Kuwao:At the pinnacle of resolution, we introduced a 4K BRAVIA model last year, with superb picture quality matched by impressive audio performance. This year's X9000A series raises the bar. 4K BRAVIA has been redesigned, and we have revisited what this echelon should stand for.
How should we design the required front-facing side speakers? Over the course of many studies and sketches, we noticed that the shape most closely associated with good audio performance was a circle. This ultimately inspired the image we sought—as if the glass surface has been scooped away to expose sound. Imagining the glass slate as a structure where images and sound are one, we thought the texture of the glass itself could convey the sublime viewing experience directly and demonstrate our desired Sense of Quartz.
Now that we had decided our direction in design, we had to see if it was actually possible. Here, a key visual cue that would embody the power of the speakers is how the circle seems to extend off the edge of the plane. We needed to be able to bore into the surface of the glass until we had severed the edge, which was something no glass manufacturers had experience with. Then there was the thickness of the glass to consider, which is only 0.7-0.8 mm. Although we were in uncharted territory, we wanted these details to be perfect.
The glossy black speakers set the X9000A series apart, but they also presented a major challenge for our audio engineers, as we sought optimal styling and performance. For example, the diaphragm materials that are acoustically ideal are not necessarily the ones that are the most beautiful. Diaphragm production is itself difficult, and it took considerable trial and error to achieve an attractive, glossy black that satisfied us. Moreover, diaphragms are only one part of the set. From the sloping, resin-covered surface around them to the "Intelligent Core" to the aluminum band around the bezel,we scrutinized the color tone and finish of each black part to ensure a good match despite the variety of materials used.
The six circular speakers are fairly assertive, so we sought simplicity in other visual elements. The stand, for instance, is a perfect circle. Here, the ring is as narrow as possible, which keeps it unobtrusive. On the other hand, we made the ring tall enough to ensure rigidity and enable attachment at two points. This is quite an elegant solution, both structurally and aesthetically, and it enhances stability. The "Intelligent Core" is also subdued, so that it blends in well with the screen.
Note: In Japan, sets with the same design as the X9000A series will be available in the X9200A series.
Oikawa:Today's televisions are no longer just displays for passively watching TV. You now enjoy access to all kinds of entertainment and online content. But if we dealt with all of these new options by adding buttons to the remote control, it would become much more complex. Instead, we simplified and clarified control by minimizing buttons and taking advantage of on-screen operations in the graphical user interface, or GUI. This is the thinking behind the One-touch Remote.
Two things distinguish the remote from others. First, it's designed specifically for easy cursor-based control via the on-screen GUI. You can access all operations available to ordinary remotes by pressing the Key Pad button, which displays a control panel on the TV screen. Keys are also carefully shaped, for easy control without looking, as you continue watching. You'll know immediately by touch which direction each cursor key is for, because these diamond-shaped keys are slightly slanted and arranged around a central cursor key. Overall, we determined the ideal length, width, and other details of the remote for easy key operations, and we faceted the back cover so it's easier to hold.
The other highlight of the remote is one-touch mirroring via NFC (Near-Field Communication). Thanks to an NFC module embedded in the back, you can pair a compatible Xperia™ smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device with the TV simply by touching it to the remote. This streamlines device connections, enabling you to watch your mobile content on the TV screen. It's never been easier to do things on a TV from a mobile phone. And to prevent scratching your other devices, the back of the remote is made of soft urethane plastic.
Offering outstanding usability from carefully selected shapes and materials, even the remote is true to our Sense of Quartz ideals. In the future, remotes must simplify complex on-screen operations as never before. The One-touch Remote shows a viable solution for next-generation needs.
Kondo:LED illumination in this BRAVIA line, housed in what we call an "Intelligent Core," is an approach to harnessing light as a UI element. It's a way of using various kinds of illumination to signal modes of interaction between you and the TV. For example, the interplay between you and the TV would be visible if the indicator lit up in response to pressing buttons on the remote. Or when devices are connected, transferring content would be tangible if light moved from a mobile device to the TV. To illustrate these operations, we took a wholly new approach, using illumination synced with on-screen animation simulating light. Accordingly, we succeeded in creating a unique user experience that unfolds spatially.
Many shades of expression from the LED illumination also enabled us to eliminate all of the dedicated indicators and labeling normally found on TVs. This helped us pare down the set to the elegant slate of glass we had envisioned.
In the new illumination created through this project, blue-green is a key color. It matches the feeling of quartz well, and it's a fitting color for device interaction. Several wireless speakers already incorporate lighting of this color, and we hope it sets the tone for many interactive scenarios with Sony devices in the future.