Apple announces smart speaker HomePod to rival Amazon Echo and Google Home

Apple introduced the HomePod, a voice-controlled speaker that can make music suggestions and adjust home temperatures, at the World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC) 2017 on Monday, June 5, 2017. This takes aim at Amazon.com's Alexa feature and Echo devices, according to a report by Todayonline. 

Photo courtesy: screencap from Apple
Photo courtesy: screencap from Apple

The move is the first venture into a completely new area by Apple in more than two years. Siri assistant will be integrated into the USD349 speaker, and there will be a built-in "musicologist" which will make music recommendations tailored to individual taste. It can also be used to control compatible home gadgets like lightbulbs and thermostats.​

The HomePod speaker stands just under seven inches (18 cm) tall and is covered in fabric mesh that will come in white or gray. A computer processor will tune sound to the room and beam specific parts of music, like a singer's voice, toward the listener.

HomePod will ship to the United States, Britain and Australia in December.

Author
Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Writer

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. She is also part of the Over The Moon team, which is a movement to promote and give voice to independent Mandopop music in Singapore.

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