Before that, Ryogo Matsumaru, a mystery-solving creator, was the first to discover the facility. I mentioned the future possibilities that Sony presents.
Dialogue between Ryogo Matsumaru and Sony Square Keizo Kajio
Did you know that there is a place at Sony Group’s Shinagawa Headquarters in Tokyo where you can experience the “now” and “beyond” of Sony Group’s various activities, which are only open to business partners and to related parties. Its name is “Sony Square”.
Here you can get an overview of some of the Sony Group’s wide range of businesses, including not only Sony electronics, but also entertainment areas such as games, music and movies, as well as exhibitions related to finance and detection, and projects such as electric vehicles and cooperative agriculture. You can do it.
This time, Ryogo Matsumaru, a mystery-solving creator and CEO of RIDDLER, visited the only showroom in the world where you can experience the “now” and the “future” of Sony Group. After experiencing Sony Square, we spoke with Keizo Kajio, General Manager of Sony Square, Brand Strategy Department, Sony Group, which has jurisdiction over the facility, about the importance of this showroom .
STAR SPHERE, Kyosei Farming, VISION-S.
Discover 3 remarkable projects
As soon as he was guided by the attendant and entered Sony Square, Matsumaru was overwhelmed by the 400-inch screen that adopted Sony’s original Crystal LED that extends to the left. In front of a huge screen that has a viewing angle of about 180 degrees and achieves overwhelming reality with ultra-high definition image quality, I admire it while raising a voice of admiration.
What you will experience with this huge screen is “STAR SPHERE”, which aims to “open the perspective of the universe to people through the power of technology and to spread the emotional experience of the universe to the world through the power entertainment”. affairs”. A simulation image of the earth captured by an artificial satellite is projected on a large screen.
“My childhood dream was to be an astronaut,” said Matsumaru, who enjoyed “watching from space” using the interface and zooming in freely and setting the time. This project is a joint research and commercial exploration between JAXA and the University of Tokyo, and an ultra-small artificial satellite equipped with a Sony camera is expected to be launched by the end of this year.
In the exhibition space that was then guided, a model of a farm planted in a densely populated area with a wide variety of plants is installed. According to the research on “Kyosei agricultural method”, unlike the existing agricultural method in which only one species is vegetated, a synergistic effect is manifested by respecting the mixture of many varieties and biodiversity. This project is also developed as an “extended ecosystem” that has been generalized for greening and education, and is developed and studied to benefit the earth and humanity in the future.
When Matsumaru points to the tablet attached to the farm model, the name of the plant variety, amount of water in the soil, sunshine, etc. are displayed on the screen. Matsumaru said, “If this technology spreads and agricultural expertise is widely shared, the door to agriculture could be opened to people around the world.”
“Kyosei Agricultural Method” is a project created based on research conducted by researcher Funahashi of Sony Computer Science Laboratories.
After that, Matsumaru enjoyed the exhibition of game products such as PlayStation®, famous movie costumes and props run by Sony, content production with AI installed in video processing technology, and video processing robot. “aibo” entertainment. At the end of the tour, Sony will establish an operating company in the spring of this year, and also experienced a test drive of a prototype “VISION-S” electric vehicle which will be developed as a new mobility experience.
In addition to the concept of fully autonomous driving in the future and comfortable user experience, the prototype adopts stereophonic technology, etc., and you can enjoy powerful images and games in the car. Matsumaru, who conducted the test drive, also praised the design of the car and the realism of the content experienced in the car. As for VISION-S, which has sublimated the movement itself, which tends to be boring, into entertainment, “The driving experience so far is a thing of the past. I also want to get a license for this car (laughs) I smiled.
“VISION-S” has three concepts, “SAFETY”, “ADAPTABILITY” and “ENTERTAINMENT”.
Born from the culture of doing things “under the desk”
Opportunity for new innovative business
During this tour, Matsumaru said, “Since I have daily contact with cutting-edge Sony products with a high degree of perfection, Sony has a strong image of home appliances. However, this time around Sony Square . So, I realized that Sony’s goal is further ahead. Sony is a company that takes various approaches and challenges to create things that will become mainstream in the future,” said.
Matsumaru was impressed that activities such as “STAR SPHERE” were born out of voluntary research and the efforts of employees. From the perspective of an entrepreneur, he asks Kajio: “What kind of environment is important to launch innovative projects based on free ideas one after another?”
“Every employee in the Sony Group shares Sony’s goal of ‘filling the world with the power of creativity and technology’, and every company aims to achieve that, right? Sony has always had a culture to do ‘under the desk’ things, like involving friends in ‘what I really want to do.'” (Kajio)
In addition to the business that I experienced this time, Sony Square is a project that I discovered and started by taking on new challenges, such as developing in the field of clothing using the new material “Tripolar” which was born from the research on lithium-ion batteries Is presented. Kajio says that the existence of this facility is an opportunity to get to know a wide range of companies, and not only other companies but also “Sony Group employees are aware of the various initiatives of the company and promote the realization collaboration both inside and outside the company.” Said.
On top of that, he added that he wants many young people to see Sony Square, where they can experience the various activities of Sony Group in one place.
“I would be really happy if middle and high school and university students could find something that would give them a chance to think about their future while experiencing Sony Square.” (Kajio)
“Visiting a showroom like Sony Square, you can look at areas that we weren’t interested in before. For example, even for children who are interested in a small part of the world. I felt it was a rich place to learn more about diversity. By solving mysteries, many people break free from the ladder of study and work to eliminate the disparity in the motivation for knowledge. Looking at it, I can see that Sony is trying to d ‘eliminate the various disparities that exist in the world and provide excitement to various people through creativity and technology.'” (Matsumaru)
This time, Sony Square has received a special request for a remote tour for Forbes readers (expected early to mid-April, see site below for details). If you are interested, take this opportunity to discover the great diversity of the group of companies.
Sony Square Remote Tower for Readers
* Sony Square is not open to the public.
Ryogo Matsumaru◎ Mystery Solving Creator / CEO of RIDDLER. After entering Tokyo University, he became the representative of the mystery-solving circle. The supervised book series “The University of Tokyo Nazotore” has a cumulative total of over 1.6 million copies. With the aim of “telling everyone the joy of thinking”, we set out to solve mysteries in various fields.
Kajio Keizo◎ Senior Manager, Brand Strategy Department, Sony Group, General Manager of Sony Square. After working as a senior producer of VAIO products and senior global marketing manager for Xperia, he is in his current role.