Sony unveils accessories and concepts, as good as the smartphones, at MWC 16By Robin-Leigh Chetty 22 February 2016 | Categories: news
It wasn't all about the smartphones for Sony this year, as the company also debuted a new communication tool, as well as three concept devices to enhance its personal assistant portfolio. The former took the guise of the Xperia Ear, a Bluetooth earpiece that is not simply used for facilitating phone calls, but also listening to updates, news and information, as well as set reminders and send speech-to-text messages.
Along with the Xperia Ear, three concept devices also debuted, the Xperia Eye, Xperia Agent and Xperia Projector.
First the Ear, which Sony believes will usher in a new way of communicating with one's smartphone and the world around us. Establishing the connection via NFC and maintaining it via Bluetooth, the Ear keeps its user with updates throughout the day, much like Google Now and the Android Notification Centre does. The difference, however, is the way in which it does so. It can be programmed to send speech-to-text messages for users, as well as understand instructions, such as needing directions to locations. Just like the new X series of smartphones, the Xperia Ear is slated for a mid-year release, but pricing has not at this stage.
Sony also used Mobile World Congress 2016 as a platform to showcase some concepts it has been working on. The Xperia Eye, which serves as a wide-angle camera that users can affix to their body or Sony-designed grip, features a 360-degree spherical lens. The ultimate use for this device is unknown, but perhaps Sony has designs on using it for its virtual reality projects.
One of the more intriguing concepts was the Xperia Projector, which is essentially the visual version of the Ear. It projects specific smartphone information, like weather and news updates, incoming calls and photos, on any surface. Added to this, it also features a touch interface, turning said surface into a touch display of sorts.
Last was the Xperia Agent, which too works as a visual version of the Ear. It is housed in a small robot-esque body, with a rotating head and camera to display information within a 180-degree plane. The information displayed can also be interacted with, and as such could be an interesting alternative to touching one's smartphone display.
For now all three devices remain concepts, but they all show Sony's capacity to think outside the box as far as accessories are concerned.
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