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Sony launches new TVs and wireless headphones

The return of Aibo, Sony’s robotic dog, saved an otherwise uneventful event

Gulf News

Las Vegas: Unlike competitors Samsung and Panasonic, Sony had been tight-lipped about what it would announce on the first day of this year’s CES in Las Vegas, leaving attendees at its press conference on Monday anticipating some surprises.

In the end, however, Sony failed to deliver on the excitement, instead rolling out two new OLED additions to its Bravia TV series, a 4K Blu-Ray player and a new line of wireless headphones, in a presentation that covered previously-announced cameras and concept cars, Sony’s film studio and record label, and the company’s sensors, which it said were being used for climate tracking and agriculture, among other things.

One thing likely to catch peoples’ attention, however, was the appearance of Aibo, the recently-resurrected robotic dog, which Sony famously launched over a decade ago.

Previously announced in November 2017, Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai said on Monday that over time, Aibo will now recognise its owner, and deepen its emotional bond with them.

The robotic canine, which is now 4G and LTE enabled, also features cloud backup services, OLED eyes, deep learning AI, and a camera with which to take photos.

Aibo can only survive for two hours before it needs charging again, which takes approximately three hours.

Sony says the robot is expected to begin shipping on January 11 in Japan. It was not confirmed if Aibo would go on sale outside of the country.

Hirai added that Aibo was a bit ahead of its time when it was first released back in 1999.

Also noteworthy was the announcement of a $30,000 (Dh110,190) home theatre projector, known as the Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector.

Capable of throwing up a 120-inch, 4K projection on a wall of your choice from a distance of just 9.6 inches, the device can be linked to Apple TV 4K, and other similar 4K content sources.

Sony’s projector also comes equipped with a Glass Sound Speaker, delivering 360-degree sound, bouncing audio off the wall the projector is facing for “enhanced” quality.

The Japanese company claim the projector is designed to “enrich” its owners living environment with a marble, aluminium and wooden design befitting its price tag.

Lastly, Sony unveiled its new prototype chip for its TV sets, dubbed the X1 Ultimate, and capable of processing 4K, 8K, and OLED at much faster speeds than before.