Sony in 2014 unveiled an ambitious concept called Life Space UX, with the purpose of transforming a typical room in your house into a smart space for exceptional, even interactive experiences.
The company showed Pocket-lint at CES 2014 in Las Vegas a few Life Space UX examples. The tour included an apartment-type setup filled with interactive lights, minimalist speakers, app-controlled projectors, and other internet-connected devices. One of the star gadgets was the Glass Sound Speaker, which uses lighting and sound to create an experience of the future.
It's been well over a year since Sony showed off several Life Space UX products, so now you may be wondering what's happening with all that. Well, some of them have long been for sale, and in fact, the latest products in Sony's aspirational Life Space UX range of home electronics have just been assigned prices and release dates. We've detailed everything you need to know below.
Sony Life Space UX: What is it?
All the marketing lingo aside, Life Space UX is Sony's new range of smart accessories. The range mostly consists of lights, speakers, and projectors. Each product is designed for the home, very minimalist in appearance, and meant to make everyday lives smarter and simpler than ever before. Now, many of these products are considered prototypes and are not yet available to buy.
Sony Life Space UX: What products are in the range?
This aluminium projector looks like one long cabinet you'd place up against a wall. But it actually features a modular design integrated into a single unit (two cabinets, two speakers, and one projector). The projector sits in the middle and closes flat when not in use, while the speakers on either side of it eliminate exposed cords, and the cabinets at both ends are capable of storage.
With the 4K Ultra Short Throw projector, you can display anywhere from a 66-inch to a 147-inch image or video onto your wall . Because the cabinet sits near a wall, shadows won't interfere with the projection, and you get an immersive, visually stunning experience. Also, the projector is equipped with SXRD panels, so it boasts four times the resolution of Full HD.
Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector
Availability:Japan (13 February), US (May 2016)
Where to buy:MoMA Store in the US
The Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector is a tiny projector that can display an image or video onto a wall or any other surface from a short distance - hence the name. It's basically a more portable version of the larger 4K projector (measures 81mm x 131mm x 131mm). This version is also a battery-powered device and lasts two hours on a charge.
It can project an autofocused 1366 x 768 image of 100 lumens and between 22 inches and 80 inches. The unit also comes with HDMI input, but it works with Bluetooth Low Energy so you can play media from a smartphone when the two devices are near one another. Another cool feature is that it comes with an optional, very futuristic-looking stand.
Glass Sound Speaker
Availability: Japan (13 February), US (May 2016)
Where to buy: MoMA Store in the US
Sony's Glass Sound Speaker is basically just like the Symphonic Light speaker we saw hanging from the ceiling at CES 2014, though Sony isn't marketing this version as a ceiling light. It's a 360-degree Bluetooth speaker encompassed by a glass tube. The lighting tech is stuffed into the base and around the rim, allowing the gadget to emit not only sound but luminance.
Sony unleashed its LED Light Bulb Speaker in Japan last year. It's doubles as a Bluetooth speaker and screws into any bulb fitting to give your living space simultaneous light and sound. It's a multi-function gadget that provides up to 360-lumens of app-controlled brightness, as well as an integrated 2 Watt speaker system that's ideal for filling small spaces.
It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and comes with a NFC remote.
Sony Life Space UX: Are there any unreleased concepts?
Sony's Life Space UX website showcases concept models too. The company has previewed them at shows but doesn't have a time for commercial production. They're called Ceiling Screen, Tabletop Screen, and Wall Mount Display. The Ceiling screen is a short-throw projector, but it's meant for displaying images and video on the ceiling and offers integrated speakers to boot.
The Tabletop Screen is a compact laser projector that hangs over a surface, such as a table, and it actually turns that surface into a touchscreen. You can use it to share photos and music, as well as play games, and more. We saw this demonstrated at CES 2014 and thought it was the coolest thing. As for that third gadget, it's a discreet touch display that mounts to the wall. Simples.
Check out Pocket-lint's tour of the Sony Life Space UX booth to see what else the company has in the works in terms of concept products.
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