Sony president and CEO Nobuyuki Idei delivering a keynote address at Comdex last week, outlined his company's vision of a networked future, unveiled several never-before-seen prototypes and delivered a warning to US companies wanting to play a part in the future networked world.
After acknowledging the lead of American companies in the PC industry, Idei said: `The US is under the false impression that it is the leader in mobile communications and non-PC devices. Europe and Japan have a considerable lead over the US and this gap could widen.'
Noting the plans of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) to provide a fibre to the curb network nationwide in Japan by 2005, Idei added Japan could jump ahead of the US in the broadband sector and asserted: `In the non-PC market, Sony is the clear leader.'
Idei also presented two prototypes not yet revealed by the Tokyo-based company. Sony has produced an `Audio on Silicon' player - a complete digital audio player no larger than the MemoryStick memory card system the company is using in its MS Walkman.
The device includes 160MB of memory and a large-scale integrated circuit (LSI) chip that processes the stored music and enables it to be enjoyed by simply attaching a pair of headphones.
The second prototype also came in the same shape and size as a MemoryStick but the InfoStick is a Bluetooth-compatible wireless adapter.