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Sony Unveils Prototype Car Vision-S At CES 2020

Sony is one of the world’s largest consumer electronics companies in both scale and scope. With a product portfolio encompassing everything from hi-fi audio, television, photography, videography and smartphones, the last thing you’d expect is for the company to expand into… automobiles.

The Sony Vision-S prototype self-driving car. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

Sony is one of the world’s largest consumer electronics companies in both scale and scope. With a product portfolio encompassing everything from hi-fi audio, television, photography, videography and smartphones, the last thing you’d expect is for the company to expand into… automobiles.

But that’s exactly what they’ve done this CES 2020. At a keynote amidst their exhibition booth, Sony showed off its achievements of the past, and its roadmap for the future. New PlayStation 5. New wireless home audio solutions. New 8K televisions. New smart, personalised surround sound tailored for your unique ear structure.

Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

Right at the end of the presentation, a new Sony Car.

Dubbed the Vision-S, it is Sony’s way of demonstrating its R&D capabilities and its intention to pivot to the automobile market.

The rear of the Sony Vision-S. At the bottom of the rear door, to the right of the wheel, it reads “Sony Design”. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

The prototype contains 33 sensors on board designed and developed by Sony. These include CMOS image sensors and a Solid State LiDAR system that work together with Sony’s sensor fusion technology to deliver reliable sensing and safety features even in challenging conditions like fog, backlight and in the dark.

While sensing on the outside is essential for safety, sensing within is key in delivering a holistic, intuitive user experience. A Time-of-Flight (ToF) array measures distances within the car to detect and recognise passengers and objects. Practically, ToF sensors could be used to offer touch-free gesture controls for passengers and drivers alike.

The Sony Vision-S prototype. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

While the sensor suite and design seem to be initiated by Sony, the other aspects of the prototype car can be attributed various other manufacturers and partners.

Alongside the Vision-S, Sony Corportation President & CEO Kenichiro Yoshida also shared the company’s collaboration with NBC to broadcast a livestream of an American football game with a 5G-connected camera. To this end, Sony created a prototype Xperia 5G mmWave device that allowed for high-speed data uplink while encoding high-quality video simultaneously.

The unique Xperia 5G device that powered the real-time video encoding and 5G data uplink. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

This focus on video also extended to cinema – the booth showcased a mock production set with a gigantic Crystal LED display in the background. The imagery in the background shifted as the cinema camera shifted around the subject, delivering true-to-life perspective and depth for 3D volumetric capture without astronomical set costs.

Sony’s cameras were also able to perform real-time high-speed video analytics. The showcase demonstrated the real-time virtualisation of a table tennis match. Multiple devices, including Sony’s HDC-P50 POV and Sony cameras with high-speed vision sensors were able to capture the flight path of the ball and even visualise the spinning of it.

Also featured were two Bravia Master flagship 8K television sets – the Z8H 8K LCD TV, along with the A8H OLED TV.

Ian Ling
http://uncommontragedy.com
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

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