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SONY Introduces Network Strategies for The Conference Room

Sony Demonstrates Networked Meeting Concept, Wireless Network Projector and e-conference(tm) Software at Infocomm

ANAHEIM, Calif., June 15, 2000 - Imagine having a business meeting utilizing a wide range of projectors, monitors, PCs, white board, videoconferencing system, cameras, and a scanner. Now add a dozen participants, some in the room, some at multiple locations around the world. What if the laptops transmitted the presentation wirelessly to the projector and the only cables were those of products connected to a network? Finally, imagine the easy flow of data, graphics, text, and video between participants in real time from all locations.

That's what Sony's network projector and e-conference software are designed to do. This is Sony's vision for conference room technology that was unveiled today at INFOCOMM 2000 in Anaheim, Calif.

"Sony's strategy for an e-conference system is a seamless, networked, collaborative work environment that enables dynamic meetings through the combination of "smart" devices, such as a networked projector and software," said Clint Hoffman, director of marketing for display products, Sony Broadcast and Professional company. "Sony is beginning this strategy with projectors and will migrate it to other professional audio/video products. Information can be sent across the network wired or wirelessly, depending on the particular device. A scanner can send data to a flat panel monitor, a PC can send a presentation to a projector, and the display of a whiteboard can be sent around the world," added Hoffman.

The Wireless Projector with No PC Required - an Industry First

Sony's display at INFOCOMM will feature a prototype wireless LCD projector. The projector is a "smart" device with a built-in operating system and storage memory so it doesn't require a dedicated PC. This is an industry first.

Sony's network projector has a number of unique features including:

  • "Smart" on-board operating systems and memory. No dedicated PC is required. The unit offers more than just simple control and status update, and the ability to send files to the projector.
  • Wireless communications with a host of portable devices.
  • SNMP for remote diagnostics and software / hardware upgrades.

The projector uses the existing standards and protocols of Windows CE(R) operating systems, Hewlett Packard's JetSend(R) protocol, and the IEEE 802.11b wireless transmission standard. HP's JetSend is a device-to-device communications protocol that allows two devices to connect, negotiate the best data type, and provide device status and exchange information, without a server or user intervention.

Using Windows CE adds the advantage of having the compatibility to display most of the everyday applications used in presentations, such as Microsoft(R) Word, Excel(R) and PowerPoint(R).

In addition, you can view JPEG files and browse the Internet. An added benefit of using Windows CE is its support of the DirectX API, which means that the DirectX multimedia applications run on the PC would be able to run on the Sony projector without having the PC attached.

An added benefit of Sony's projectors will be SNMP, or Simple Network Management Protocol. SNMP is the Internet standard protocol for exchanging information between management console applications and hosts, routers, bridges, hubs, or in Sony's case projectors and displays. A key advantage of SNMP is:

    - Self-diagnostic surveillance--The SNMP device can automatically send an alert in the case of a device failure or need for a preventive maintenance function. Since SNMP is an Internet-based standard, this notification can occur within a local area network or to a computer on the other side of the world.

The Sony network projector prototype makes use of the IEEE 802.11b wireless transmission standard. This standard consists of Ethernet transmission at 11MB per second in the 2.4 GHz band, using spread spectrum technology.

Sony plans to introduce network projectors to the market in the fall of 2000.

e-conference Software for Seamless Collaboration and Increased Productivity

At the heart of the conference room network strategy is Sony's e-conference software - a versatile meeting software package. It will be designed to easily integrate all products and allow collaboration and dynamic interaction among meeting participants. The software allows for the transfer of information, increased productivity and participation by anyone anywhere over the Internet. It facilitates a flexible, yet secure and confidential meeting.

And after the meeting, all presentation material is neatly packaged in the form of multimedia minutes of the meeting that can be accessed by anyone via his or her Web browser.

Sony's e-conference software will provide the capabilities of:

  • file transfer;
  • chat between participants;
  • routing of information to devices anywhere on the network;
  • network device control; and
  • auto generation of multimedia meeting minutes.

Sony's e-conference software is expected to be released in early 2001.

Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Professional Company (BPC) provides advanced products and systems for a variety of professional and broadcast markets, including production, corporate, industrial, government, security, medical and education. BPC products, systems and applications are designed to facilitate the transition to digital technologies and the emerging broadband network era, while managing current assets. Sony BPC products and services include those for broadcast and professional acquisition, storage, data management, system integration, digital imaging, digital printing, large and small venue display and projection needs. BPC is a division of Sony Electronics Inc., an U.S. company that had record sales exceeding $12 billion for fiscal year 1999. For more information, visit www.sony.com/professional.

For information regarding the nearest Sony authorized dealer or service location, call 1-800-686-SONY. Press releases are available online at www.sony.com/news.

CONTACT:
Sony Electronics Inc.
Robert H. Christie, 201/930-6342
robert.christie@am.sony.com
    or
Sony Electronics Inc.
Scott Gardiner, 201/930-7436
scott.gardiner@am.sony.com