Updated on August 23, 2017
Guided by its founders' spirit of innovation, which emphasizes the provision of creative technologies, products and services, Sony promotes contributions to the international community through its business activities.
Sony's SmartEyeglass and 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector—Playing a Big Role in the "AR HOPE TOUR in Sendai/Tagajo," a Project to Convey the Devastation Caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake
In March 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami wrought cataclysmic losses in Japan, especially in the northeastern region. Five years later, in March 2016, Tohoku University's International Research Institute of Disaster Science teamed up with dmp inc. to hold the "AR HOPE TOUR in Sendai/Tagajo." The idea behind the project is to ensure that the events of that day will never fade from memory.
The AR HOPE TOUR was originally the idea of students at Miyagi Agricultural High School, for whom the tour idea brought home a Grand Prix in 2014 at the National Tourism Plan Competition for high school students (an event sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Japan Tourism Agency). Others then took the idea and turned it into a reality by presenting augmented reality in both video and audio format via a number of Sony products, including the wearable SmartEyeglass, the Xperia™ Z4 Tablet, and a 4K ultra short throw projector. These products were used to create a solution that delivers a strikingly realistic depiction of the destruction caused by the March 2011 earthquake.
In the AR HOPE TOUR, persons can visit the areas hit by the tsunami and put on the SmartEyeglass to experience an "augmented reality" version of the tsunami. Tour participants can also view 360-degree video showing how locations were affected by the earthquake using tablet computers. They further have the option of watching video and images from a 4K ultra short throw projector. These cutting-edge technologies afford a real feeling of the tremendous size and ferocity of the tsunami. There are also "storytellers" with the tour that share their personal experience. The tour shows quite clearly the capabilities of these solutions. Sony will continue working on them to develop applications in disaster preparedness education and tourism.
I. Model Study of Community Electrification in Bangladesh Using a Long-life Storage Battery System
From August 2013 through February 2014, Sony undertook a study*1 in an unelectrified area of Bangladesh (Gaibandha district, Saghata sub-district) aimed at encouraging the effective use of renewable energy generation and improving living conditions and hygiene for local people using a long-life storage battery system*2 and photovoltaic (PV) panels. Based on the results of this study, Sony has begun considering the feasibility of building a new business model.
Electrification of an unelectrified area using solar power generation and a long-life storage battery system
The project employed InfoLady*3consultants to deliver portable batteries to each household and undertake programs to promote the uptake of the system. The InfoLady program is managed by a local NGO, and can be described as "a consultation-based assistance program carried out for women and by women." By utilizing the InfoLady program, the project promoted increased employment of local women and contributed to their empowerment.
Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. has subsequently been collaborating with the local startup Solaric to study ways of using solar power generation and storage battery systems to bring electricity to unelectrified areas in developing countries.
Sony is involved in activities designed to solve social issues in urban Bangladesh by using Sony's FeliCa™ contactless IC card technology.
In the capital city of Dacca, a majority of people use buses for their transportation, which causes traffic jams that have become a social problem. Moreover, people typically have to purchase paper tickets by the roadside for every boarding, which is inconvenient and makes it easy to dodge fares.
To help solve such problems, an IC card-based system using FeliCa technology was introduced in 2011 to replace the paper tickets. In addition to improving convenience for passengers, it realized speedy boarding and alighting time and the utilization of incoming and outgoing records to optimize bus operation management. The system has also contributed to the alleviation of traffic jams and the improvement of air pollution, and made fare collection more transparent.
In the future, the IC card system will be upgraded to a Rapid Pass system that will enable the use of one card for all public transport including buses.