New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

Posted June 08, 2017

Using the HomePod is like using Siri, without the need to tap any buttons.

The browser's new "intelligent tracking prevention", meanwhile, will use machine learning to identify and block digital-ad trackers in order to keep advertisers from following and profiling users.

The 7"-tall device is covered in a "3D mesh fabric" and uses an A8 processor to process and sense various sound-related elements in a given room". It has "spatial awareness" to detect where it's located a room and adjust the sound accordingly.

Apple is touting the fact that the HomePod is packed with drivers, delivering superior audio to the Amazon Echo and competitors like Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Home. Despite a slightly bass-heavy performance, our sister mag What Hi Fi? thought the HomePod edged the Sonos and outclassed the Echo in a side-by-side demo.

Apple has elevated Siri from the phone to the home with the launch of its new HomePod smart speaker, unveiled at WWDC 2017. The HomePod, in comparison, was the best of both worlds.

John Knoll of Industrial Light & Magic, right, speaks about virtual reality during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Monday, June 5, 2017. Spending on smart home related hardware, services and installation fees will reach US$155 billion by 2022, up from nearly US$90 billion this year, with devices accounting for about half of that, the consulting firm also estimates. But Apple was careful to frame it as a product focused on music first - potentially differentiating it from the Echo and Home. Amazon also has the Echo Dot, a budget version of the Echo that starts at $49.99. Google delivered an Android Auto feature for smartphones past year. This is about a digital assistant. Shipments of intelligent home speakers surged almost 600 per cent year-over-year to 4.2 million units in the fourth quarter, with Amazon taking about 88 per cent share and Google 10 percent, according to consultant Strategy Analytics.

MI mayors pledge to support Paris climate change accord
The pair met soon after the top USA diplomat in China resigned, allegedly in protest of Trump's Paris decision. California has been on the forefront in improving green energy sources.

Apple's mobile operating system will see an upgrade in the third quarter of this year.

Of course, this is nothing unusual for Apple to charge a premium for its technology products.

Apple begins from the point where others finish. The lack of a recent 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. Apple still has a lot to tell us about the HomePod, however from the details shared in the official press release show that the speaker can be set up very similarly to how a user pairs a set of AirPods, with Bluetooth automatically pairing the speaker to an iPhone when put in close proximity.

This story is developing, check back for more. Apple said their new ARKit tool will provide advanced augmented reality capabilities on iOS to allow for "fast and stable motion tracking" that makes objects look like they're actually being placed in real space, instead of hovering over it.

"New indoor maps of areas like malls and airports indicated that Apple might be laying groundwork to display information over images of those places in the future".

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