Sony shifts focus towards Internet of Things with latest Xperia product showcases

SONY has made it clear that they’ll be focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) technology with the announcement of their Xperia Ear release date, and Xperia Agent and Xperia Projector showcases.

The Tokyo-based multinational tech corporation’s wireless Xperia Ear voice assistant is no longer just a concept technology, but will be made available to consumers in November. Sony made the announcement at last weekend’s IFA 2016 in Berlin.

The Xperia Ear voice assistant is a small Bluetooth and NFC-powered in-ear audio companion for Sony’s Xperia range of smartphones. The device acts as a ‘virtual personal assistant’ responding to a variety of voice commands. It can deliver notifications, map directions, weather updates and make calls completely hands free.

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The concept behind IoT-powered Xperia products was first unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2016 in February. At the IFC 2016 trade show, journalists were allowed to trial the technology for the first time.

The Xperia Ear compliments the release of the newly-announced Xperia X Compact and Xperia XZ smartphones launching in September and October respectively. The cost of the Xperia Ear has not yet been confirmed.

At the show, Sony also unveiled prototypes of the Siri-like smart assistant Xperia Agent and the touch-based Xperia Projector tech.

Built to rival Amazon’s Echo, the Xperia Agent can place a phone call, manage a calendar and communicate with connected home gadgets through voice control.

The Xperia Projector is an Android-based computer with a short-throw projector in a single box. The projector projects the screen’s image to a nearby surface that can then be manipulated and interacted with by touch.

Currently, it is not known if either of these projects will make it to the manufacturing stage.

This is not the first time Sony has teased fans with new IoT products. At last year’s IFA show the company showcased the concept for a lamp that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker.