Sony says smartphones are making us ‘less human’

Sony has become the latest smartphone maker at Mobile World Congress to suggest that today’s consumers take technology for granted and are increasingly apathetic about new product launches.

Sony has launched a series of new smart products, including Xperia Ear
Sony has launched a series of new smart products, including Xperia Ear

For the launch of the Xperia X line of smartphones in Barcelona this morning (22 February), Sony played a film that suggested that people’s preoccupation with their phones is making society less “human”. It asked: “Will connected devices make us happier… more human?”

These sentiments were echoed by Sony Mobile Communications CEO Hiroki Totoki, who said: “Smartphones are such a big part of our lives that we may not realise how much time we spend looking down [at them] and how much we miss what is happening around us.”

Similar to Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge last night, the Xperia X unveiling was low-key, with few new features announced. Instead the emphasis was on using more intelligent, predictive technology to improve people’s lives.

“Do you really need smartphones that are full of additional functions that you never use?” asked Totoki.

In addition to the phones, Sony unveiled four new products that it claimed would help people “spend more time being inspired by the world around us”. This includes Xperia Ear, a new Bluetooth earpiece that also acts as a voice-activated personal assistant, sending messages directly to the user’s ear.

The product, which is due to go on sale this summer, will prevent people from constantly checking their phones for notifications, Totoki said. “Information will find you when you need it.”

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