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Sony Future Lab asks for consumer feedback on concept prototypes

Fri 4 Mar 2016

Future Lab Sony

Sony wants consumers to play a larger role in the research and development of future products, launching a new programme dubbed Future Lab, which aims to take feedback from users and involve them in the design process.

The Japanese tech giant unveiled a hands-free wearable device as its first Future Lab prototype, and announced that further concept products would be shared over the development and design stages. It will be looking for developers, enthusiasts, and users to join its new ‘open creative environment’ and provide feedback and suggestions, to help guide decision-making in finalising products.

In a blog post today, Sony wrote: ‘Sony will be sharing each of these specific goals through a variety of concept prototypes developed by the Future Lab Program. Going forward, additional letters will be added inside the logo frame to coincide with the launch of each new prototype, each of which will symbolize the concept behind these initiatives.’

One concept, which will make its debut at the SxSW Interactive Festival in Texas next week, is a wearable device called ‘N’, which is currently under development. According to Sony, the gadget allows users to experience audio in a new way, without having to ‘insert any object into his or her ear.’

The new Future Lab initiative comes following the establishment of other product development programmes at Sony. These include its Business Creation unit, set up in 2014, which aims to support employees fast track their innovative ideas by holding ‘auditions’ every three months, giving staff the opportunity to pitch their concepts to top level execs. The company also introduced a crowdfunding and e-commerce portal, First Flight, in 2015 to help internal teams raise funds for their proposals. The initiative provides a suite of services to support the sharing of ideas and innovation, and encourages co-creation through ongoing interactive dialogue.

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