Sony is perhaps best known for a wide range of electronics including TVs, the PlayStation, and, of course, cameras. All of these, though varied, have one underlying theme: faithfully and correctly reproducing and efficiently transmitting visual data. At CEATEC 2019, Sony wants to demonstrate its pursuit of delivering social value through its technologies in light of the Society 5.0 thrust. It turns out, it indeed already has the technologies need not only to better the human condition but also save lives.
Sony may have become terrible at smartphones but its imaging technology is often considered second to none. That kind of high-fidelity and high-quality imaging is exactly what’s needed in the medical field for equipment that can faithfully visualize the patient’s body, from outside and from within, with as little invasive procedure or discomfort to the person.
Sony may have the sensors but it doesn’t exactly have the expertise to actually manufacture the medical equipment. For that, it partnered with Olympus to form the Sony Olympus Medical Solutions joint venture to develop two systems that can help physicians and medical personal get a clear view of the patient’s body parts.
The 4K surgical endoscope system, for example, utilizes Sony’s image processing technology to reduce noise interference in dark areas, like a person’s throat or digestive system. The 4K 3D surgical microscope system, on the other hand, creates a more natural 3D image of, for example, a person’s brain using compact systems that reduce the strain on both doctor and patient.
For both cases, Sony’s expertise in wide color range reproduction and low-latency video codec (LLVC) transmission produces high-quality images or videos you’d expect from professional broadcasting equipment, except here applied to life-saving tools.
Sony’s booth at CEATEC 2019 is one of the clearest demonstrations of how the convergence of technology and the physical world can be harnessed to create the society of the future as envisioned in Japan’s Society 5.0 program. Just as important, however, is the cooperation between two companies, Sony and Olympus, who compensate for what the other lacks and merge their competencies into products that not only improve but also save lives.