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Usability and Accessibility

Products and service today are increasingly complex and multifunctional. "Usability and Accessibility" is an essential aspect of quality, and Sony is taking steps aimed at making it easier for people to use our products and services.

Enhancing Usability

(Updated on August 12, 2014)

  • User test (usability assessment)

Technological advances, and greater market acceptance thereof, have greatly enhanced the convenience of products and services. At the same time, the development of increasingly multifunctional products and the evolution of user interfaces are spurring demand for greater usability and user-friendliness. Viewing usability as an essential aspect of quality, Sony works continuously to make it easier for more people to use its products and services.

Sony provides products and service for a broad range of customers not only in Japan, Europe and North America, but also in other parts of the world, including emerging economies. As such, Sony recognizes that it must accommodate definitions of "usability" that vary in different cultures and lifestyles.

Examples of Sony products that feature enhanced usability:
  • One-seg TV sound/FM stereo/AM radio

  • Sony's XDR-63TV pocket radio also offers one-seg television reception

Sony's XDR-63TV pocket radio enables users to enjoy one-seg television sound, as well as FM stereo and AM broadcasting, and was developed in response to feedback in the wake of Japan's transition from analog to digital television from customers who wanted to be able to receive television sound on their radios. Channel buttons are positioned on the top, making it easy for users to operate without having to remove the device from their pocket. The unit also features a jog dial, making tuning simple, and other features incorporated as a result of repeated user testing.

  • Memory recorder

  • ICD-LX31 memory card recorder

The ICD-LX31 memory card recorder is designed such for confident, effortless use by people of all ages. Developed in response to views expressed in user tests with elderly customers, this unit operates like a traditional cassette tape recorder, one of several ways Sony sought to improve usability.

Facilitating Accessibility

(Updated on August 12, 2014)
Spurred by the rapid graying of society in Japan and many other countries in the developed world, demand is growing for products and services that are easy to use and accessible to a broad range of people, including the elderly and persons with disabilities. Viewing accessibility as another integral component of quality, Sony is working to improve the accessibility of its offerings. Sony has also formulated accessibility guidelines for its websites and is taking steps to ensure more equitable access to the information there.
Examples of Sony products that feature enhanced accessibility:

  • Remote control with built-in cordless speaker (only in Japan)

  • RM-PSZ35TV remote control with built-in cordless speaker

Easy-to-hear television sound at one's fingertips
The RM-PSZ35TV remote control realizes excellent usability for a wide range of users, from children to the elderly. To ensure the voices of people in news, drama and other programming are clearly audible, the RM-PSZ35TV remote control features a built-in cordless speaker with specially designed amplifier frequency characteristics and a distinctively shaped bass reflex port on the cabinet underside. Thanks to these innovations, users can hear voices and conversations from the speaker and do not have to raise the television volume excessively.

Unit design that focuses on usability and visibility
Sony incorporates usability into the design of this remote control by including such features as a combined speaker power switch and volume control that is easy to grasp and has an appropriate level of turning resistance, an indicator lamp and turning "click" so that users can easily tell whether it is switched on or off and buttons with easy-to-read large characters and function-specific colors.

Also, the base has rubber feet to prevent it from slipping or moving around the table or other surface when the buttons are pushed.
  • For more information, visit this page

In addition, Sony's entire lineup of BRAVIA LCD televisions for the European market features an audio description function that provides access to a narrative soundtrack for visually impaired users, and digital video teletext for hearing-impaired users, both as standard features. Certain Sony televisions come with headphones that do not override and can be adjusted independently from the speakers, enabling hearing-impaired individuals to enjoy watching television together with non-hearing-impaired family and friends without fear of disturbing others.

Looking ahead, ease-of-use and accessibility will remain core elements of Sony's product development efforts.

Providing Information to a Diverse Range of Customers

(Updated on August 12, 2014)
Sony Corporation provides CD versions of catalogs and audio user manuals to visually impaired users and customers who are unable to use regular catalogs and manuals for other reasons.Sony issues CD versions of catalogs twice a year with the same content that is released on Sony's website. These catalogs, which are produced by Sony Marketing (Japan) Inc. in cooperation with the Japan Braille Library, provide voice guides on the main functions of new products.

For some product models, audio guides that serve as audio user manuals and text data are available on Sony's product information website.
  • CD versions of catalogs website
  • Audio user manuals website

Age-based Rating Systems for Game Software

(Updated on August 12, 2014)

  • ©2009 So-net Entertainment Corporation
    The So-net website's "Site Select" page

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) aims to make games as popular as music, movies and broadcasting and has been developing our PlayStation® business for users in all age groups.

Game industry organizations have responded to the proliferation of new game genres by introducing rating systems for customers in Japan, the United States and Europe (CERO, ESRB and PEGI, respectively), based on games' target age groups. The U.S. system has operated for more than 10 years and won top marks from the public not only for indicating age categories but also for being the first to add descriptions that detail the contents of a game. PEGI is endorsed by the European Commission as a paradigm of self-regulation in the entertainment industry. In Japan, measures are being promoted to make the system more effective, including, with the cooperation of retailers, the voluntary refusal to sell software rated by CERO for ages 18 and above to underage customers.

To regulate access by underage users, SCE has included a Parental Lock function in PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®3. This function enables customers to adjust access levels and limit children's access only to appropriate software across the PlayStation® platform.

With the average age of Web users declining, concern is growing about sites on the Internet containing content that is inappropriate for or harmful to children. So-net Corporation, which provides an Internet-related service in Japan, has introduced "Site Select," a filtering system that blocks access to such sites, as well as to sites targeted by phishing scams, thereby aiming to create an environment in which the whole family can enjoy Internet use worry free.




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