New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

Nettie James
June 6, 2017

But, right out of the gate, Apple is clearly going for music over smart assistance as HomePod's major draw. Evidently, Apple has a lot of catching up to do.

Take a closer look at the HomePod in our video.

The speaker connects to home wifi and will be controlled by the human voice.

The sci-fi vision of a connected home is quickly becoming a reality: both Amazon and Google have launched smart assistants, with an Apple offering based on Siri is rumoured to be on the way.

Apple also states that two HomePods will work in tandem to help create richer sounds. With HomePod, only after "Hey Siri" is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier.

Apple hasn't said a huge amount about the audio capabilities of the HomePod, but it has revealed that there's a central 4-inch woofer that's upward firing in the centre of the device.

More than 35 million people in the USA are expected to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, more than doubling from last year, according the research firm eMarketer. Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180; Google's Home speaker goes for $130.

The speaker, which will be available at £270 will act as general assistant in people's homes. The research firm eMarketer says than 35 million people in the USA are expected to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, more than double its estimate from last year.

The technology giant also announced a new software kit for developers called ARKit, which will enabled app developers to build augmented reality apps on Apple's platforms more easily.

According to technology market research firm Futuresource Consulting Ltd.

The lack of a breakthrough device has periodically raised concerns that Apple has become too dependent on the iPhone and supported the theory that the company lost its knack for innovation when its co-founder Steve Jobs died of cancer in 2011. Its Mac Pro hasn't been updated since 2013, and Apple says the next version will be available some time next year.

Amazon already makes a similar gadget called the Echo, a rather ugly black tube that's been memorably likened to "Darth Vader's holey manhood". We know Siri is getting some more elegant voices, but we'll have to see if how it makes the leap into this new body before rendering a final verdict. That's especially important because people are starting to access information, entertainment and search in a more "pervasive" way that's less dependent on smarthphones, he said. The device has a better display, is faster, and comes with 64GB of memory.

Augmented reality is a mixture of live images and virtual animations and objects placed over them.

Surely, some mobile users block ads and shun other marketing because they can. "HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a attractive speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home". It's part of Apple's effort to entice professionals with tablets that can handle many tasks previously reserved for laptops.

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