Sony previews prototype Xperia gadgets

Prototypes from Sony's R&D labs show how our gadgets will understand our voice and gestures in future

Sony is looking at taking the Xperia brand beyond smartphones and is showing off some prototype gadgets at the IFA trade show in Berlin.

It was keen to underline that not all of them might make it to manufacturing, but those on display were fully working prototypes with hardware and software stable enough that the company let a reporter test them out.

Xperia Projector

160903 sony xperia 1 Magdalena Petrova

Sony's Xperia Projector on show at IFA in Berlin on September 1, 2016.

This is an Android-based computer with a short-throw projector in a single box. The projector sends the screen image onto a nearby tabletop or wall and users can interact with it by using their fingers on the projected image.

An infrared sensor in the device watches the fingers and figures out where they are pressing on the projected screen.

I played a couple of games on it, browsed though the Android home screen, watched a YouTube video and didn't notice any lag in response or glitches.

Because it runs Android, there's a mass of software just waiting to be downloaded and used.

Xperia Ear

160903 sony xperia 2 Magdalena Petrova

Sony's Xperia Ear on show at IFA in Berlin on September 1, 2016.

At first glance, the Xperia Ear could easily be mistaken for a Bluetooth earpiece but this is one gadget you don't have to talk to.

Sensors in the earpiece can detect if you're nodding or shaking your head so, when a computerized voice asks you if you want to answer a call, you make the appropriate head movement.

It's a neat trick, although it's hard to see head movements being the only way you could interact with something, unless you want to work through endless yes/no questions. In all likelihood, this can be integrated with a voice recognition system.

Xperia Agent

160903 sony xperia 4 Magdalena Petrova

Sony's Xperia Agent (left) sits next to a coffee maker at IFA in Berlin on September 1, 2016.

Perhaps the most high-tech of the prototypes was the Xperia Agent, a half-robot version of the intelligent agent in systems like Amazon's Echo. You can ask the Xperia Agent to place a phone call, manage your calendar and take care of communications with connected home gadgets, all through voice control.

At IFA, Sony had it hooked up to a Bluetooth-equipped coffee maker, so getting a fresh brew was as simple as giving it the instruction.

Here's video of them all in use:

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags IFA

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?