MWC 2016: Sony’s Xperia Peripherals Feature Speech, Face Biometrics

Sony's Xperia Line Hints at IoT Future

Sony’s Xperia X Series of Smartphones (image via Sony Mobile)

Sony has launched a new line of Xperia smartphones. Announced at this week’s Mobile World Congress, the brand actually extends beyond smartphones to other devices that could be considered part of the emerging Internet of Things.

The Xperia X and Xperia X Performance smartphones offer advanced camera technology including Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, a system that can track selected subjects for focus, employing a kind of behavioral biometrics to predict their movements. Along with the Xperia XA smartphone, they also feature smart battery management that Sony says can deliver up to two days’ worth of energy, and come in a colorful range of models including Graphite Black, White, Rose Gold, and Lime Gold.

Perhaps more importantly, the Xperia line launches with various peripheral products, including Xperia Ear, a Bluetooth-enabled earpiece that responds to voice command to initiate various actions including making calls, navigation, online searches, and so on. Xperia Ear is slated to launch this summer.

More radically, there is also the Xperia Eye, a camera device designed to be worn like a necklace that features “facial and voice detection”, as Sony put it in a press release. That could potentially run up against privacy issues when it finds its way into more real-world environments, but for now Sony says it merely “represents a proof-of-concept exploration” of this technology, and no concrete release date has been announced.

Sony has also embraced voice command for the Xperia Projector and the Xperia Agent AI assistant, and even suggests that these devices will incorporate gesture recognition for user interaction. These kinds of alternative user interface modalities are very much in line with what experts have anticipated for the nascent Internet of Things, and may be a sign of things to come.

(Originally posted on Mobile ID World)