It’s that time of year again, when tech titans reward consumers with new technology drops, and one of the biggest players changing the game right now is Sony. The brand is continuing its push toward reality, real-time, and remote — or what Sony calls its 3R Technology. Here’s how we can expect to see Sony reshaping entertainment technology in 2021.
Sound is not created in a bubble…or is it?
In the real world, sound comes at a listener from all angles and directions. Think of walking onto the street and finding yourself inundated by staccato taps of shoes hitting pavement and a chorus of honking taxi horns. In contrast to that audio randomness, in the studio or onstage at a live concert, music still comes from different directions — adding depth — but is orchestrated into harmonious sounds.
To move the needle on listening experiences, Sony developed 360 Reality Audio, which uses spatial sound technology to place sound the way artists intended. Vocals, instruments, and even an audience applauding are mapped into a spherical sound field putting the listener right at the center — and fully immersed — in the soundscape. If conventional stereo delivers sound from two fixed positions, analogous to 2-D in the visual world, 360 Reality Audio delivers sound from 360 degrees — the full 3-D experience.
Since launching the experience on music streaming services apps for headphones and speakers, Sony will now expand to the first-ever video streaming service in 360 Reality Audio, to debut this year.
Creators can check out 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite to make their own beats within a 360 spherical sound field. The suite is compatible with popular digital audio workstations.
A TV so intelligent it can follow a twisty plot — and get the focal point
When you watch a movie, your brain naturally focuses on where the action is happening, or the focal point. Within the world of smart TVs, conventional artificial intelligence can detect, analyze, and improve picture quality from different sources, but it can only “see” elements — such as color and contrast — in individual parts. Enter BRAVIA XR.
The BRAVIA XR’s cognitive intelligence processor is powerful enough to analyze different elements at the same time, similar to how our human brains work. Meaning, if you’re streaming a flick, the BRAVIA XR tackles the overall quality pixel by pixel — but really hones in on the areas where you’re watching most intently, producing an immersive, natural-looking image.
It also adjusts the sound to sync with the image perfectly. There’s a good chance you’ll notice the most improvement when it comes to watching via streaming services. Thanks to BRAVIA XR’s meticulous virtual eye for detail, these smart TVs makes others look like they don’t quite deserve the name.
A virtual concert breaking down the boundaries of live performance
An unplugged set of your favorite artist streaming from their living room delivers a sense of intimacy while live concerts are on hiatus. But what if you could have a plugged-in spectacle streaming live to your VR headset or an immersive 2-D display that was even beyond the feeling of sitting in the front row? That’s where immersive reality comes into play, making possible virtual live concerts that shatter the fourth wall.
Working with Epic Records pop star Madison Beer, Sony Music has partnered with Verizon to reimagine the live performance experience. In January they previewed an upcoming virtual concert from the Epic Records singer songwriter using cutting-edge innovations in real-time 3D creation technology that is dazzling viewers.
The team created an ultra-realistic model of Beer and re-created the Sony Hall concert venue in NYC in exacting detail. On this virtual stage, Beer’s avatar performs a live set mixing lifelike visuals and fantastical elements you wouldn’t normally see in a real-world concert hall, including raging flames and raining downpours. In many ways, immersive reality allows artists to take fans to places they’ve never been before in a concert experience.
Later this winter, fans can view the entire Madison Beer Immersive Reality Concert Experience on PlayStation VR, Oculus VR and as an immersive 2-D experience on streaming music video channels.
From 360 Reality Audio to BRAVIA XR TVs to immersive reality live performances, Sony is making the way we experience entertainment more fully immersive, creating a deeper connection to creators such as musicians or filmmakers, and fans. To learn more, visit Sony.