Sony is among the top manufacturers of cameras, in addition to many other popular products. Now, the tech giant is receiving praise for its latest efforts to advance inclusive technology and bolster accessibility. This includes the launch of Sony’s new camera kit, the DSC-HX99 RNV Retina Projection Camera Kit.
The DSC-HX99 RNV Retina Projection Camera Kit consists of Sony’s DSC-HX99 Cyber-shot and a RETISSA NEOVIEWER viewfinder that employs laser retinal projection technology from QD Laser, Inc. Sony’s new camera kit is designed to empower the 250 million people around the world who have vision impairments, so that they may more confidently snap picture-perfect images.
According to the product description on Sony’s website, the RETISSA NEOVIEWER viewfinder is a type of projector using the retina as a screen. RGB semiconductor lasers are combined to make a full-color weak light beam, which is guided to the retina by a tiny vibrating mirror (a MEMS mirror) and precise optics. The laser light passes through the center of the pupil and projects (scans) a focused image onto the retina, allowing the user to see a clear image without using the focusing function of the eye, even in the peripheral area. The DSC-HX99 RNV kit is listed at $599.99.
Accessibility Beyond Sony’s New Camera
Sony recently exhibited at the world’s largest international conference on accessibility, the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference 2023, which was held in mid-March in Anaheim, California. The corporation shared, in an event press release, that its purpose is to “fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology.”
In addition to the DSC-HX99 RNV Retina Projection Camera Kit, Sony highlighted several other accessibility products and services, including:
- BRAVIA 4K LCD TV: BRAVIA offers a variety of accessibility features that assist with vision and hearing. At the conference, booth visitors were able to experience the Text Magnification function, which magnifies the text on the screen, and the Screen Reader function, which reads aloud TV settings. In addition, with a BRAVIA equipped with Google Assistant, users can use voice commands to search for videos on YouTube, turn the power on/off, adjust the volume and other things — simply by talking to the TV.
- PlayStation 5: Sony says that PlayStation strives to create a gaming experience without barriers that fits the needs of players of all abilities. The PlayStation 5 console features display and customization options like zoom, color correction and text size adjustments, a screen reader feature, closed captions and chat transcription. Players can also customize button assignments on the DualSense wireless controller and adjust the intensity of the vibration and adaptive trigger effects. PlayStation Studios also creates a variety of industry-defining software titles with an array of vision, hearing and motor accessibility settings.
- LinkBuds Truly Wireless Earbuds: LinkBuds have been created with a unique open ring design that lets users tune into the outside world whenever they want, without compromising the listening experience. The ring driver unit features an open central diaphragm for audio transparency, so chatting with friends and connecting to surroundings is easy. Because the earbuds are small, light and do not block ears, users can keep them in all the time, confident they will not miss ambient sounds from the environment even while listening to music or participating in online meetings.
- Xperia 1 IV: Each series of Xperia smartphones powered by Android OS are equipped with accessibility features that assist with vision, hearing and action, such as TalkBack (the Google screen reader), and improved visibility of operation screens.
- Self-fitting Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids: Sony launched two self-fitting OTC hearing aids in the U.S. market in October 2022, which were also on display at the conference. The CRE-C10 hearing aid has a sleek and discreet design that is virtually invisible; and the CRE-E10 hearing aid comes with Bluetooth and has a streaming music playback function.
What do you think about Sony’s new camera kit and its other accessible products?