Monday, February 22, 2016

Xperia Ear, Sony's New Wearable Bluetooth Headset




Sony has, for some time now, offered up a small range of wearable devices. Starting off with the original Sony SmartBand, which we reviewed favorably, they’ve dabbled in some interesting areas of wearable technology. The Japanese giant made waves a year or so ago thanks to their Tennis sensor that neatly attached to the handle of any racket and offered all sorts of tips and data to analyze about someone’s swing.

They experience mixed success with the SmartBand Talk, an eInk display-packing fitness tracker with voice call support and now they’re taking a leaf out of Motorola’s book. It was rumored last week that Sony would be introducing a small, Bluetooth headset like the Moto Hint, and now the Xperia Ear has confirmed as much. During their press event at MWC 2016, where they recently announced the new Xperia X range, they’re officially launching the Xperia Ear.


For all intents and purposes, the Xperia Ear is a Moto Hint from Sony. It’s small enough to go mostly unnoticed, and the black color should help there, and its case will also double as its charger. However, they have made some improvements here, such as the IPX2 water-protection which should help this stay useable in the rain, we suppose. The idea with Xperia Ear is like other Bluetooth headsets, it’ll be able to make and take calls, but will also allow for commands to be spoken and the connected phone will do the heavy-lifting.


Sony says that users will need to download and install a “host app”, like apps required for their SmartBand fitness trackers and they detail a range of different commands such as internet searches, dictation of messages and even getting navigation piped right to your ear. There’s a little Google Now vibe here as well, as Sony is promising a sort of virtual-assistant in your ear with Xperia Ear, performing tasks such as reading out your agenda or reading out your messages.

The Xperia Ear is certainly an interesting device, and while it might not appeal to most people, it’s the sort of thing that would work well in busy business circles. If anything, it’s just nice to see the humble Bluetooth headset evolve from the telltale sign someone is a “busy person” to a smart and potentially useful sort of item. Either way, the Xperia Ear will be available from this Summer and will only be featured in Graphite Black, at least for now, anyway.


The Tech Zone
The Tech Zone

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