Interview: Jobin Joejoe, deputy MD at Sony Middle East and Africa Interview: Jobin Joejoe, deputy MD at Sony Middle East and Africa
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Interview: Jobin Joejoe, deputy managing director at Sony Middle East and Africa

Interview: Jobin Joejoe, deputy managing director at Sony Middle East and Africa

Sony is focused on creating a metaverse around entertainment specifically areas such as games, music and sports, says the deputy MD at Sony MEA

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What are the most significant technology trends emerging in 2023? Why are they so vital?
For 2023, artificial intelligence will still be the most significant technology with key advancements in adaptive AI and generative AI. Sony has developed innovative products and services through AI technology.

For example, with our Cognitive Processor XR, Bravia TVs analyse the content and recreate it the same way humans see and hear in the real world. Our Real-time Eye Auto-Focus (AF) also makes it possible to shoot like a professional photographer, with perfect focus on the eye in split-second. We recently launched the Alpha 7RV mirrorless camera, featuring AI focusing system – a ‘deep learning’ trained system that can accurately detect not only human faces, but also birds, animals, insects, even vehicles. This new AI processing unit enables new breakthroughs in subject recognition for both still photography and video shooting.

How do you see the demand for digital home entertainment in GCC?
Digital home entertainment is rapidly evolving. We are seeing a shift to more personalisation and increased digitalisation, both of which are driving significant growth in online gaming and OTT. The GCC has witnessed a rise in video on demand and streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, Shahid, Amazon Prime Video, Starzplay and Apple TV+, which is driving up people opting to stay at home with many consumers purchasing large-screen TVs and soundbars for a unique home entertainment experience.

We anticipate continued growth in the coming years with most streaming platforms producing their own content, with Arabic language content contributing to further growth. Our Arabic speaking customers will be able to enjoy innovative ways to experience entertainment including using the Arabic Voice Search feature in the remote control and search and stream content.

Why do you want to be a brand chosen by creators?
Offering the latest imaging technologies that address evolving needs, in the age of data and the cloud, Sony’s image sensors are helping meet high-speed and high accuracy demands. We want to be a brand that helps nurture fresh creative talents, content creators, visualisers and aspiring storytellers in the region.

We are proud to have a range of digital imaging products for every need, such as the pocket-sized ZV-1F vlogging camera designed for vloggers and online content creators, the ultimate hybrid camera Alpha 7IV and Alpha 7RV with AI-based image recognition, and FX30 compact Cinema Line gateway camera.

Our digital imaging products have advanced imaging technology with extensive usability and custom-built features that are optimised for creators. Through these top-of-the-line products, we aim to be the collaborator of choice for creators.

What is ‘kando’ and how are you delivering it to users?
Kando is a Japanese word that translates as the power to stimulate an emotional response and make people go, ‘Wow’! As a creative company, we always strives to go beyond technology by understanding creators’ and users’ aspirations. Our purpose and corporate direction is “Getting Closer to People”.

Our approach with Kando is to deliver on our promise to stimulate an emotional response through a wide range of experiences, ranging from electronics to imaging and sensing solutions, to entertainment such as music, movies and games, and more. We believe technology is a tool to add more value and opportunity for a richer, more emotional life. We will continue to increase and expand ‘Communities of Interest’ rooted in people’s motives to lead our purpose of “filling the world with emotion.”

How do you see the growth of metaverse in the region? With many firms creating their own versions of metaverse, what area is Sony focusing on?
The metaverse is not only a live network space where people can share time and space, but it also has a social element. At Sony, we consider the metaverse as a new growth area and we’re well-positioned to play a leader role in the industry. In the GCC region, metaverse continues to grow and the emerging technology itself is seen as a huge economic opportunity.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia is leading the metaverse space as governments are introducing measures to tap into this with projection of $15bn contribution to GCC economies annually by 2030, according to Strategy&.

For Sony, working with creators to leverage the potential and opportunities of the metaverse is a key priority. Broadcast and packaged media played a key role in the 20th century, but in the 21st century, this has rapidly extended to networks. Now networks have expanded into an interactive entertainment space – fusing game technology that renders computer graphics (CG) in real time. I think the essence of entertainment is to be live, and spaces that are evolving to deliver these live experiences while also providing a social element, represents the metaverse.

As a creative entertainment company, Sony is focused on creating a metaverse around entertainment specifically areas such as games, music and sports. Sony unveiled its latest invention for the metaverse, a wearable motion-tracking system called Mocopi. The new system, similar to motion capture suits, is comprised of six colorful sensors that are placed on various points of the body to capture human movements in real time and link them to an avatar. Metaverse continues to evolve over time and Sony will continue to contribute to its expansion through the brand’s diverse businesses and key areas.

Tell us about your new product launches for 2023.
The Middle East and Africa region represents a key growth market for Sony across several product segments – including televisions, digital imaging and audio products. As an innovative technology brand, we plan to continue our growth strategy in 2023. The year-on-year growth that we achieved is a testament to the strength of Sony and the customers that continue to trust us. We have a strong line-up in 2023, following on from this year’s line-up, which featured an updated XR processor, to deliver ramped up image processing power across Sony’s BRAVIA XR TVs, 4K OLED TVs, QD-OLED TV and our first Mini LED TV. In 2023, we will focus on enhanced customisation for at-home entertainment. We are also expecting new upgrades to our popular and award-winning Noise Cancelling Headphones as well as new Alpha Mirrorless cameras.

Read: Sony unveils high-end PS5 controller with parts you can mix and match

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