An ongoing issue with smartphones is that they pull people out of the world around them. Instead of interacting with others face-to-face or being aware of our surroundings, we increasingly spend our time tapping out tiny screens.
During Mobile World Congress, Sony announced a series of concept devices aimed at alleviating this issue. The idea is to keep us connected in a way that doesn't require staring down at a screen. Products include an earpierce, a clip-on camera, a projector, and a tiny robot. Only the first, the Xperia Ear, is coming out this year.
The Xperia Ear is an in-ear device that, while futuristic-sounding on paper, resembles a Bluetooth headset. Instead of using it primarily to talk to others, it will read to you notifications and updates. You can control your pocketed phone using voice commands.
While the ear was expected to launch this summer, that didn't happen. Sony says it will come to select markets starting in November instead.
Look for Xperia Ear and some of the other concepts, such as the Xperia Projector and the Xperia Agent, on display at this year's IFA.