Sony clearly watched Joaquin Phoenix in Her. Its latest announcement is the Xperia Ear, an earpiece that interacts with your phone to inject the sweet mutterings of an AI straight into your skull. Welcome to the future.
Just how “artificially intelligent” is it? So so. The earpiece features a proximity sensor which it uses to tell your phone when it’s popped into your ear. When it’s nestled there, it periodically provides you with information — about the weather, social media updates, texts or missed calls. It uses a slightly modified version of Google Now, so it is genuinely smart, and you can ask it for things like navigation directions, message dictations and the like. Perhaps not enough to fall in love with, but potentially useful.
Sony Ear works with any Android device sporting KitKat or above and will be available in the US later this year during our winter (their summer). There’s no word on pricing or Australian availability just yet. There is one big downside, though: Battery life is sadly limited to three and a half hours of active use. But the earpiece does come with a little case that you can wear in your pocket or handbag — and it lets you recharge the device up to three times while you’re on the road.
We’re not sure anyone wants the future Joaquin Phoenix depicts in Her, but Sony’s certainly not the first to try the “intelligent Bluetooth headset” approach. Motorola did something similar last year with the Moto Hint — and Sony probably won’t be the last.