, but evoke an emotional response as well.

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Digital imaging is going to be a strong focus for the company in 2015. The current generation of their flagship mirrorless cameras come with 5-axis image stabilization, for amazing low-light and extreme zoom performance, allowing users to take the best shots, no matter the conditions available.

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They intend to further bolster their already-strong camera portfolio, Sony announced that they would be launching even more lenses by springtime this year, to better cater to their users’ needs.

4k content creation and delivery is also an important part of Sony’s 2015. Thanks to the huge adoption rate of consumers, the company feels that the time is right to offer more options to both produce 4k content, as well as increase the offerings available in Ultra-High Definition.

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Sony’s X900c Series of TVs gives 4k resolution at an impressive .2 inch thin; thinner even than their Xperia series of devices. They also announced that 2015 Bravia devices will be running the new X1 $k image processor that upscales all content shown through it by not only analyzing the image, but the bitrate of the source as well. It was also announced that all the new Bravia TVs will be running the Android TV operating system.

4k handicam

While professionals have had the means to produce 4k content for some time now, Sony now puts that same capability in the hands of regular consumers. Apart from the current generation of Sony’s 4k-capable mobile devices, They also revealed a 4k handycam that’s 30%smaller, 20% lighter and 50% more affordable than its predecessor, at USD 1,000.

4k action cam

The action camera was also featured at the event, with skateboard legend Tony Hawk showing off just what you can do with such a small camera packing all that resolution.

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Trips to the halfpipe, snowy mountain slopes and the surf all proved just the kind of device the Sony Action Cam is, particularly when shooting in 4k.

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The most exciting piece of news for us here, though, was the announcement of a new Walkman device, the NW-ZX2 high-res audio player. Sony has been in the lead in high-resolution audio for some time now, and they hope to bring their wealth of expertise to the discerning audiophile on the go. The portable device promises high-resolution audio, with the ability to upscale existing music to a higher quality, in a device that fits handily in a pocket.

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Sony also introduced the LDAC HD wireless audio technology, which promises greater data transmission rates when compared to standard Bluetooth audio standards, giving you uncompromising audio quality, without the wires.

sony 10Imagine having HD music streaming to wireless devices in your home, and you’ll have an idea as to just what Sony has envisioned with these.

Mobile phones also got some stage time, and while no new mobile phones were announced, Xperia users can rejoice as the Android Lollipop rollout for select devices has been announced, with the first ones being available starting next week.

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The Smart Watch 3 and a few other wearables, such as the Smart B-trainer, which not just keeps track of your run, but gives you words of encouragement, were also announced at the event.
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That’s about it for Sony from CES this year, but 2015 has just started, so keep an eye on them, I’m sure they have a lot more planned over the course of the next 360 days.