In the 2013 movie, Her, the main character Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his operating system/digital assistant Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Throughout the movie, Theodore interacts with Samantha through a device he wears in his ear.
Sony's new Xperia Ear, due out this summer, looks similar. It uses NFC or Bluetooth to communicate with a smartphone and responds to the wearer's verbal commands. You can ask it to make a call, search the Internet, help you navigate as well as provide information about your schedule, the weather and news.
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According to the press release, the device, which is made from soft silicone, is lightweight, water resistant and made for continuous wear. The case doubles as a charger and automatically charges the device when it's stored.
Sony introduced the Xperia Ear today, the first day of the Mobile World Congress technology show in Barcelona, saying that it wanted to expand the Xperia brand beyond tablets and phones as a way to bolster its market share.
But as the BBC article points out, people have resisted Bluetooth headsets up until now and it's not clear they will suddenly latch onto them just because of some extra bells and whistles.
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Maybe they would if the artificially intelligent voice sounded like Scarlett Johansson. Maybe.
My own personal experience with anything worn in the ear is that it always pops out and using anything with an ear clip is uncomfortable. So I don't think I'll be falling in love with an A.I. assistant anytime soon.
Here's a video with a little more detail.