Sony has unveiled a raft of new products as part of its X range of smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The firm claims it is attempting to offer a vision of the future of communications, as it has announced ambient connected devices that could change the way users communicate with one another and interact with the world at large.
Foremost among these is the Xperia Ear, a wearable assistant that takes the form of a next-generation wireless earpiece. This offers a way of communicating without having to look down at a smartphone screen and so the user misses out on the world around them.
Useful information such as schedules, weather reports and the latest news can be provided to keep the individual up-to-date while on the go.
Sony's voice technology powers the earpiece, which responds to verbal commands. This means the user can ask to make a call and the Xperia Ear will immediately ring the specified contact. Other functions include performing internet searches, dictating text messages or emails, or navigating to a certain location with a maps app.
The earpiece connects to an Android smartphone via near field communication technology or Bluetooth and interacts with the host application, where settings can be customised. This way the owner of the device can set up what features they will need first thing in the morning, specify which commands they would prefer to restrict to touch-only and what apps they would like to receive notifications from.
As a lightweight and soft silicone earbud, the Xperia Ear is designed with continuous wear in mind. With water protection, it will be safe from damage in many climates – and all-day battery life is complemented by a case that doubles as a charger, so it can be kept powered without having to return to a power outlet.
Sony also announced smart product concepts such as the Xperia Eye, a wearable wide-angle lens camera that can either be attached to clothing or worn around the neck. It places the Japanese electronics company's camera and sensing technology into a very small form that boasts a 360-degree spherical lens for a natural field of view. Intelligent shutter technology will use facial and voice detection to capture images, allowing the user to capture moments without having to consciously reach for a camera.
President and chief executive officer of Sony Hiroki Totoki said he intends to continue coming up with new smart products for mobile users.
“Sony Mobile will continue to create increasingly personalised and intelligent products and services that empower you to do more, and live more creatively than ever. Our products and services will connect you to each other and become essential and beloved parts of your lives.”