The brand will now represent handheld devices in the audio-video (AV) market segment, in a move to make the maximum of the growing global demand for such products in the market.
According to Sony officials, Vaio Vision 2004 will see the brand reshape the very concept of the PC. The company that introduced and popularised 'walkman' (portable music player) and 'handycam' (camcorder), claims its new Vaio products would be designed to take advantae of the substantial Vaio PC legacy.
"Vaio's new entertainment-driven devices offer a glimpse of Sony's vision of enabling users to enjoy a personal network of high-quality audio and imaging. We believe that through this initiative, not only will Sony be able to consolidate its position in the premium PC segment, but will eventually establish a whole new market by expanding the Vaio brand beyond computing and introducing a new line-up of products that offer consumers a high level of audio and visual experience anywhere, anytime," said Kunimasa Suzuki, General Manager, Business Division 3, IT & Mobile Solutions Network Company, Sony Corporation.
The Vaio PC was first introduced in Japan in 1997 and made its Middle East entry in November 2000. Vaio is the acronym for Video Audio Integrated Operation and was introduced as offering new ways of enjoying the PC ever since its introduction.
Suzuki added, "Over the past seven years the Vaio brand has evolved substantially by inspiring users to use the PC in a manner that they had not yet dreamed of. Vaio has now entered a new phase of dynamic transformation and ill focus on three key product strategies: High quality sound and image, mobility and long battery life and intelligent user interface,"
Suzuki told City Times, "The differnce between AV and PC products are narrowing with every day. I would call it true convergence only when users will be able to create, edit and share digital content any time, anywhere. Our aim is to create products on those lines."
Though the first of the new Vaio AV products will hit the market only by end of the current year, Sony has already revealed details of some of them.
Vaio U would be what it terms 'the world's smallest and lightest Windows XP PC'. Excluding the keyboard, Vaio U weighs just about 550g and features a Touch Panel LCD, which allows users to handwrite using the stylus, and can be complemented with the supplied foldable keyboard for easier and faster typing.
The Vaio Pocket marks a key point in the evolution of the Vaio concept by combining top-end audio player with digital photo album. In order to let users enjoy music more easily, the portable music player Vaio Pocket is capable to store around 13,000 music titles and to continuously playback for 20 hours. Watch out, Apple.
To counter compatibility issues, Sony has developed new user-interface application software for Vaio. This interface - Do Vaio, which has been introduced in Japan, will be the core functionality of all Vaio devices in the future by offering an integration of various AV entertainment experiences such as creating DVD's, enjoying music or DVD playback, and viewing digital images.
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