Sony Square Opens — and Offers a Closer Look at Life Space UX Products

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

It seems only logical for a brand like Sony — one of the earliest companies to marry consumer electronics with handsome aesthetics — to contemplate the gap between high-tech home entertainment and tasteful interior design. That was the driving force behind the brand’s young division Life Space UX, which has introduced a small, albeit significant, portfolio of products that have already found their ways into the MoMA Design Store collection and can now be experienced in the newly opened Sony Square showroom in New York City.

Sony Square

Wireless connectivity is key to these new products, enabling ease of portability and playability, while their smart and sleek, cordless appearance maintains the interior-design integrity of modern residential backdrops.

Glass Sound Speaker

There’s the Glass Sound Speaker, a minimalist, cylindrical table lamp that resembles a modernized candle or oil lantern with its filament-style LED. Sony’s own “Advanced Vertical Drive Technology” pushes the sound waves through the glass to magically emit clear 360-degree sound. An integrated 50-millimeter woofer, meanwhile, delivers excellent low and mid-range sounds.

The audio, as well as the dimmable light, is controlled via Bluetooth-connected devices such as a smartphone or tablet. And although lightweight and compact, the unit projects amazing sound at surprisingly high volumes capable of filling large party spaces.

Another lighting-and-audio combination product in the 2016 collection is the LED Bulb Speaker, which looks, functions and installs (in a standard A-lamp socket) like any other bulb to blend in with any setting. But, like its description hints, it features an audio component, too. The sound and light can be controlled via Bluetooth-connected devices or the included remote.

LED Bulb Speaker and remote

While it doesn’t offer the same 360-degree sound as the table lamp, the bulb does boast other nifty features including a sleep timer, a visualizer-like mode that enables the light to pulse to the music the bulb is streaming, color-cycle settings, the ability to screw into existing fixtures and recessed sockets and a much lower price point.

Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector

Finally, we would be remiss to not acknowledge the video component added to the Life Space UX family this year: the Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector. A simple, minimalist white box that blends into any interior, it can easily be grabbed by one hand and moved from room to room to enjoy videos, graphics, artwork or photo slideshows projected onto any flat surface (though white surfaces work best), with accompanying audio playing from its integrated speakers.

The projector comes with a separate wireless hub that acts as a bridge between smart wireless devices or wired components (such as a cable box or DVD player) and the projector itself. Viewers can adjust picture size up to 80 inches wide or high simply by pulling the unit farther away from the projection surface. And, if so desired, a floor stand is available at an extra cost.

As mentioned earlier, all of these are available through MoMA Design Stores in the U.S., but if you’re in New York City, it can be worthwhile experiencing them in the just-opened Sony Square showroom, where the public can test out the full range of Sony’s products: the latest PlayStation game console; MESH, a tool for creating your own Internet-of-Things everyday object; concepts that haven’t yet launched, et al. Sony Square is located on the ground floor of the company’s new location at 25 Madison Avenue.

Sony Square

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