Press Release

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September 8, 2000

Sony to Launch "ImageStation" Digital Imaging Web Site in Japan,
Offering New Ways of Having Fun with Digital Imaging contents

(Tokyo, Japan) - Sony Corporation announced today that it will launch "ImageStation" (, a Japanese "Digital Imaging Community" web site which offers new ways of enjoying digital images from various products such as digital still cameras, digital video cameras and VAIO C1 notebook PCs. In the United States, Sony started the ImageStation service from the end of June ( Sony intends to further advance this new business area by starting similar services in other countries in the future.

Launch DateSeptember 15th, 2000

(1) "Photo & Video Sharing"
-- A new type of network service utilizing still and moving images

Registering on ImageStation is free of charge. Once registered, people are entitled to upload moving and still images to the web site, storing them as a personal digital album (also free*) and to view the stored images via PC or having them delivered to friends. You can also make your digital album public or share it with people with the same interests, allowing these people to contribute their own contents to the album. This makes ImageStation an ideal communications forum. For example, you can post a collection of images from a trip like a picture gallery, or share images among members of a club you belong to.

Many people feel that uploading image files to the Internet takes a degree of technical knowledge about building a web page or a network. In the case of ImageStation, all you have to do is drag the desired image files on your PC's desktop to the "Drag & Drop Icon" within the web site. Even moving image files can be uploaded in the same easy way. Furthermore, ImageStation automatically coverts the stored moving images into images with "Real Video Format" that is suitable for streaming distribution methods. Other popular formats in addition to "Real Video Format" will be supported as appropriate.

Sony aims to expand the "Digital Imaging Community" by attracting as many people as possible to ImageStation. Thus, all the basic services available at ImageStation are free of charge. In addition, we will offer a wide variety of services which include such paid services as printing the stored image files, and would like to broaden the appeal of creating digital images for consumers everywhere.

(2) Harmonization with Sony's hardware and software

Sony has continuously offered consumers various ways of having fun with image files through hardware such as digital still cameras and digital video cameras as well as various software installed in Sony's VAIO PCs. ImageStation is a brand new network service offered by Sony that adds another value to the digital imaging experience fostered by these hardware and software.

(2-1) ImageStation & Software : PictureGear Ver. 5.0 and Smart Capture Ver.4.0

PictureGear 5.0:
First start the PictureGear 5.0, and click the ImageStation icon under the "external connection" button. Then, your PC will be directly connected to a user-specific designated area within the ImageStation server without using any browser software. You can upload the image files on your PC's desktop to the designated area in the server, by drag and drop. It's simple.

Smart Capture Ver.4.0:
First capture images with a camera attached to a PC, and transfer the file to the PC, using Smart Capture Ver.4.0. Then click the "UPLOAD" button in the viewer, and your PC will be directly connected to a user-specific designated area within the ImageStation server and upload image files there, much the same way as with PictureGear 5.0.

(2-2) ImageStation & "CLIE"

You can enjoy image files from ImageStation using Sony's new 'CLIE' Handheld, when you download the files through a PC to CLIE. In the future, ImageStation will provide a service that allows users to download image files straight to CLIE using a cellular phone. Sony is committed to reinforce the intergration of Sony's hardware products and network services, offering people an increased variety of ways to enjoy their leisure time.

ImageStation services (Services 1, 2, 3 and 4 have no charge )

1) My Album:Upload and store images on the web site (*1) and create a private digital album. Send an e-mail message to friends or family inviting them to visit the album. Access to the album can be password-protected.
2) Community:The personal digital album created above can be made public.
ImageStation automatically sorts out the contents of the album according to genre.
3) e-Card:Create an original e-mail card using the images stored in ImageStation.
4) Magazine:An original web magazine with ideas on how to enjoy ImageStation's features.
5) Shop:Various services including printing the uploaded contents in the ImageStation are under consideration.

(*1)Up to 15 minutes of moving images are free of charge