back to article Sony: Never mind the phones – look out at what our crazy lab scientists have done

Years ago, Sony was one of the first of the old tier-one electronics giants to get fully behind Android. With its multimedia prowess, its amazing R&D pipeline and its refined design aesthetic, Sony should have ruled the roost. But it was outfought by its vulgar South Korean rival Samsung, for that's what the public wanted. …

  1. Haku

    Do people actually want robots/computers that only communicate verbally?

    Or is it a case of R&D depts thinking we do because so many popular sci-fi tv shows & films have some sort of voice communication between people & machines?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do people actually want robots/computers that only communicate verbally?

      Yes and no.

      What people want is for stuff to be quick and easy. Verbal commands are one way of doing that.

      1. dajames Silver badge

        Re: Do people actually want robots/computers that only communicate verbally?

        What people want is for stuff to be quick and easy. Verbal commands are one way of doing that.

        What people also want is for stuff not to be error-prone, that's much harder to do when instructions are verbal rather than typed or chosen from a menu.

        Sure, there are a variety of use-cases in which one has to communicate with a machine when one's hands aren't free for typing or touch -- and it's great that Sony and others are doing the work to make that possible -- but most people, most of the time, are not so constrained.

  2. 0laf

    Ohh FFS

    When you can make a robot that can understand me yelling at the device with a fairly heavy and irate NE Scottish accent whilst a small boy is taking over me telling me about daffodils or Scooby Doo and the TV is blaring in the background and he's got a 2DS in his hand and I'm chasing a fecking cat round the room...... then, then you've made a breakthrough in voice assistant AI.

    And until your voice activated sat nav can manage a route between Auchinblae and Kirkcudbright without exploding in sparks quit your fecking boasting.

    And that robot looks like the bastard offspring of a coffee grinder and a butt-plug.

    1. Keef

      Re: Ohh FFS

      Ohh DBS (Do Be Sensible).

      There probably aren't many people, even from your local area, who could understand you under the circumstances you describe.

      1. Tony Haines

        Re: Ohh FFS

        >"There probably aren't many people, even from your local area, who could understand you under the circumstances you describe."

        I think he's just looking to replace his wife.

        ...And it looks like a cross between a dalek and a kitchen bin.

  3. gv

    Sony should have ruled the roost

    I'm guessing the rootkits, DRM, the bluray vs. the other format war, dropping Linux from the PlayStation, those weird Dixons-esque high street stores that never seem to have any customers in them, have all contributed to the overall decline.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Sony should have ruled the roost

      You forgot the Sony Memory Stick. (not to worry, so did everybody else.)

      In other news, what has happened to Andrew Orlowski? The article contained only one half hearted kick at Samsung. Why hasn't he blamed Google for the bad weather or found Julia Reda guilty of witchcraft? I accidently read a couple of his articles recently and there were no ad hominem attacks or baseless slurs of character. Should I let him off the naughty step, or is someone ghost writing for he while he is on holiday?

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Sony should have ruled the roost

        Maybe he grew up?

        1. paulf
          Trollface

          Re: Sony should have ruled the roost

          @Indolent Wretch "Maybe he grew up?"

          I'd like to think it was true but it's unlikely. It appears he's the only El Reg journo who still has full advance moderation applied to comments on his stories* (i.e. comments are approved by an El Reg mod before they appear). I understand AO has worked as an investigative journalist in his career so I would have expected him to be a bit thicker skinned really.

          * Not on this story though for some reason...?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sony should have ruled the roost

      Of all those things you listed, none of them are something the average person would give a shit about. What upsets geeks about Sony only makes geeks unlikely to buy their products. Losing a few percent of their potential customer base is not what did Sony in.

      Samsung was the first tier one Android OEM to sell bigger phones, which got them a lot of attention, and they also outspent everyone else combined - including Apple - in advertising. Sony's phones didn't stick out, and they didn't market them effectively (at least not the US, maybe they did better in Japan) and that's why they lost to Samsung. Concern over rootkits and DRM in some of their other products had nothing to do with it.

  4. nijam Silver badge

    > Years ago, Sony was one of the first of the old tier-one electronics giants to get fully behind Android. With its multimedia prowess, its amazing R&D pipeline and its refined design aesthetic, Sony should have ruled the roost.

    Let me rephrase that ...

    Years ago, before Android even appeared on the scene, Sony was starting to rot from the inside out. Their once-admired quality had vanished from large parts of their product range, leaving only the expensive badge and a now-hollow reputation.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Sad, but true... I still have quite a lot of SONY consumer electronics from the good old days, because they just, you know, work without any fuss.

  5. petur

    headphones that do not drown out the environment

    That's exactly why I bought the backbeat 903 years ago: it delivers the music but doesn't block the environment much.

    It's the only safe way to use headphones in traffic

  6. toughluck

    It also has a ludicrous 4K display, which has a kind of grim inevitability about it: the only question was whether it would be LG or Sony that would come up with such a thing. Sony wins the prize with a 3,840 by 2,160 pixel LCD packed into a 5.5 inch diagonal. To save you the maths, that's 801 pixels per inch.

    Kinda hard not to win if they already did it over a year ago.

  7. Grunchy Bronze badge

    I never liked Sony equipment because they put TOO MANY BUTTONS all over the hell of it. Then again, I pretty much only have Sony equipment.

    Playstation was good, In fact, that's pretty much all of what Sony is today. I have PSP, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, and I use none of it ha ha :)

    I clicked on this article because I wanted to hear that they are releasing AIBO again and this time, for a reasonable price. Alas & alack, they are not. PITY.

    (pain in the you-know-what).

    I will tell you what about those headphones: if you leave those in your ear canal, the bacteria goes Insane in there. They headphones have to come out from time to time.

    My favorite Walkman: NWZ-W263, and they come out of my ear canal from time to time. I wish they had Bluetooth, I wish they had FM radio, they have neither, and this product is dead as doornail. THANK YOU VERY MUTS Sony, you should have taken this one just a wee bit further.

  8. Captain DaFt

    Sony: Never mind

    All the headline that was needed.

    They were good once. Long, long ago.

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