Sony teases black box in viral ad

New video from Sony Japan teases a magical phone that functions as a multidevice remote control. Even more mysterious? The appearance of a black box.

Christopher MacManus
Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.
Christopher MacManus
2 min read
What in the world is this thing? The robots at Sony will let you know on February 21. Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Leave it to Sony's marketing arm in Japan to rustle up yet another cryptic advertising campaign.

A video quietly emerged last week on Sony's YouTube channel labeled Dot Switch. It's a first-person view of someone holding what appears to be an Xperia Arco smartphone and wielding it as a remote control. The Arco is the Japanese version of the Xperia Arc, and perhaps it's relevant to note that the Arco also has an infrared (IR) port.

What's got everyone buzzing about the viral ad is that the person holding the device in the vid is controlling a random assortment of products, such as a gramophone, a TV, and confetti machines. What a strange combination!

The end of the video is marked by yet another tap on the smartphone's screen toward a robot arm that reveals a small shiny black box.

The Dot Switch Web site says more details are coming February 21, which coincidentally also is the day before the PlayStation Vita release in the U.S. and Europe. While there's a great deal of speculation regarding Dot Switch, I strongly doubt the small black device is going to be some super gadget that can control anything as teased in the video.

Logically, the real announcement could be a further explanation of how Sony aims to simplify its multidevice experience, especially after the recent "four-screen strategy" proclamation from Sony executives at CES.

The company is aiming to tighten the way Sony TVs, phones, tablets, and PCs work together, especially with content sharing and distribution. There's also the fact that this is an advertisement aimed at the Japanese market, which means this could be exclusive there and further proves the point that Japan always gets the cool stuff.