Apple's HomePod Puts Siri in a Speaker

The Home Pod is also being primarily pitched as a wireless music speaker, rather than an all encompassing digital assistant.

Apple (AAPL) has waded into the market for smart speakers with the unveiling of the HomePod at its recent Worldwide Developers Conference. The Apple Speaker is focused on music first, not Siri.

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.

HomePod is the largest of the three, measuring 6.8 by 5.6 inches, the smart speaker will have an array of seven tweeters with a primary woofer. The Siri-powered devices will compete with Google Home and the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo smart speakers.

Well, this new internet connected speaker, which lines up at just under 7-inches tall, prioritises sound quality alongside its smart credentials.

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space grey starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US. Siri can also be employed to play songs through the company's streaming service Apple Music. The success of the Amazon Echo, released in the U.S. in 2014, paved the way for Google to follow with its own sleek Google Home device previous year.

"What we tried to do is build something that is a breakthrough speaker first", Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg. Apple late arrival comes even as it pioneered the voice assistant industry by launching Siri in 2011 with the iPhone 4S.

The HomePod is designed specifically with Apple Music in mind, so it can offer you suggestions based on your music tastes to help you discover new artists.

With HomePod, Apple is also offering some robust personal security features, which should work to its advantage, both Husson and Ask suggest.

Last year's event saw the introduction of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, changing the naming convention from OS X, and a variety of updates to watchOS 3 and tvOS 10. It will be available in white or grey. Year-over-year, the number of USA consumers using voice-activated assistant devices is up 128.9%, according to eMarketer. The smart assistant has been selling well ever since and has inspired a host of lookalikes and copies, most notably, the Google Home.Moving forward, Siri intelligence will automatically display information that is relevant to you on the face of the watch using advanced machine learning technologies that improve and "learn" over time. It remains to be seen how the market responds to the HomePod after it hits the US shelves in December.

Vanessa Coleman

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