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Good Design
Award 2013

Japan’s only comprehensive
design award program
Winning Entries

Full-Frame Camera Lines

DSC-RX1 / SLT-A99V /
NEX-VG900

Good Design Gold Award Winner
Selected in the Best 100, 2013 Good Design Awards

Jury Comments

Part of a strategy to offer more in imaging products, this series successfully conveys a distinctive sense of presence. Each incorporates a full-frame CMOS image sensor and advanced image processor, yet original lens and optics technology keeps the bodies very compact. In styling, each camera is fully optimized for its own functionality, but overall, the trio was clearly developed from a common theme—black accented by a striking red line. The red line also serves as an element of UI design, which enhances consistency across the series. Although it was difficult to evaluate all three cameras at once, we recognized that taking on the designers’ challenge—concerted efforts toward exquisite image quality across product lines—deserves praise.

Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment

SAXES Series

Selected in the Best 100, 2013 Good Design Awards

Jury Comments

Greater demand is expected in surface-mount technology, and this line addresses needs across the board with a solder paste printer, electronic part mounter, and visual inspection machine. Here, addressing functional needs—in the required work and quality, operator efficiency, and ease of handling—and seeking an uncluttered, beautiful appearance has yielded industrial design with a positive impact on the factory setting and production environment. A user-centered approach led to both ergonomic design (as needed in industrial equipment) and superb, impressively simple UI design accounting for new users, which supports operators both physically and functionally. Structurally, the units are beautiful in form and function, belying their nature as manufacturing equipment. The impact this gives them promises to inspire pride in operators, and we applaud the new potential this design represents in production equipment.

Head Mounted Display

HMZ-T3W

Jury Comments

Compared to LCD images, high-quality OLED images are less affected by ghosting or motion blur. What’s more, 3D playback from dual HD panels operating independently eliminates cross-talk without loss of image quality, for wonderfully vibrant 3D images. Audio performance is equally admirable, because the virtual 7.1 surround sound can be played either through built-in earbuds or the user’s own headphones, depending on personal preference. Although this combination of a display with earbuds or headphones makes the unit look heavy when worn, it proved comfortable—perhaps because the viewing experience was immersive. In fact, being surrounded this way induces the illusion of being in a movie theater. What makes it comfortable is that the unit has been carefully designed to distribute the weight between one’s forehead and areas at the back of one’s head. Another thoughtful touch is being able to peek at a game controller or beverage in one’s hand by pulling away the bottom light shield. Now that smartphones and tablets can play movies, it is a truly wonderful idea to offer this kind of mobile theater experience wherever users may be.

Jury Comments

The design of this television makes the most of the set’s 4K resolution and superb audio quality, and the UI neatly consolidates multiple functions. One’s gaze first settles on the row of speakers strategically and strikingly arranged along the edges of the screen, which are a distinguishing feature. The passive radiators, tweeters, and original magnetic fluid woofers, along with dual subwoofers on the back, produce full, rich sound while preserving the smooth flatness of the screen. In the stand, the “intelligent” core of LED indicators glows white for on/off operations, red when recording, and cyan when linked with other devices, signaling the status in ways understood intuitively. The technology amply demonstrates how a networked and “intelligent” television can fit in one’s life as a useful tool, and this is abundantly clear in the details.

Digital Cinema Camera

CineAlta 4K Camera
PMW-F55

Jury Comments

This digital cinema camera is equipped with a 4K sensor, making it ready for a variety of professional applications where high resolution is increasingly in demand, such as production of movies, TV shows, commercials, sports coverage, and documentaries. Tasks in design were comprehensive in scope, from keeping the body small and light for these applications to preparing a full range of system accessories, developing ample software compatible with new formats, and arranging a workflow with postproduction in mind. In both form and functionality, it will satisfy demanding professionals—in image quality and usability under various conditions, and by supporting a kind of desirable creative tension in use. Innovative in line with the evolution of video production, design of this camera is also commendable for the many ways it represents beautiful utility at a consummate level.

Jury Comments

Research in the rapidly expanding field of regenerative medicine relies on flow cytometry equipment, and this cell analyzer and sorter apply laser technology to enable 32-channel spectral analysis. Here, Sony has lavished a wealth of their proven semiconductor laser technology, expertise from developing a range of consumer electronics, and insight from thorough on-site study of research needs and workflows to create interfaces that support users of all abilities and reduce the sorter to 1/3 the size of conventional models. Externally, the units are also quite refined, with meticulous styling that inspires confidence and embodies quality and high precision. Equipment developed this way—by applying advanced, specialized technology from other fields—represents design that is commendable for its potential to give researchers better insight into their research, to change research methods themselves, and to encourage advances or breakthroughs in research or product development.

Wireless Connectivity

Jury Comments

Until now, streaming music from a smartphone to speakers often required users to complete Bluetooth settings and then pair the devices. With One-touch connections, users simply bring an NFC-compatible smartphone and speaker near each other. A touch is all it takes to switch playback automatically from the phone to the speakers. Similarly, to mirror what’s on a smartphone screen to a larger TV screen, users can simply touch a phone to a TV remote. This makes the convenience of One-touch pairing very appealing.

Application download service

PlayMemories
Camera Apps

Jury Comments

For some time, smartphone users have been able to enhance smartphone cameras by downloading various camera apps. Among other purposes, countless apps enable users to apply filters to shots. Sony’s PlayMemories Camera Apps service can be viewed as enhancing digital cameras by introducing a similar world of apps. The fun that many have enjoyed with smartphone apps is now possible with camera apps. For example, users can add realistic rays of light to clouds. The apps, many of which are commercial, are available for download from the service website. Users can look forward to apps that will enhance their camera as only apps can.

Jury Comments

The Xperia Z feels perfectly comfortable in one’s hand, but this is somewhat unexpected, judging by the phone’s appearance. At first glance, the hard-looking phone even seems somewhat cold, but after one holds and uses the phone, its ergonomic design becomes clear. One sign of this is the conveniently positioned power button on the side. Despite its hard, unadorned looks, the phone feels almost gentle to the touch, which makes it strangely alluring. In a market flooded with smartphones, this model stands apart from many others on specifications alone, but what’s most commendable is its true simplicity—the result of carefully considering the connection between people and things and removing the nonessential.

Jury Comments

The Xperia Tablet Z surpassed all others in slimness and lightness at launch, thanks to a fiberglass-reinforced back cover. It is also waterproof enough to be submerged and tough enough to withstand the rough handling of mobile use, and an effective internal layout keeps it cool. Thanks to these advantages, we can appreciate how it expands the potential of tablets in the mobile environment, and how it suggests many new scenarios where tablets can be used. As the first tablet to be constructed of this lighter reinforced material, the Xperia Tablet Z has blazed a promising new trail for mobile devices.

©2012 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.
Design and specifications are subject to change without notice

Networked Recorder & Media Storage

nasne

Jury Comments

We commend the "nasne" for its exceptional potential as an entertainment hub. From anywhere in a home network, the device streams and records content, enabling users to build, share, and expand their library. Its compatibility and usability will be appreciated by PS3® owners, but the "nasne" can also link products of other manufactures, simplifying construction of a wireless system. Fortunately in this case, Sony Computer Entertainment has helpfully consolidated support information and made it readily available to prevent the usual confusion about device compatibility and how to configure settings, which reflects the designers’ regard for making the "nasne" a media hub for today and tomorrow.