It is difficult to say what was most impressive among the new products unveiled by Sony at its recent trade show in Lisbon. There is no doubt, however, that with the new offers in almost every sector of CE, the manufacturer wishes to reaffirm its leading position in the global consumer electronics market.
The trend towards ‘clean solutions’ was demonstrated by Sony’s new range of Bluetooth products. The range includes Bluetooth headphones (DR-BT10CX and DR-BT30Q) that have a built-in microphone enabling users to answer the phone while they’re listening to music. They can be teamed up with an MP3 player, a stereo Bluetooth transmitter and Sony VAIO notebooks.
Equally flexible is a two-way audio adaptor (HWS-BTA2W) that converts non-Bluetooth products into stereo Bluetooth devices by transmitting and receiving stereo audio streaming. For example, a home stereo which is not Bluetooth-enabled will be capable of playing music from the customer’s stereo Bluetooth mobile phone.
For the busy professional spending many hours behind the wheel, there is the first Sony car stereo unit with Bluetooth technology (MEX-BT5000) that automatically links to any Bluetooth mobile phone and provides hands free calls. Phone book data from the handset also appears on the stereo’s screen.
Adam Williamson, group product manager, audio, commented: “Retailers need to gear themselves up on Bluetooth because many products coming to the market, including mobile phones, will be able to stream the music, and customers will need advice in this field”.
Music on the move
Capturing the ever growing number of customers enjoying ‘music on the move’ Sony presented two new Walkman series. The diminutive WALKMAN NW-S700 series is fitted with noise cancelling technology reducing ambient noise by up to 75%. It is built to work with 13.5_EX headphones which feature built-in microphones to neutralize noise interruptions. In an ultra compact size also comes the new sports Walkman MP3 player. The manufacturer claims that it is the first ever digital music player to be completely water-resistant. It comes with an absorbent armband and includes a number of built-in sports features, such as, G-sensor, that can monitor step count, distance travelled and calorie usage.
Perfecting the picture
In Lisbon, Sony also demonstrated the HD performance delivered by the first model from the new X Series range which displays high definition on a (1920 x 1080) LCD panel. The Bravia KDL-40W2000U’s features include Live Colour Creation, which uses a wide spectrum backlight (WCG-CCFL) and the newly developed BRAVIA ENGINE EX, Sony’s intelligent picture enhancement technology. The BRAVIA ENGINE EX increases the resolution by a factor of up to four, doubling the number of vertical lines and horizontal pixels.
Lowering the barriers for amateur photographers it is what the new Cyber-shot W35 and W55 cameras are all about. Offering 7.2 megapixels with Real Imagining Processor, and a 2.5-inch LCD screen at under £150 RRP, they are likely to fly off the shelves.
Finally, we were treated to the preview of the eagerly anticipated PlayStation 3 which delivers considerably more than gaming. It allows downloading pictures and music from different devices and streaming them across to other products, cataloguing them in a variety of ways; web browsing, and permits friends to play games online against each other.
Warn your customers that after March their kids may not want to leave their bedrooms again.