Meet Xperia Hello, Sony's animated smart speaker

The touchscreen smart speaker can turn sideways and mimic facial expressions via its light-up eyes and moving head.

November 03, 2017

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The touchscreen smart speaker can turn sideways and mimic facial expressions via its light-up eyes and moving head.

Image Source: Sony Mobile Japan via xperiablog.net

Sony unveiled recently a unique smart speaker, the Xperia Hello. What distinguishes the Android-based Hello from other smart speakers like the Echo and Home is that it is animated, robotic they say, with glowing and blinking eyes on its moving head and rotating on its base.

What also stands out in Hello is that it has facial expression recognition, aside from the ability to follow voice and gesture commands. It can also respond by mimicking human expressions, somehow working as a companion robot.

Sony Xperia Hello integrates a 4.55in LCD, too, but this is reminiscent of Amazon's Echo Show that first attempted to combine a home hub speaker and an interactive screen. As for mainstream features, Sony's animated smart speaker can capture images, monitor the home and its owners, make video calls and messages, and retrieve various information online.

While it may be attractive for some to have a robotic and interactive smart speaker at home, interested buyers have to shell out a hefty $1,300 for Hello and wait for it to be rolled out worldwide. Sony's Xperia Hello is reportedly available by November 18 but just in Japan until further announcement.

It is interesting to see, though, if this breakthrough in smart speakers and assistants will push other makers to release their own robotic and touchscreen-integrated speakers.



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