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A closer look at Sony's Xperia Ear voice assistant

Engadget Engadget 2/09/2016 Edgar Alvarez
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Sony has been teasing its Xperia Ear voice assistant since last year, but now we know the concept will be an actual consumer product later this year. At IFA 2016, the tech giant announced that the tiny Bluetooth- and NFC-powered device is set to arrive in November, though it still hasn't said how much it's going to cost. Still, unlike at MWC 2015, Sony's now letting people try the device here in Berlin, as opposed to only showcasing it behind a glass box.

Once paired with a smartphone, the Xperia Ear supports a variety of voice commands, such as dictated messages, web searches and weather info. You can also get directions, check your schedule and get more notifications from your phone. Behind it all is Sony's "Agent", a personal assistant platform designed to rival the likes of Amazon's Alexa. What's more, the Xperia Ear is said to have a full-day of battery life and, most importantly, doesn't feel uncomfortable when it's placed in your earhole.

It's worth noting that the Xperia Ear is just one of many concepts Sony has shown off in recent years. Last IFA, for example, the firm gave us a sneak peek at a lamp that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. And like the Xperia Ear, that's being turned into a consumer product as well. We'll be sure to share the Ear's pricing info as soon as we have it, but do keep in mind it's only expected to be available in select markets.

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