HomePod will taking Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have been building momentum in the market for voice-controlled speakers capable of controlling smart appliances, fetching content from the internet and more.
However, in a reference to current tensions over privacy and terrorism, Apple says that the HomePod won't record anything until the term "Hey Siri" is uttered. Siri will be the voice assistant responding to requests for information and other help around the house. Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180 and Google sells its Home speaker for $130. Pulling music from the Apple library, the speaker was presented as being able to recognize its placement and direct rich audio sound into the room. Apple says that "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".
"Just like iPod reinvented music in our pockets, HomePod is going to reinvent music in our homes", said Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller.
Speaking about the "HomePod", it comes with around 7 inches of height and a large woofer designed by Apple.
HomePod is deemed a more expensive competitor of Echo, which was released two years ago.
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The Apple HomePod is powered by an A8 Processor from Apple.
Using the wake command "Hey Siri", the much-rumoured device can play music as well as answer queries and control other smart home appliances. It has "spatial awareness" to detect where it's located a room and adjust the sound accordingly. The company has a good chance in the market thanks to its focus on audio experience as well as the integration of Siri.
It starts shipping later this year in the US, United Kingdom and Australia. Apple did list Australia as a launch country, which means, given the global dateline, it's likely we'll see HomePod here before anyone else. Ultimately, this means that the more you interact with the watch, the smarter it gets.