Smart home speakers are the next big thing in the tech world, and almost all major names have come up with their own or are working on one. The latest to join the list is Sony, which today revealed its new smart home speaker, the LF-S50G wireless speaker.
What does the Sony smart home speaker do?
On Thursday, the Japanese company announced the products that it will be showcasing at the upcoming IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. Among the announced products, the Sony smart home speaker is the most noteworthy, as it appears quite similar to Apple’s upcoming HomePod.
“This smart wireless speaker looks almost identical to Apple’s HomePod. The Sony speaker also offers voice control, just like the HomePod, as well as high-quality 360-degree sound, just like the HomePod,” says Gizmodo.
Users will need to say, “OK, Google,” to trigger the speaker. The sides of the speaker turn into an LED clock display, while at the top, there are various sensors.
“This functionality is another example of Sony’s commitment to customer choice by delivering new and innovative technologies,” said Mike Fasulo, President and COO of Sony Electronics.
The Sony smart home speaker is being marketed as a “high quality” music-focused gadget and comes with Google Assistant built in. Of note, the Sony smart home speaker includes a full-range speaker for vocal and treble notes, a subwoofer for bass, and a diffuser to give the feel of a surround sound system. Sony’s speaker, which is splash-proof, can be connected via Bluetooth, NFC, or Wi-Fi and is available in white or black.
What gives Sony’s speaker an edge over the Google Home is the inclusion of gesture controls. It can recognize gestures to adjust the volume, play music and skip tracks, notes The Verge. The Sony smart home speaker will available for purchase in October and will cost $199.99. In comparison, the HomePod costs $350 and won’t start shipping until December.
Apple-like wireless earbuds
Another new product from Sony that’s being talked about is the new wireless earbuds. According to Gizmodo, they again “look a lot like Apple’s AirPods, at least in terms of what they do.” Similar to the AirPods, Sony’s product comes in a portable charging case and has microphones for taking calls. Another similarity is that Sony’s earbuds also come with a one-touch button for controlling playback and taking calls. However, what makes Sony’s wireless earbuds unique is that they come with noise cancellation technology.
Sony claims that the earbuds offer about three hours of battery life, and a full charge could take about an hour and a half. Unlike Apple’s AirPods, Sony’s earbuds can’t be tracked, so you will have to a buy a new set if you lose them. Sony’s earbuds will be out in September and will cost $200 (Apple’s AirPods are $160).
Another notable announcement was the “3D Creator” feature. This feature will complement the three new Xperia smartphones coming this fall. According to the Japanese company, the new in-house feature facilitates 3D object scanning to help users set a live wallpaper, print on a 3D printer, enjoy augmented reality camera effects, create avatars, and work with other AR-related features.