Sony Wants Your Advice About its New Prototypes

Sony Wants Your Advice About its New Prototypes
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Sony wants to give customers and would-be inventors a look inside its R&D process -- no security clearance needed -- with a new initiative called Future Lab Program.

The idea behind the program is to share the concepts and prototypes currently being built by the tech giant and then integrate user opinions and feedback into product development.

Related: Sony Is Bringing Back the Walkman (Again)

The first prototype -- a necklace equipped with some sort of listening capability -- will debut at the SXSW Festival in Austin next week. The device is called "N" in the teaser movie and is described thusly: "Free your ears, hands, and eyes. Enjoy your favorite activities to the full with a wearable device that never hinders movement."

Related: Struggling Sony Reveals Its Answer to Google Glass

This isn't the first time that Sony has turned to the crowd to get its latest ideas off the ground. Last year, the company started a dedicated crowdfunding platform in Japan called First Flight. Some of the first products on offer included an all-in-one remote and a DIY smart project kit.

The first device from the initiative that got any traction was a smartwatch called Wena. The watch was expected to begin shipping to customers sometime this month.

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