Apple debuts HomePod speaker to bring Siri into the living room

Apple stated in its presentation that the team which works on Siri on a regular basis has integrated new updates into the AI system for the HomePod, ensuring that the music playback request works better than ever before.

Apple has announced HomePod, a new Apple-designed home music speaker. But it's tough to try to compare them to one another because of how Apple is positioning the HomePod.

The HomePod is designed with privacy in mind, said Phil Schiller, Apple's head of worldwide marketing.

Apple has said that the new iMac will have a 4K edition as well as a standard 21.5inch one with prices starting at $1 299 and $1 099 respectively. Kakao also said it would release an AI-powered speaker that responds to voice commands by the year's end. Cook did not announce a launch date on Monday.

All in all, it was a big day for Apple, with more big news expected tomorrow, on Day 2 of the worldwide developers conference.

At US$349 (RM1,485), the HomePod is more expensive than the most-expensive Amazon Echo - the US$230 (RM979) Echo Show - and the Google Home, priced at US$129 (RM549).

HomePod to be bridge between Echo and Sonos, or another iPod Hi-Fi? So, why choose to undersell its capacity to outdo other voice-activated speakers as a voice-assistant? According to market research firm eMarketer, Amazon will capture 70.6 percent of all voice-enabled speaker users in the U.S. this year. Google now calls itself an "A.I. -first" corporation after years of centering itself around search, while Amazon and Netflix both credit their success in delivering services to their A.I. -driven and -refined methodologies. With Siri and a clear hole in its ecosystem, Apple is banking that its second try at a speaker product will do better. Over time, consumers may not be as attracted to the sound quality offered by Amazon's Echo.

More news: White House communications director Mike Dubke resigns

It is said so as the Apple HomePod, which is a 7-inch smart speaker has abilities to play music, check the news and control the other connected devices.

It is endlessly convenient to ask Alexa for the time, a weather report, or to order some milk from the store.

Naver now is working with its Japanese mobile messaging subsidiary Line to introduce a new smart speaker, the Wave, under the Line brand this summer. Apple knows that too. Apple also said the speaker can sense the size of a room, playing music to fit the space accordingly.

HomePod is created to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs.

There was no overwhelming differentiation in HomePod, according to the analyst. Apple overlaid their A8 chip, which is the real brains behind the speaker, allowing the device to adapt audio playback to the environment that the speaker is set in. According the company, "this provides well-balance smooth timbre as well as precise directional control of a multitude of beam shapes and sizes". Listening to an array of tracks by Norah Jones, The Eagles and Kendrick Lemar, the HomePod does feel substantial. Superior echo and noise cancellation technology allows it to interpret voice commands from virtually anywhere withing the vicinity of the speaker.

And Apple Watch is bringing Siri front and center. That does not mean the company won't get there with later editions.

Eyeing this growth, not only Apple but also other tech giants including Samsung Electronics and Microsoft are preparing to launch smart speakers of their own this year.

  • Desiree Holland