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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?