Sony’s Xperia Agent is the cute little robot that could. But will he?

Adorable robots are always a winner at MWC, so it’s no surprise that Sony’s new concept robot — enigmatically named the Xperia “Agent” — is designed to endear. The globe-headed little ‘bot brought in plenty of onlookers at the show thanks in large part to his adorable eye slits, which blink as he looks around. However, like a lot of concept projects, the big question for this little ‘bot is, “What does it actually do?”

Well, nothing really — not just yet, anyway. Sony’s envisioned a sort of multi-tasking, connected role for the Agent — part Amazon Echo-style smart hub, part tabletop projector that beams images from the web out in front of it, and part Internet of Things smart controller. That’s if the Agent makes it off the drawing room floor. Still, even if it’s just a proof of concept, there are some intriguing plans for the Agent.

Your phone, in robot form

The “Xperia” part of the Agent’s name is linked to Sony’s smartphone lineup, as the little dude is designed to be something of an extension of your phone. In that regard, the ‘bot’s designed to perform the same voice-controlled actions you might do on your smartphone each morning, including sourcing news and weather, reading your messages, or even making video calls, all without the need to hold your device.

Internet of Things ambassador

In addition, the Agent could theoretically be your voice-operated hub for your smart home. Sony claims the little guy could complete a variety of IoT tasks, including everything from turning on the lights, controlling your thermostat and home security system, and possibly even sourcing streaming stations and accessing your multiroom sound system — preferably using one of Sony’s SRS-X speakers, of course.

Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to get a device like the Agent talking to all of your smart home devices. Sony couldn’t give us a clear answer as to whether the Agent would be a proprietary device — hooked into Sony’s own infrastructure — or an open-source device, able to speak the language of many different Internet of Things products. And, of course, that’s where the “concept” comes into play. There’s no clear plan for the Agent as of now.

Still, you have to admit, it’s hard not to love the Xperia Agent. Here’s hoping Sony’s carefully plotting his future, so it won’t be long before he’s joining us for breakfast and filling us in our our coming day.

Product Review

The Safe by Hub6 monitors your alarm system to free you from monthly fees

If paying your monthly alarm monitoring fees have got you seeing red, but you don’t want to scrap your perfectly good alarm system, we’ve got good news. The $250 Safe by Hub6 lets your alarm system talk to you directly without monthly…
Smart Home

Smart home showdown: How to choose between Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show

The Google Nest Hub vs. Amazon Echo Show: Which is better? Both are smart displays that control your smart home, but that's where the similarities end. We compare design, features, price and more to find out which is right for you.
Deals

Best Prime Day smart home deals: Google Nest, Instant Pot, and Amazon Echo

Amazon Prime Day 2019 starts July 15 and runs for 48 hours through July 16, so it's time to start working on planning your strategy. If you have electronics on your wish list, holding off till Prime Day could save you a bucket of cash.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Smart Home

Amazon Show 5 vs. Google Nest Hub: Which Prime Day deal is better?

Comparing the Prime Day 2019 deals for the Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show 5 includes the smart home platforms on which they run, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, as well as the displays' features, performance, and prices.
Smart Home

Sitting all day? The best office chairs for comfort and back support

Sitting at the office all day can be tough on more than just your back. Check out our picks for the best office chairs, whether you're in the market for something basic or a bit more luxurious.
Deals

Amazon Prime Day deals are ending, but you can still get great bargains

Prime Day 2019 has come to an end for Amazon, but that doesn't mean the Prime Day deals are over. With deals from Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon still going on, this massive shopping event is continuing on through the week.
Deals

Amazon’s Prime Day Deal on the Echo Dot is the lowest price it has ever been

Don't need a screen and just want a basic Alexa device that has decent sound for an extra room? Amazon's Prime Day 2019 deal on the Echo Dot is a great option, now 56% off its typical price. Act quickly though: The Dot's about to sell out.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Which Prime Day deal is better?

We evaluated the Amazon Echo and the Google Home smart speakers to find which is the Prime Day 2019 deal. Earlier we compared the best Prime Day deals on the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot and the Google Nest Hub and Echo Show 5.
Smart Home

Amazon drops post-Prime Day deals on Scout Alarm DIY smart home security kits

Prime Day 2019 may be behind us, but that doesn't mean the good deals are gone until Black Friday. Amazon picked up the pace today in smart home devices with a 24-hour sale on the highly respected Scout Alarm Home Security product line.
Deals

You can still get a half-price Instant Pot Duo60 Prime Day deal at Walmart

Right now, Walmart has a solid post-Prime Day deal on the Instant Pot Duo60, bringing the price down to $50. Originally $100, you can now get this best-selling pressure cooker for 50% off.
Deals

Walmart sale has the lowest prices on Google Home smart speakers after Prime Day

Looking for a voice-assistant smart device? Walmart dropped prices on Google Home smart speakers to stay competitive with Amazon's Prime Day smart home sales. Find deals on Google Nest Hub, Home, and Mini.
Deals

Walmart chops prices on Ninja blenders and coffee makers past Prime Day

If you need a new coffee maker, blender, or air fryer to upgrade your kitchen, now’s the perfect opportunity to score great deals on Ninja appliances. To compete with Amazon Prime Day, Walmart has kept prices low on numerous products.
Smart Home

Amazon says Prime Day smashed records, topped Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales

To no one's surprise, Prime Day 2019 outdid previous years by wide margins. In a press release, Amazon said Prime Day sales on July 15 and 16 exceed the combined sales during 2018's Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events.