Sony WOW Studio Returns to South By Southwest with Innovative and Interactive Technology

During South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive the Sony WOW studio showcased their latest R&D projects applying Sony’s cutting-edge technology and newest prototypes. Besides the talk sessions and presentations Sony’s exhibit consisted of the experiential exhibition under the theme of “Technology × Creativity”. While covering SXSW 2019 Interactive we had the opportunity to visit the Sony “Technology × Creativity”. Below is a recap of our SXSW Sony WOW studio experience

Aibo Returns with API and Scratch

Sony’s robot puppy, Aibo, returned to SXSW 2019 with its latest updated app on display. Pairing cutting-edge robotics with unique AI technology, aibo looks to develop a friendship with its owner and create lifetime stories.

At the Sony experience, they had Aibo on display but also had a dedicated area where attendees could play with the robot dog on the floor. Attendees got to test out Aibo’s tricks and corresponding toys designed for the robot.

Das Fremde

Besides Aibo, as I was walking into the Sony experience the next exhibit I had a chance to interact with was Das Fremde. An installation based on the research of Sony CSL using robots and an autonomous agent program to show how language emerged, and how it has evolved and changed.

Multiple robots, each possessing different traits and knowledge, create new words and communicate in new ways as they interact and are influenced by their surroundings and the people watching. About Das Fremde

Robots on the Sony Stage

I had the chance to interact with these three robots at Sony on their Sony Events Stage. Built with a HEBI Robototics chassis these three robot got the most attention, at least from me!

At some point they were all coming up to me wanting a cameo or a robot invasion in the above video!  

Flow Machines

The Flow Machines display showcased the AI-assisted music composition technology presented by Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and Sony CSL. *Flow Machines is a research and deployment project aimed at achieving augmented creativity of artists in music. Sony creates new music together with artists by developing new technology based on machine learning and signal processing technology. Sample of a Flow Machines composition: Imaginary Line. * “Flow Machines” is a technology developed by Sony CSL.


Besides all the robot technology at Sony the Superception exhibit was really cool to check out! The Superception’s research framework led by Sony CSL uses computer technologies for expanding and transforming human perception. This year Sony will showcase “Fragment Shadow”, one of the latest outcomes of the research, a system that enables you to experience changes in bodily sensations through visual changes in your own shadow. About Superception (Super + perception)

Flash Darts

While at the WOW studio attendees had an opportunity to play their Flash Darts game as part of the interactive experience. Flash Darts is a darts game with interactive content by Sony PCL Inc and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund. Flash Darts has a new play method that is different from the conventional dart software by making the material adaptable and movable by combining projection mapping and the latest infrared sensor device. The “Haptic Floor”, equipped with Sony’s haptics technology (tactile presentation technology), is installed to make it easier for you to enjoy darts.


This exhibit was more of a learning experience than gaming obviously. Triporus is a unique finely structured porous carbonous material made primarily of surplus biomass (organic resources derived from renewable organisms) like rice husks, including silica. That means it can easily absorb large substances at large molecular weights that have been difficult to absorb with conventional technologies. This includes organic molecules such as humin and poisonous algae blooms that cause water pollutions as well as allergens, viruses, and small proteins such as enzymes. I’m not certain in the near future when this material will be used in Sony products.

CAVE without a LIGHT

The CAVE without a LIGHT is an exhibition that can be enjoyed without vision developed by Quality & Environmental Dept., Creative Center, and R&D Center at Sony. You can experience playing music together with other attendees using Sony’s sound and haptic technology in a dark cave-like setting. The exhibit was interesting to learn about live however I didn’t have time to wait in line and get to as many exhibits at Sony as possible. * Inclusive design: A method of designing together, acquiring new awareness by understanding diversity.

Sony also presented an 8K theater Crystal LED Display System within NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai- Japan Broadcasting Corporation) booth during South by Southwest.

Sony at SXSW is always one of my first stops when covering SXSW and it didn’t not let me down as usual with their innovative Sony WOW Studio experience. The robots were my favorite but I did enjoy the entire exhibit. For more information about Sony WOW studio please visit: To learn more about SXSW 2019 please visit:


Source: SXSW, Sony