Sony kicked off the first conference day of MWC 2016 with a press conference, held at its booth at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona. While Sony wasn’t predicted to be announcing all that much, and with a half hour press conference, it certainly seemed unlikely. However, we’re pleasantly surprised with Sony not only announcing a new smartphone range, the Xperia X series, but unveiling a handful of concept devices for our connected lives, called simply the Xperia Ear, Xperia Eye, Xperia Agent and Xperia Projector.
Xperia X series
The Xperia X series embodies Sony’s vision of making our smartphones more intelligent and useful without adding unnecessary extra features that serve only to complicate our experience of our devices, and the world around us while we’re using them. The Xperia X camera features predictive hybrid auto focus borrowed from Sony’s DSLR technology, allowing the camera to predict motion and adjust focus, to capture the best photos of moving subjects.
There are the usual claims about extended battery life and new technology, and while the Xperia X won’t be a top of the line handset, it will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 650 in the Xperia XA device, and the Xperia X Performance will feature the Snapdragon 820. Style wise, the Xperia X range looks rather similar to the Xperia Z5 Compact design, which has already proven its popularity.
Beyond the chipset and some basic details we don’t have detailed specifications for the Xperia X range at this point, but as we approach the northern summer (around May/June for us) we should start to see more details emerge. For now, we have to be content with Sony announcing another product line that looks pretty swish.
The new range of Xperia smart products sounds really exciting, and they clearly captured the imagination of the assembled media pack at Sony’s booth. Jaws agape were all around, and with good reason.
The Xperia Ear is a next-generation wireless ear-piece that will bring a new way of communicating, without missing out on the world around us. When placed in the ear, it will provide a quick brief of what it knows, including your upcoming schedule, weather, and the latest news to match your interests. It also features Sony’s voice technology so that you can give it commands, ask it questions, and you will receive responses and information in naturally spoken language. It connects via Bluetooth to Android smartphones, and with water protection and all-day battery, it’s designed to become part of our lives.
The Xperia Ear will arrive in mid-2016, in a range of colours.
The remaining smart concepts include the Xperia Eye, a body-worn wide-angle camera with the flexibility to be attached to clothing or around the neck. It’s still a proof of concept, but the way Sony demonstrated it, it’s likely to power more immersive video conferencing, allowing you to share special moments with family and friends no matter where they are.
The Xperia Projector will offer crystal clear projection on any surface, and better yet, will respond to touch, voice and gestures just as you would use to interact with your smartphone.
Xperia Agent is perhaps one of the most futuristic device; looking like a cross between Eva from Disney Pixar’s Wall-E, and a coffee machine, the Agent will respond to your voice and gestures around the home, giving you useful information, communication and assistance to control household devices as well. A built in camera and projector display will make it all the more interactive.
We’ll be in touch with Sony closer to mid-year when we expect to see these devices arrive in Australia.