Revisiting the forgotten historical past of bizarre Sony merchandise


Sony has seen dramatic ups and downs within the know-how market since its inception. The Japanese tech powerhouse, which as soon as dominated the buyer market with the Walkman, Vaio laptops and the Trinitron TV and even made massive bets on Hollywood by buying Columbia Footage, nonetheless exists however its priorities at the moment are completely different. It continues to thrive within the high-end shopper electronics house with the PlayStation model, Bravia TVs and mirrorless cameras, regardless of growing strain from its American and Korean rivals.

Many individuals owned Sony merchandise of their childhood, they usually invoke nice recollections even for those who haven’t used them in years. Sony is a sizzling model within the collectors neighborhood – and individuals are able to pay an enormous sum for uncommon gadgets. At the moment we’re going to try simply a number of the weirdest and out-of-the-world merchandise which have come out of Sony’s lab by means of the years. These gadgets might not be as profitable as Sony’s different merchandise, however they did showcase how this firm was as soon as prepared to take dangers and had no inhibitions to roll out loopy merchandise available in the market.


An MP3 participant, a built-in speaker and an autonomous robotic within the form of an egg. Launched in 2007 for $400, the Rolly is until date Sony’s most unearthly system. It by no means took the tech world by storm but it surely confirmed that the designers and engineers at Sony had full liberty to think about one thing as wild and weird because the Rolly and convey it to the market. When the egg-shaped music participant performs music, it flaps its aspect flippers, flashes lights and jiggles like a robotic.

sony rolly, rolly, sony products, The Sony Rolly was launched in 2007 for 0. (Picture Supply: Amazon UK)

The Rolly was distinctive sufficient to be simply differentiated from the iPod, the dominant music participant of its time however Sony’s digital-audio participant didn’t do properly commercially. The Rolly had two audio system, but it surely lacked a built-in headphone jack. Shoppers at a time needed an MP3 participant that they may carry of their pockets however Sony was seeking to faucet in a brand new demographic with a tool that gives a singular expertise to individuals.

Pill P

Lengthy earlier than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Floor Duo, Sony experimented with a tool that was meant to excel in multitasking. The Pill P wasn’t something just like the iPad, which was crushing Android-based tablets in 2011.  With two shows and a hinge, Sony tried to make a dual-screen pill but it surely by no means obtained industrial success. The thought wasn’t half-baked, however the Pill P was too bold for its time. It boasted two 5.5-inch shows, though it weighed a hefty 372 grams, the pill may simply be slipped in a again pocket.

sony, sony tablet P, sony tablet The Pill P was additionally powered by the 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. (Picture Supply: The Indian Specific/ Anuj Bhatia)

Not that the {hardware} of the pill was not top-notch; it had a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and 4G however the software program was an enormous let down. The pill lacked built-in multitasking options; plus, third-party apps weren’t dual-screen pleasant. Sony’s personal apps had been optimised for the Pill P however these had been mixed-bags. Because the launch of the Pill P, many corporations have experimented with dual-screen and foldable gadgets however we’re but to see a tool that convinces customers to ditch their current telephones for one thing just like the Galaxy Z Fold or Floor Duo.

FES Watch U

We guess you’ve by no means heard concerning the Sony FES Watch U, a very customizable watch with an digital ink face and strap show. Excessive on experimentation, the Watch U wasn’t precisely a smartwatch. It didn’t bombard you with notifications on the wrist or allow you to measure your coronary heart fee. As an alternative it merely centered on customisation and the power to personalise the e-paper watch face and watch strap. Pitched as a ‘style watch’, the primary proposition of the Watch U was to alter your complete look of the watch.

All it’s essential do is use an app in your smartphone and select between 100 preinstall designs, select the one you want and use these designs on the watch. Whereas there’s no denying that the FES Watch U was immediately recognisable on the record, because of its e-ink show, its worth of 549 kilos made it area of interest and restricted to the fashion-obsessed crowd

Vaio VGN-UX50

A yr earlier than Steve Jobs launched the iPhone and altered the tech panorama, Sony launched its first Extremely-Cellular Moveable Pc (UMPC), the VAIO VGN-UX50. Marketed as a brand new breed of extremely cellular PCs, the UX50 was a handheld pc with a tiny built-in keyboard and a slide-out contact succesful show. It wasn’t a pocketable system however reasonably designed in such a method you’ll be able to maintain it in your palms and use it. Its specs had been beefy of its time, together with an Intel Core Solo CPU, a 30GB laborious drive, Wi-Fi, a fingerprint reader, and entrance and rear digital cameras.

Sony Vaio UX, Vaio UX, The entire thought of UMPCs just like the Vaio UX50 was to experiment with PC kind elements and convey Home windows OS to extra customers. (Picture Supply: Sony)

The entire thought of UMPCs just like the Vaio UX50 was to experiment with PC kind elements and convey Home windows OS to extra customers. Nonetheless, the UX50 wasn’t an ideal system. Its non-tactile keys made typing loads troublesome and the battery life wasn’t any higher than rival UMPCs. Whatever the destiny the UX50 met with, this system stays one of many coolest Vaio PCs. It value roughly $1600 when it went on sale.

Xperia Pureness X5

At a time when the Motorola Droid was the good smartphone in the marketplace and the Palm Pre was hyped like something, Sony debuted a cellphone with a clear show. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness X5 was aimed on the crowd who needed simplicity however didn’t thoughts spending $1000 on a dump cellphone. It lacked a built-in digital camera, no GPS, no reminiscence card slot  however its declare to fame was its see-through clear show. If you activate the cellphone, there’s no color to the 1.8-inch show, which is nearly fully clear.

Flip the cellphone round, you’ll be able to see the show in reverse. The interface simply floats within the air, one thing you get on the now-defunct Google Glass. Critics weren’t type to the Xperia Pureness when it was commercially obtainable, calling it “impractical.” Until date, tech makers dream of creating a clear cellphone however constructing one is just too costly. There are, after all, tech challenges. However the greater query is: are clear telephones even sensible?


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