Want to see what the future looks like? Sony plans to help with the creation of a new research and development wing called the Future Lab Program, which intends to share the company’s early prototypes with the world in order to refine its ideas.
The Lab apparently “aims to co-create new lifestyles and user value in the future”, so it “will share concept prototypes with users while still at the development stage, and look to them for inspiration, leveraging their feedback to refine and evolve its projects”. In other words, it will share its ideas and see what you think before it bothers going any further.
The first of those ideas is this fairly bewildering project called N. Sony claims that it’s a prototype “featuring a hands-free user interface that creates a new way of experiencing audio such as music and sound, allowing the user to receive audio information without having to insert any object into his or her ear”. It’s a kind of ribbon-like necklace that allows the user to hear audio without headphones, though from the video you might be hard-pressed to work that out.
Sony plans to show the prototype device off at the SXSW Interactive Festival, though — so it will soon be getting all the feedback it wants.