Press Release


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March 22, 2000



Sony establishes [Cybergene.com. Corporation]
to build a new style network business with venture company in Japan




Sony Corporation today announced plans to establish a new company on April 16 (*planned) called [Cybergene.com Corporation].

The new company will provide "Information Provider" companies (including Sony Group Companies) who supply information to Internet users with an epoch-making marketing model for the Internet via a new network interface technology "IP3" developed by a venture company called Visionarts Inc, (Chuo-ku, Tokyo COO Nariaki Hatta).

"IP3" is a technology that uses "Information Pictures " (Graphic Icons) which can include information aimed at the user's individual interests, such as news on celebrities, products for purchase (E-commerce) etc. The information in the "Information Pictures" (Graphic Icon) can be renewed and up-dated automatically.

As society adapts to the network era, people are using the Internet more and more to gather information on all aspects of their life. However it is time consuming and inconvenient for users to surf the Net via browser software or 'keywords' in-put into search engines on portal sites in order to differentiate between the information they want or need and the huge amount of information posted on the World Wide Web.

The new "IP3" technology provided by [Cybergene.com Corporation] will enable users to access information quickly just by clicking on the "Information Pictures" (Graphic Icons) without having to use a portal site and search engine.

From the end of June the new company will offer the client software free to users in order to popularize "IP3" technology and, invite many companies (including Sony Group Companies) to adopt this new style of Internet marketing using "Information Pictures" (Graphic Icons). Sony and Visionarts Inc will also continue to work together to develop "IP3" technology.

[Cybergene.com Corporation] will work to create an innovative new business model to gather information for Internet users. Advertisers will be able to communicate directly with users to develop a completely new style of customer relationship on the net.

"In the Internet age it is vital to respond quickly to changes in the business environment by creating alliances and working with various entrepreneurial start-up companies. This is an excellent example of just such a case" said Sony Corporation CEO & President Nobuyuki Idei. "Sony believes that Visionarts' [IP3] technology will revolutionize the network interface and we expect Sony Cybergene.com Corporation to develop a business model that will become a core technology in the future".



Outline of new Internet marketing methods the new company will develop:

1. Management of e-messe Web site: to support comprehensive marketing by "Information Providers"
The new company will develop an "e-messe" web site that displays a variety of "Information Pictures" (Graphic Icons) at one time, and invite many companies (including Sony Group Companies) to become "Tenants" (-Information Provider). Users will gather product information via the "Information Pictures" (Graphic Icons) and make purchases at this E-commerce site.

2. Effective advertising by facilitating direct communication between the user and advertiser
Much more effective than banner advertisements that have become the norm in the Internet era, product and business information is attached to a device displayed on the desktop like an icon. "IP3" technology enables this information, that the user frequently accesses, to be automatically updated and allows advertisers to develop a new type of relationship with loyal users of a particular site.

3. New style of electronic mail service
Before it was only possible to send word-based direct-marketing email, however "IP3" enables a variety of different formats of information to be sent to the user via the icon. This will mean a more dynamic and appealing Internet advertising medium.




Company Outline (*planned)
1. Company Name:Cybergene.com Corporation
2. Company Location:Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
3. Capital:240 million yen
4. Shareholders:Sony Corporation (100%)
5. Executive:CEO Yutaka Sato
(Sony CSNC I-card System Solution - Senior Deputy General Manager)
(Sony Communication Network Company - Director)
6. Business:Net Marketing Service Business