Sony isn't quite done releasing pricey yet intriguing gadgets into the wild. The company has opened up pre-orders for their first smart speaker with a screen, dubbed the Xperia Hello. The Hello will come in at 149,880 yen, roughly the equivalent of $1,300.
If you're wondering what unique features the device will offer customers to justify such a high price tag, the answer is "not much." While the Hello does include impressive facial recognition technology, most of its other features are pretty standard smart speaker fare.
The device's core features include the ability to take photos, give users weather and news alerts, set important reminders, monitor the status of other family members via connected cameras and make Skype video calls with its 4.55-inch (1,280 x 720 pixel) LCD screen.
Though the device might be lacking in terms of unique "assistant" features, its adorable design will probably be its biggest selling point. In addition to being able to move around entirely on its own, the device features a spherical head with animated eyes that can rotate at will to simulate human facial expressions and gestures. It can nod, shake its head or even wink at the user in response to certain prompts.
Ultimately, Sony is hoping these unorthodox design decisions serve to make the Hello feel more human, encouraging users to treat it like a member of the family.
Although the Hello otherwise seems to be a solid competitor to the likes of Google Home and Amazon's various Echos, the device's high price tag will likely act as a major barrier to entry for many potential customers.
If you're eager to get your hands on an Xperia Hello, you might be waiting for quite some time. The smart speaker will ship out to residents of Japan on November 18. Pre-orders are now being accepted but there's no word on when (or indeed if) the device will be coming to other parts of the world.