Founded in 1946, Sony was originally called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo before rebranding as Sony in 1955. The first 'Sony' product was the TR-55 radio -- a transistorised tech that made radios more portable by ditching vacuum tubes.
Sony was quick to spot the lucrative early-adopter market, launching the Sony Trinitron KV-1310 colour TV in 1968 -- a year before anyone in the UK could receive colour broadcasts.
Its big entry into home video was the Betamax recorder, which emerged from Sony's matrix in 1975. While Betamax lost the great format fight with rival VHS, Sony tasted sweet revenge three decades later when its Blu-ray high-definition video format won the HD wars.
In 1979 came the iconic Sony Stowaway, quickly renamed the Walkman -- the epoch-making portable cassette player. Then it pioneered Compact Disc technology alongside Philips, with the first player arriving in 1982. The magic touch deserted Sony with the under-rated MiniDisc, a digital sound recording format in the early 1990s.
But Sony's innovations are too numerous to list -- not least the hugely successful entry into games consoles in the mid-90s, with the PlayStation knocking the then-dominant Sega's lights out. Its mobile phones (Sony bought out Ericsson from its partnership in 2011), TVs, cameras, laptops and tablets mean it's got all bases covered.