At the MWC 2017 show floor, Sony took the wraps off Xperia XZ Premium, XZs, XA1, and XA1 Ultra smartphones. The company also announced the Xperia Ear 'Open Style' earphones that can compete with Apple AirPod. This is a new wireless smart earbud concept that is based on open-ear audio technology.
This product, which is out of Sony's Future Lab Program is yet to be commercialized. The Xperia Ear Open Style concept has a loop-like design and a metallic body. The concept earbuds use a couple of spatial acoustic conductors and driver units that work together in order to transmit sounds to the ear canal directly.
The Xperia Ear Open Style earphones will be powered by Sony Agent Technology, the company's in-house personal assistant, which uses voice commands and head gestures for communication and navigation with the device. It also has Google Assistant as Sony uses the platform meant for its Android smartphones. It will also have support for third-party apps and services.
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Once it is commercialized, the Sony concept earbuds will have the new Anytime Talk voice chat service letting users start a group conversation in real-time instantly without searching the contact or dialing the number. The beta version of the service will be rolled out to the first generation Xperia Ear in the coming months. Sony is aiming to provide a different audio experience in order to compete with Apple AirPods that supports Siri.