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CSUN Assistive Technology Conference 2024

Sony's Accessibility CSUN 2024Sony's Accessibility CSUN 2024

CSUN Assistive Technology Conference 2024

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Exhibition Overview

Sony Group Corporation will participate in the 39th CSUN Assistive Technology Conference to be held in Anaheim, California, USA from March 18 to 22, 2024. CSUN is an international conference that introduces the latest products, services, and initiatives with accessibility as the keyword. Each year, CSUN attracts many users with disabilities as well as leading companies, governments, and industry experts.Sony enhances the accessibility of our products, services, and experiences.

Through our commitment to an inclusive future, we aim to create a world where everyone belongs and share Kando (emotion) Sony has been participating in CSUN since 2018.

At CSUN 2024, Sony will exhibit the products which have been designed with accessibility in mind. It will also schedule some sessions to introduce Sony's activities in the area of accessibility.

Access™ Controller for PlayStation®5 consoles

Everyday, we strive to connect the world using the power of video games. We do this by using the latest technology to evolve accessibility features, products, and services for all PlayStation® users.
The PlayStation®5 console is equipped with system, display, and sound customization settings that enhance user accessibility. Select Settings > Accessibility from the control center. From there, you can customize display and sound features including Zoom, Color Correction, Text Size, Bold Text, High Contrast, Closed Captioning, Screen Reader and Mono Audio for headphones.
The "Access™ controller" for PlayStation®5 console was launched after five years of continuous improvements in collaboration with accessibility experts and organizations. Through our support of extensive customizations to meet diverse needs, we are working hard to achieve a future in which all players can enjoy games.

  • POINTS
    • Make use of interchangeable buttons and analog sticks to freely adjust layouts to suit the player’s range of motion, strength, and physical needs.
    • Combine up to two Access controllers for use as a single virtual controller.
    • Can be used in conjunction with other external input devices and peripherals.

Access Controller was selected for "GOOD DESIGN GOLD AWARD" in the "2023 Good Design Awards." "GOOD DESIGN GOLD AWARD" awards are specially presented for particularly outstanding designs chosen from among all awarded works of the GOOD DESIGN AWARD 2023.

Contents of the access controller box
Settings screen for assigning buttons
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Alpha Camera

We want as many users as possible to take advantages of the functions that are standard with Alpha and express themselves through high-quality imagery. With this goal in mind, we had several discussions with employees who are blind and love cameras, to help us decide on the best sequence for items to be read out when taking photos, such as F-number and shutter speeds. With its carefully selected accessibility features, Alpha will continue to support creators by serving as a trustworthy companion regardless of age or disability.

  • POINTS
    • Check menus and operation vocally instead of visually
    • Enlarge menus and operation displays
    • AI-enhanced recognition performance enables fast recognition of a wide range of objects and adjusts focus accordingly
  • *Available features differ by model
Image of ILCE-7CM2L and Displaying the Alpha operation screen enlarged in three stages from normal size.Image of ILCE-7CM2L and Displaying the Alpha operation screen enlarged in three stages from normal size.
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Retina Projection Camera Kit

Sony created this retina projection camera kit, DSC-HX99 RNV kit out of a desire to deliver the joy of photography to the estimated 250 million people around the world with low vision* and to allow more people to feel the pleasure of sharing scenes that move them or that they wish to remember.

The kit uses the laser retinal projection method, which is less affected by the eye’s ability to adjust focus, to project the image in focus onto the area around the retina, thereby changing what is "difficult to see" into "clearer sight" for people with low vision. With the cooperation of schools for the blind and other institutions, Sony applied actual feedback from people with low vision and opinions shared during the interviews to the kit to provide a photography experience powered by high optical zoom.

  • *Low vision is a visual impairment that causes inconvenience in daily life, such as difficulty seeing, being dazzled, or having difficulty walking due to a narrow field of vision, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses. The population is estimated to be 250 million worldwide.
  • POINTS
    • The kit, which combines a digital camera manufactured by Sony with a viewfinder from QD Laser, Inc., changes what is "difficult to see" into "clearer sight".
    • It projects a laser weak enough to have no effect on the eye onto the retina to display images in detail.
    • The kit enables not only people with low vision but also people who are farsighted or severely nearsighted to take photos without relying on the ability of their eyes to adjust focus.

The Retina Projection Camera kit was selected for “GOOD DESIGN BEST100” in the “2023 Good Design Awards.” “GOOD DESIGN BEST100” awards are specially presented for the top 100 designs among all the award winners.

DSC-HX99 RNV Retina Projection Camera kit | DSCHX99RNVKIT
Illustration of RETISSA system
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4K OLED TV BRAVIA®

BRAVIA®'s accessibility features continue to evolve to allow more people to use their TVs independently. Improvements are informed by research conducted with people with disabilities. In addition, new functions have been added to allow TVs to be shared with family and friends and continue to be a source of entertainment / emotion (Kando).

  • POINTS
    • TalkBack screen reader can be used during initial setup.
    • Option to extend Menu timeout to view menus longer, and Color inversion and Grayscale mode are available.
    • Volume reset can turn TV on at preferred volume, and Multi-Audio out allows you to listen through TV speakers and a Bluetooth device at the same time.

Image of BRAVIA KJ-65X85L
Menu of BRAVIA's accessibility (user support) features *Each function name is for the product for the United States.
  • *The availability of TVs which have these features might vary by country/regions.
  • *The TVs which have these features are not available in Japan.
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Xperia™ Smartphone

The latest Xperia™ smartphones*1 are equipped with accessibility features that assist with vision, hearing, and action, such as TalkBack*2 and improved visibility of operation screens.
Since 2021, the Sony’s software team has been playing a central role in improving some of the applications with input from employees with disabilities at Sony/Taiyo Corporation. Visitors to the Sony’s booth will be able to experience the operability of Xperia smartphones that support accessibility including the new accessibility features developed in this activity. Sony will exhibit a function that informs the user of the horizontal measurement information of the photography screen through sound when taking photos using the Photography Pro.

