October 17, 2019 – Sony Corporation has today announced that the Sociable Cart SC-1, jointly developed with Yamaha Motor Company Limited, will begin service on November 1, 2019. The first phase of this service launch will take place in Okinawa Prefecture’s Kanucha Bay Resort in Nago City, and the Southeast Botanical Garden in Okinawa City.
The Sociable Cart SC-1, which Sony announced back in August, features image sensors capable of vision beyond that of the human eye on all sides of the vehicle, allowing it to sense the surrounding environment using images that are in-focus in all directions. Moreover, the ultra-high sensitivity characteristics of the image sensors and the high-resolution display installed inside the vehicle allow passengers to see their surroundings at night, even without any headlights. The SC-1 also incorporates mixed reality (MR) technology developed by Sony that can superimpose computer graphics onto the surroundings being displayed on the monitor. This turns the area that used to be taken up by windows, where passengers could only see the scenery, into an entertainment area, thereby enabling a more enjoyable mobility experience.
The initial service, Moonlight Cruise, is a night-time showcase where passengers ride on SC-1 after dark. Rather than being controlled by the passengers, SC-1’s ultra-high sensitivity image sensors and high-resolution display start by showing the night-time scenery and overlaying MR entertainment content. The service will feature two types of content in total, in order to bring the experience to as many passengers as possible.
Moving forward, Sony has stated that it will continue working alongside Yamaha Motor to bring SC-1 to golf courses, botanical gardens, amusement parks, shopping centers, and more in order to provide new kinds of transportation enjoyment.
Image credit: Sony Corporation
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.