Kazuo Hirai‘s keynote presentation at the International CES started slow but finished with a passionate call to arms that should resonate loudest at his own company. The CEO acknowledged that Sony has had a string of technological misfires — including its Betamax video recorder — in addition to successes such as the Walkman, compact disc, and PlayStation game consoles. “In an enterprise that makes things, we first must make that connection with people,” he says. And while “we’ve started to deliver that ‘wow’ again,” he added that Sony and the consumer electronics industry “can and must do better” by eschewing “just good enough products…These products must be fantastic objects of engagement.” He touted the advent of 4K television sets, and audio devices that deliver more nuanced reproductions than people typically hear when they listen to MP3s. “An entire generation missed that experience of listening to uncompressed audio…what the artist intended,” he says. Hirai also likes his company’s new cameras. Sensors are so sensitive that users can change the focus and depth enhancement of a photograph after it’s taken. Medical professionals also can use the sensors to evaluate someone’s skin, or determine the amount of oxygen and sugar pulsing through a blood vessel.
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