science + technology news

Sony empowers Aibo pet robot to read e-mail

May 7, 2001

Sony has unveiled software that allows its second-generation Aibo robots to read e-mail messages and Web pages, using a speech synthesizer, in Japanese or English.

Aibo Messenger also recognizes up to 50 words, so an owner can program the pet to “fetch,” etc.

Sony files patent for wearable-electronics wig

November 27, 2013

SmartWig (credit: USPTO)

Sony has filed a patent for a wig with wearable electronic devices that could be “visually hidden” and controlled.

“The usage of a wig has several advantages that, compared to known wearable computing devices, include significantly increased user comfort and an improved handling of the wearable computing device,” Sony said in its patent application.

Sony claims include a variety of wearable devices that could be embedded… read more

Sony intros 4K projector for home theaters

September 9, 2011

Sony Projector

Sony Electronics has introduced its first home theater front projector, the VPL-VW1000ES, capable of displaying 4K images (4096×2160 pixels resolution — more than four times the resolution of HDTV).

The projector has 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast and nearly twice the brightness of previous Sony home theater projectors, making it suitable for screen sizes up to 200 inches diagonally. It features upconversion of SD or… read more

Sony latest to demo videogame motion-sensing controller

June 3, 2009

Sony on Tuesday demonstrated a prototype motion-sensing videogame controller.

A camera tracks the player’s movements, and software translates their movements to those of onscreen characters.

Sony network breach shows Amazon Cloud’s appeal for hackers

May 18, 2011

The hackers that brought down Sony’s Playstation Network for more than a month used stolen credit cards to rent computing power from Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) to carry out their attack. Personal information, credit cards, and passwords from millions of customers were seized by hackers during the attack.

Because computing power can be rented from EC2 anonymously, hacking using the service can be hard to trace. Tracing the… read more

Sony patent takes first step towards real-life Matrix

April 7, 2005

Sony has patented a device that fires pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify firing patterns in targeted parts of the brain, creating “sensory experiences” ranging from moving images to tastes and sounds.

It could allow for movies and computer games in which you get to smell, taste and perhaps even feel things. And it could give blind or deaf people the chance to see or hear, the… read more

Sony patents reveal emotion recognition software

August 17, 2009

Sony Computer Entertainment America has filed patents for software that can recognize emotions, including, laughter, sadness, joy, anger and boredom.

The patents may be related to Sony’s PlayStation 3 motion-tacking technology, which can detect facial expressions, and sound similar to Microsoft’s Project Natal, which can detect emotional responses through facial and voice recognition.

Sony Powers Walkman With Sugar-Based Battery

August 24, 2007

Sony has created an eco-friendly battery that produces electricity by breaking down sugar.

The bio cell, which measures 39 cubic millimeters, delivers 50mW — a world record for such a cell, according to the company.

In the bio cell sugar-digesting enzymes at the anode extract electrons and hydrogen ions from the glucose. The hydrogen ions pass through a membrane separator to the cathode where they absorb oxygen from… read more

Sony Pushes Better Cinema Through Digital

February 20, 2009

Sony expects to increase penetration of its 8.8 million pixel 4K SXRD Digital Cinema technology from the current 300 screens to 3,000 within the next two years.

Sony Seeks Homes for Robots

March 28, 2003

Sony’s humanoid SDR robot can entertain and converse with humans but it’s still in search of a market.

Sony sets its sights on augmented reality

June 1, 2011

Sony has demonstrated a new augmented-reality system called Smart AR that can be built into the company’s future gaming devices.

Unlike many augmented-reality systems, Smart AR uses object recognition rather than satellite tracking or special markers to figure out where to overlay a virtual object. Object recognition works where GPS signals are poor or nonexistent; for example, indoors.

Smart AR identifies objects using “local feature extraction”: it… read more

Sony Shows Rollable OLED Display

May 27, 2010

Sony has developed a flexible color display using recently developed organic thin-film transistors that’s sturdy enough to be wrapped around a pencil while still showing video images.

The 4.1-inch screen has a resolution of 432 by 240 pixels, which is similar to that offered by many mass-market cell phones.

Sony soon to deliver child robot

December 23, 2002

Shades of A.I. the movie: Sony is developing a 24-inch child-like robot that can interact with its “carers,” expressing emotions through words, songs and body language. It can recognize up to 10 human faces and voices and adapt its behaviour according to the way it is treated. The SDR4X Dream Robot will be available April 7 for $60,000 to $80,000.

Sony Takes Aim At Amazon’s Kindle

August 7, 2009

Sony has announced two new Readers — the Reader Pocket Edition and the Reader Touch Edition — that will come out at the end of the month and cost less or the same as the older, more established Kindle.

Sony Teams Up With Skype For Free PlayStation Calling

January 9, 2008

Sony is transforming its PlayStation Portable into a handheld videophone, enabling users of its PSP-2000 to make low-cost telephone calls and free calls around the world via the Net.

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