If having a virtual personal assistant on your phone or in you computer wasn’t enough, Sony is more than happy to put one in your ear. Yes, we’re referring to the somewhat curious, somewhat odd Xperia Ear, which, after nearly 8 months since its unveiling, is finally landing in store shelves worldwide. And while Sony’s invisible assistant doesn’t exactly have a name, it promises to be just as intelligent as others, without getting in your face. Although it will, of course, always be in your ear instead.
Sure, you can probably achieve the same thing by using some mono Bluetooth earpiece with your smartphone. However, integration and communication between earpiece and, say, Siri or Google Now has always been fickle and unreliable. Sony’s solution? Put the assistant inside the earpiece itself.
From the outside, the Xperia Ear looks like any of those mono in-ear wireless headsets, except less conspicuous and gesture controlled. And like those, it can handle phone calls, control music, or even dictate messages. Where it really shines, however, is the intelligent assistant that can inform you of upcoming appointments or whether problems in the most natural way: through voice.
The Xperia Ear is just the first of the new line of non-smartphone Xperia devices that Sony teased at MWC earlier this year, and again in just a few months ago. The aim, says Sony, is to inject some level of artificial intelligence into devices other than smartphones. It has yet to commercially launch the Xperia Projector and its Xperia Agent home robot.
You will be paying, a lot, for that smartness though. The Sony Xperia Ear has a price tag of 179 GBP ($220), which is no small deal for a single-ear audio accessory that might not live up to audiophile standards. Even if its smarter than your average