Sony Readies Robotic Smart Speaker

Sony looks to differentiate its take on the smart speaker with a spot of cuteness-- the Xperia Hello is an Alexa-compatible number featuring a 4.55-inch display and a round, animated face.

Sony Xperia HelloFirst presented in concept form back at MWC 2016, the Xperia Hello is an Android-based device able to recognise facial expressions and gestures as well as voice through a camera on top of the swivelling "face." The camera is paired with 7 microphones and 4 motion sensors, allowing the Hello to detect people approaching within a 3m radius.

As mentioned earlier, the Hello uses Alexa for voice recognition, although getting its attention requires calling out "Hi Xperia!" The animated face features various expressions and gestures, and the device can take photos, make Skype video calls, check on family members, provide reminders and alert of news, weather and traffic. Being a Japanese product it is also compatible with Line, the country's WhatsApp equivalent.

The Xperia Hello is available in Japan from November 2017. Sony gives no word of a Western release, although it is probably unlikely.

Go Sony Xperia Hello