Apple unveils an Amazon Echo competitor

Posted June 11, 2017

The Homepod has home-assistant features buried beneath a music-first sales pitch.

Apple is said to be taking a cautious approach to overly expanding Siri, instead working on improving its voice recognition so it can understand nuance.

Apple Inc. introduced a music speaker HomePod at an annual gathering of software developers on Monday.

The speaker has an array of seven beam-forming tweeters with precision acoustic horns, and a custom designed woofer, each with its own amplifier.

With Siri capabilities, the HomePod is also "a hub for controlling your smart home accessories", says Apple. You may get your hands on this for $349 which roughly translates to Rs 22,500.

AAPL has confirmed that its new HomePod is capable enough to balance and tune the audio quality to best suit any room or position that users put it in. Siri can serve as a musicologist for music lovers as it can quick provide answers to questions like "Who is singing this song?" and "Who is playing the drums in this song?"

Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes.

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Schiller advertised the company's "breakthrough home speaker" as distortion-free and spatially aware.

Apple did share a few technical details about the speaker hardware. Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180; Google's Home speaker goes for $130.

Anything Amazon or Sonos can do, Apple's newly unveiled HomePod can do better.

Apple is pitching the HomePod as a music player above everything else, perhaps because Siri is perceived to be far weaker than Google's Assistant and Amazon's Echo intelligent assistants.

Amazon's $179.99 Echo device offers tight integration with Amazon services like shopping and audiobooks, in addition to integrations with services such as Nest, Uber, Fitbit, Domino's and Pandora.

More than 35 million people in the US 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. It's also spatially aware, adjusting its audio performance based on the room it's in. It's powered by Apple Music, Apple's subscription music service, and connects directly. Compared with Google and Amazon, HomeKit device support is extremely limited.

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