Last year at IFA in Berlin, Sony displayed a robot prototype named the Xperia Agent, powered by its digital assistant, Agent. Fast forward 13 months and the prototype is now ready for market with a new name: Xperia Hello. The Sony robot will be available on November 16 exclusively in Japan and retail for JPY 150,000 which would be $1300 in the US.
While the price is steep compared to other smart speakers on the market, the Xperia Hello can do more than your average device. The robot comes equipped with a 4.55 inch LDC screen in its belly with multi-touch support. It also has a camera in its upper body which can rotate up to 340 degrees to greet anyone who speaks to it. The Agent provides the same funcitionality as other smart assistants on the market as it can provide users with traffic, news, weather and message alerts. It can also make voice and video calls as it supports both Skype and a the popular messaging app, LINE, in Japan.
A Robot as Part of the Family?
The Xperia Hello is yet another home robot marketed to be “part of the family” as it also has four motion sensors which enable it to detect objects within a three-meter radius. The robot also has lights that function as eyes which can express feelings such as loneliness, happiness, sadness and excitement. The built-in camera also allows it to act as both a babysitter and in-home security system. You can say “Hello Xperia, show me what my family is up to” and the device will notify you of the last time it saw your children’s faces. The “show me what you see” command will provide live footage of the robot’s current surroundings. Oh, and it can also dance on command.