A Sony Walkman audio player
A Sony Walkman audio player REUTERS

Sony has launched its Future Lab Program that actively seeks customer feedback for projects in the pipeline.Under this programme, the Japanese consumer electronic major will share the "concept prototype" of a product with users while it is still in the design and development stage, and incorporate user feedback and suggestions, if any, into the product.

The company has carefully considered this initiative starting with its logo. The design includes the alphabets "F" and "L" placed in the shape of a frame, representing the focus on a particular goal. "Sony will be sharing each of these specific goals through a variety of concept prototypes developed by the Future Lab Program. Going forward, additional letters will be added inside the logo frame to coincide with the launch of each new prototype, each of which will symbolize the concept behind these initiatives," a Sony press release said.

Sony is known for its range of smartphones, cameras, TV panels, PlayStation gaming consoles, and other consumer electronic devices. One of its claims to fame was the Walkman audio player. The company is leveraging on its strength by starting off with an audio device named "Project N", as the first concept prototype for Future Lab.

Project "N" is a hands-free user interface that hangs around the neck as a band. "The project, known as "N," is a concept prototype featuring a hands-free user interface that creates a new way of experiencing audio such as music and sound, allowing the user to receive audio information without having to insert any object into his or her ear," said the company's release.

Sony will reveal this project and other new concept prototypes at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference that is being held in Austin, Texas between 11 and 20 March.