Sony Project N hands-free headphone

Sony project N Future Lab at South by Southwest revealed products including a wearable Bluetooth speaker that works like headphones without being attached to the ears, and an interactive tabletop projector.

This combined with some of the upcoming VR and AR technologies, could be used to create some amazing marketing campaigns. Makes me a bit excited with the potential experimental strategies I could come up with if I could sit down and test out these prototypes.

Sony has launched a new research and development program called Future Lab, and is at SXSW demoing the first prototypes from the program, including a new wearable device with the working name “N”.

The device responds to voice prompts and can be used to receive information, like news alerts or weather forecasts, and to take photos. It also functions as a set of earphones which can be worn with or without in-ear buds. With the ear buds, the audio plays into the space you’re current in-not a feature we imagine being popular on public transport.

For a live demo of the product, catch TNW Editor at Large Martin Bryant with the device at last night’s press launch. Future Lab’s goal is to release concept products at a relatively early stage of development, and invite feedback from program participants. This feedback will be used to refine the products and evolve the prototypes. Future Lab also has a developers program and design startup 16 lab demoed an integration of N with its Bluetooth gesture ring Ozon. This allows the wearer to take pictures or perform any of the other commands using gesture rather than voice.

Other Future Lab Sony prototypes being demoed at SXSW include a multi-axis moving projector that allows the user to move the projected image across any wall or ceiling, and a projector that turns a flat surface into an interactive tabletop. Content can be moved around the table with both touch and by hovering above objects.

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