Sony’s Future Lab Program develops Interactive Tabletop and voice-assisted headphones
Sony wants to stay abreast the race for fashion-forward wearables that solve some inherent purpose. For this they have formed a new R&D outfit called Future Lab Program and they demonstrated a couple of prototype gadgets of the future at the SXSW event in Austin. One of these is a neck-worn Bluetooth headphone which is more of a multi-directional speaker and the other one an Interactive Tabletop projector that turns any surface into a touch-sensitive display. For now each one of these is a prototype and Sony hasn’t shed any light on whether they are going to get into production stage.
Concept N Headphones
Sony’s Future Lab Program demonstrated the Concept N Headphones at SXSW and these headphones are nothing like the Xperia Ear headphones showed-off at Mobile World Congress 2016. It is an intelligent wearable equipped with a voice control system, motion sensing, GPS location tracking and camera to lend it Google Glass like functionality. Of course without any HUD screen in front of your eyes. The wearable headphones direct the audio upwards into your ears thanks to the multi-directional speakers.
The idea is to provide you with audio without the need to wear the headphones for added safety on busy roads. For those who like the traditional headphone function, a cone-shaped earphone can be connected to Concept N. Since it is a voice-controlled device, you can operate all its functions without even using your hands. You can get weather alerts, toggle music, receive information or get news alerts while focusing on other tasks.
Sony’s Future Lab Program has also developed a prototype projector that turns any surface into your interactive canvas for input. They call it the Interactive Tabletop which uses motion tracking to know the exact positioning of an object on the surface. It also tracks the moment of your hand on the surface grid and makes interaction surreal. To demonstrate the capability of this projector, Sony representative showed how the device can be programmed to recognize the pages of a book and bring the drawn pictures to life. You can pop-up a character and drag it into nearby physical objects. The projector is capable of scanning any object’s dimensions and provide interactive information about it.