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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • New OS to Highlight Sony's Software Assets: Sony Engineers
  • January 28, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Sony Corp. developed a proprietary operating system, "Aperios," that is targeted for use in household electrical appliances, including a robot.
    Sony exhibited a dog-shaped robot and a reading tool for electronic book listings, both of which employed Aperios, at COMDEX/ Fall '98, which was held in Las Vegas last November.

    Nikkei Personal Computing interviewed Yoshiaki Kagawa (left), manager of Sony's Home Application Development Laboratory of Platform Software Development Center, and Haruyoshi Suzuki (right), SMAP general manager of Sony's Home Application Development Laboratory of Platform Software Development Center, about the goals for Aperios.

    Nikkei PC: What is the purpose of developing Aperios?

    Kagawa: The major purpose is to reuse our software property used in products such as our game machines and audio/ visual equipment. We want to reuse it by making many software modules and combining them.

    The dog-shaped robot exhibited at COMDEX/ Fall '98 was composed of a suite of several software modules, and we think it was a good example of the concept.

    Nikkei PC: Do you have any plans to apply it to set-top equipment such as Internet terminals?

    Suzuki: Maybe SMAP (Single Media Activated Platform) is similar to such equipment.

    SMAP prototype

    The SMAP platform supports a liquid-crystal display, keyboard and mouse, but it has no hard disk drive. Only start-up software is installed in 14MB flash memories.

    It starts with a mini disc (MD), which includes whole system such as basic input/output system, operating system, a driver and application software, inserted into a slot on the side of the body.

    The MD's data storage capacity is 140MB. It is possible to allow the other operating systems to be used in addition to Aperios if they are smaller than 140MB.

    Even if one application program causes trouble, users can continue to use the system by replacing the MD. The purpose of implementing the whole system into the MD is to "detach" problems easily.

    Related stories:
    Sony Proposes New Platform Aimed at Non-PC Users
    TCI Selects Sony Home Networking Module For Set-top Boxes
    Sony Proposes Basic Format For Entertainment Robots

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)

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    Updated: Wed Jan 27 12:33:30 1999 PDT