  • *1Xperia 1 V, Xperia 1 IV
  • *2The TalkBack function is the screen reader on Android devices
  • POINTS
    • The user is notified with sound both when the Xperia photo screen is level and when it is misaligned.
    • The color of the setting button reverses to show the setting change in a way that is easy to understand.
Image of Xperia1Ⅴ
Shooting a plant using the photography app Photography Pro on the Xperia 1V.  A sound informing the user whether the Xperia's shooting screen is level with the subject.
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Truly Wireless Earbuds LinkBuds

LinkBuds is a truly wireless earbuds that is equipped with a ring driver unit and has a structure that does not block your ears. Even when you wear LinkBuds, you can receive all kinds of information and enjoy music and other entertainment while listening to surrounding sounds naturally without blocking your ears.

  • POINTS
    • Lightweight and compact design that makes you forget you're wearing it
    • With a structure that does not block your ears, you can hear surrounding sounds naturally even when wearing earbuds
    • Easy to operate with wide area tap that allows you to operate by tapping the face around your ears

In Japan, we collaborate with the walking support app for visual impairment, Eye Navi (COMPUTER SCIENCE INSTITUTE CO., LTD.)*. And we are proceeding with development while receiving field evaluations from visual impairment.

  • *This application is only available in Japan.
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Off-Ear Design Wireless Headphones Float Run

Float Run uses an off-ear design in which the speaker floats in front of your ear, achieving both a comfortable fit without putting anything in your ear and high sound quality. You can enjoy entertainment such as calls and music while naturally hearing the surrounding sounds and your own voice. In addition, the design is easy to fit anyone and does not cause pressure, making it comfortable to wear during sports such as running or even when used for long periods of time.

  • POINTS
    • A new listening style where the speakers float in front of your ears
    • With a structure that does not block your ears, you can hear surrounding sounds naturally even when wearing headphones
    • Designed using body data such as ears and head, it is easy to fit anyone and does not come off easily, allowing for stable wearing even when moving smartly such as running
    • Equipped with a microphone that can be used for remote work
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Self-fitting Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids (only in the U.S. market) *1

Due to changes in regulations by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 2022, the sales of over the counter (OTC) hearing aids are spreading in the new consumer sales channel as well as in the conventional sales channel via audiologists or hearing instrument specialists.
Sony will exhibit the CRE-C10, a sleek and discreet design that is virtually invisible and the CRE-E10, an earbud-like design with a different appearance from conventional hearing aids by listening to users' voices before and during development in partnership with WS Audiology.

  • POINTS
    • These products offer self-fitting adjustment*2 performed by users themselves using their smartphone to match their hearing ability. Users can feel free to use the OTC hearing aids with confidence.
    • A dedicated smartphone application allows users to perform more detailed tuning and volume control at any time and provides a simple and continuous use environment.
  • *1Self-fitting OTC hearing aids are FDA Class2 medical devices that can be purchased without prescriptions and for use by individuals 18 years of age or older with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment.
  • *2Sony | Hearing control app – Use app on smartphone to personalize settings. Download app at Google Play and the App Store. Network services, content, operating system, and software subject to terms and conditions and may be changed, interrupted, or discontinued at any time and may require registration.
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Sessions

CSUN 2024 will schedule the following sessions.

Session: Delivering Innovation for an Accessible Future

At the beginning, Senior Executive Vice President of Sony Group Corporation, Shiro Kambe, and President and COO of Sony North America, Neal Manowitz, will send messages regarding Sony's accessibility. Also, Sony's ongoing accessibility initiatives will be introduced, such as collaboration with organizations for people with disabilities and the latest products which are accessible.The session, "Connect with Sony's Accessibility initiatives", will be delivered on YouTube Live.

Session: Sony’s Solutions to Accessible Imaging

In this session, Sony, Sean Dougherty, a Director of Accessible User Experience Services at a non-profit organization Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc., and James Rath, a YouTuber with low-vision, will share the importance of accessible content creation available for all creators. They will also highlight how Sony has been incorporating accessibility in its imaging products and opened up creative freedom to a wide range of users including those who with visual challenges, such as Screen Reader and Enlarge Screen functions of Sony’s Alpha™, as well as Retina Projection Camera Kit DSC-HX99 RNV kit.

Session: Designing Tactile Dots for Sony BRAVIA Products

At Sony, we have defined values for the accessibility of our audio & visual products, including: “Possible to do by myself”, “Possible to do everything” and “Possible to enjoy together”. As we work towards our values, Sony BRAVIA TV and Sound Bar will now have tactile dots near their terminal ports to help you identify the port locations when connecting cables. 
In our session, we will share how we identified the challenges for our blind and low vision users when connecting a Sound Bar to a TV and how we came to a solution. We will share how this design was inspired by inclusive design principles and how this solution will help all users. We are excited to continue our design efforts to make our products more accessible by considering the needs of users with diverse abilities.

Session: Accessibility Innovations at Sony Interactive Entertainment

In this session, the accessibility team from Sony Interactive Entertainment, the company behind the PlayStation brand of products, will touch upon their latest work in accessibility, including the Access controller for the PS5® console. A versatile controller kit that can be customized to meet players’ diverse needs, the Access controller was designed in close collaboration with the accessibility community to help players with disabilities play more comfortably for longer. We will also cover a wide range of accessibility features from the PlayStation 5 console and PlayStation Studios games.