Feature Design

Life Space UX

the potential of spaces
to enrich everyday life

Life Space UX is all about creating new experiences through the power of living spaces themselves.
To unlock those new possibilities, we’ve turned the product development concept on its head—instead of designing items that add on to a space, we focus on creating new products that blend seamlessly into everyday environments and enrich daily life.

Creating new experiences
through “life spaces”

People do whatever they can to make their living spaces feel like home, designing their everyday environments with comfort in mind. Why should the products people use get in the way of that ideal? That’s the question driving the Life Space UX concept, which focuses on using the walls, floors, tables, and other core room components to fill life spaces with new experiences. In 2014, we developed the 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector - a device that transports users to gorgeous new visual worlds by projecting high-resolution, large-screen images onto walls.

In 2015, aiming to bring the concept from the living room to the dining room, bedroom, study, and other spaces, we focused on designing new products that would harmonise with the aesthetic of any room but still transform the feel and function of the space at the flick of a switch. For us, it’s all about enriching—not redefining, reshaping, or reorienting—what’s already there.

Where new, exceptional experiences
are born

The Life Space UX concept is a thrilling opportunity to make things from scratch in the new, exciting interfaces between people, spaces, furniture, and audio-visual equipment. From a design standpoint, we have our own ideas about what can happen where those different elements meet—but we also work to make sure that users have the freedom to discover those new experiences for themselves. All the products for the Life Space UX place the focus back on the space itself. We want that concept to give life to new experiences, laying a fresh, imaginative foundation for more fulfilling ways of life.

Tako, Chief Art Director

Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector

Turning everyday
living environments
into visual backdrops

Featuring a compact body with a built-in battery and speakers, the Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector converts ordinary personal spaces like walls and tables into ambient canvases for all kinds of content—from photos and notes to reminders and clock displays. Being a portable device, the projector had to be versatile enough to deliver in virtually any space. That’s why we concentrated on finding the perfect size and look—and the end result is a handy, versatile design that fits right into any interior setting.

The freedom of versatility

Place it down on a table. Set it up on a stand. Throw video onto a wall. Project recipes onto a countertop. With the Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector, users can let their imaginations run wild—the device pretty much goes wherever you want it to go and does whatever you want it to do. The product design had to reflect that sense of liberating versatility, too, so we went with the most versatile shape of all: a simple square. Not only does a basic cubic form with sleek, rounded corners let the projector find a discreet, natural home in any space, but it also steers clear of any quirks that might limit what users can do with the device. Looking to incorporate even more versatility, we also designed the projector so that users could project content on a wall, rotate the main unit to point at a table or the floor, and have the same content show up there. Those design elements are a big part of what makes the Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector the game-changing device it is—and the revolutionary value it gives users.

For the body of the device, we focused on creating a user-friendly, space-compatible design. To make sure that the unit would be easy to pick up and carry around, we kept the device as thin as possible and used a leather texture to give users a better grip. The special clear coating on the product keeps the device free of dirt and grime, too. The warm, natural white colour of the body makes working the device into life spaces a cinch, while the full-mesh plate provides openings for sound, heat from the optical unit, and sensors—but keeps all those different parts out of sight and out of mind.

Greater than the sum of its parts

Numbers and other specs are only part of what gives the products for the Life Space UX its identity. The real value lies in elements that you have to experience to perceive—the aesthetics, feel, and personality of products in actual spaces don’t translate into numerical terms. Boosting basic performance is important, of course, but so is designing shapes, textures, colours, and user-friendly features with spatial harmony—and the user experience—in mind.

Shiono, Art Director/Designer

Glass Sound Speaker

Sound + warm illumination =
Comfort in new forms

Harmonising in perfect pitch with its interior surroundings, the Glass Sound Speaker fills rooms with pristine sound and crystalline illumination. The device gives the user complete control over every setting, letting them get exactly the feel they need to create vibrant, comfortable spaces for chatting, sharing meals, and spending quality time with friends and family. Designed to look like part of an everyday table setting, a piece that blends effortlessly into the scene alongside tableware and cutlery, the tabletop Glass Sound Speaker emanates crystal-clear sound
in all directions to enrich the sensory experience of familiar life spaces.

Top off your table
with a “carafe” of sound

For the Glass Sound Speaker, we used a simple, cylindrical design to create a “carafe” of aural delight. Sound resonates through organic glass, which chimes beautifully with the aesthetics of living spaces, while the colour temperatures of the filament LED accentuate the sparkling midrange tones with both warmth and clarity. Another key part of the design was the start-up and shutdown processes: the device lights up like a candle when it turns on, powering up with a warm, soft glow, and dims at a slow, gentle pace when the power goes off.

We had to make the device look good on alongside tableware—and sound great in life spaces. For the body, we met both of those needs by anodising aluminium with a thin, gold film to achieve the look and sound quality that we were going for. The base of the unit, wrapped in brown artificial leather, not only creates the perfect accompaniment to tabletop colours but also makes the device look and feel like a basic tool—not a fancy electronic device. With that kind of stripped-down, unassuming tone permeating the design, an interface with lots of bleeps and blips would have defeated the whole purpose. To keep the concept consistent, we created the product’s various button sounds by bringing in a professional guitarist to play notes on an acoustic guitar.

Decorate your daily life

The borders between interior design and fashion are melting away, giving people unprecedented creative freedom when it comes to designing their individual lifestyles. The Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector and Glass Sound Speaker shed the conventions of audio-visual design through new approaches to colour, material, and finish, weaving natural undertones into a design that fits right into your hand and nestles comfortably into your life spaces. Perfect for any lifestyle and any life space, these products can work wonders—especially for people who care about interior design.

Fukamatsu, Designer

LED Bulb Speaker*

Brighten your life spaces
with music

Opening doors to new musical experiences can be as easy as replacing abulb—literally. Sony's new LED Bulb Speaker plugs
into regular fixtures to pair warm, gentle illumination with music, making sensory magic through a bulb-shaped design that can go anywhere.

Illumination and sound
in perfect equilibrium

The goal with the LED Bulb Speaker was to deliver illumination and speaker functionality—but also make sure that neither one got in the way of the other. Designers and engineers worked together to create a standard, LED-sized bulb capable of maintaining that equilibrium. After putting the speaker front and centre to maximise sound quality, the team then turned its attention to the illumination element—specifically, how to get the device to function as a legitimate source of strong, uniform illumination. To do that, the team gave the transparent globe inside the device—a component that covers the emitter to prevent the speaker from casting shadows—an optical design that controls the angle of reflection. Another part of the design process focused on choosing illumination colours for a specific set of uses. Unlike most room illumination, which uses daylight colours to illuminate spaces from wall to wall, the LED Bulb Speaker has a sharper focus: providing illumination for reading with music in the background, for example, or adding a relaxing ambience to quality time with the family. The product’s array of warm, cosy colours does exactly that.

Infusing music into your life spaces?
Do it your way

In developing the LED Bulb Speaker, we looked at so many potential users—from single men and women relaxing at home to families gathering around the dinner table. We also talked with expert designers about the whole user experience, starting with how users might find out about the product and encounter it in store and going all the way through to how they would open it up, install it, and put it to use. The LED Bulb Speaker lets people illuminate their life spaces with music—a new concept that’ll help people find new, custom-designed ways of enjoying their day-to-day surroundings.

Kusuki, Designer

The Life Space UX concept casts familiar surroundings in a new light,
enriching life spaces with the ever-expanding potential of audio-visual technology.

* Currently available only in Japan as of March 17.