Sony launches crowdfunding site, e-paper remote control

First Flight is a platform designed to take in-house ideas from the planning stage to initial sales

Sony's HUIS universal controller, unveiled July 1, 2015, has an electronic paper display. It was launched on Sony's new crowdfunding site First Flight.

Sony's HUIS universal controller, unveiled July 1, 2015, has an electronic paper display. It was launched on Sony's new crowdfunding site First Flight.

Struggling electronics maker Sony has moved further into the crowdfunding scene by starting its own platform to raise funds for internally generated business ideas, including a new universal remote control with an electronic paper interface.

Launched Wednesday, First Flight is a crowdfunding and e-commerce platform designed to take product proposals from the ideas to sales. It's only available in Japanese and is limited to Sony's in-house projects.

First Flight has three stages, a teaser stage, in which new ideas can be previewed and discussed, followed by crowdfunding and e-commerce.

"One of the strengths and aims of First Flight is to facilitate ongoing dialogue with customers from initial development through to market introduction, by seamlessly connecting each phase from previewing and crowd funding to e-commerce," a Sony spokeswoman said.

Sony has experimented with crowdfunding before, and some of those projects are featured on the site. Its FES e-paper smartwatch, announced last year, is on the new platform along with its MESH sensors that can bring everyday objects into the Internet of Things (IoT).

Also featured on the platform is the new HUIS universal remote control. Invented by engineers in Sony's New Business Creation Department, it's a smartphone-sized device with an e-paper display, infrared data communication and the ability to operate various home appliances such as TVs, stereos, air conditioners and lighting fixtures.

The screen can be customized to display the buttons a user prefers, or information such as the ambient temperature. The controller, priced at ¥25,000 (US$204) is set to have a crowdfunding run of about six weeks on the site, and had rapidly chalked up over ¥1.6 million in funding on Wednesday.

The smartwatch, MESH sensors and the Qrio smart lock have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in total on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake and Indiegogo. Sony has said that its goal with the crowdfunding projects, part of the company's Seed Acceleration Program to foster new ideas, was not to raise money per se, but to get feedback from early adopters before products go to market.

Yahoo Japan collaborated with Sony on the First Flight project, which uses Yahoo's e-commerce and payment systems.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetsonyconsumer electronicsInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?