WWDC 2017: Apple introduces smart compact music speaker

WWDC 2017: Apple introduces smart compact music speaker

WWDC 2017: Apple introduces smart compact music speaker

The smart speaker works by talking to an updated Siri that better understands music-related requests, Apple said during its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. Consider HomePod as a smart assistant that you can use to control all your smart home device.

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

Touted by Apple's marketing guru Philip Schiller as the means to "reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", the HomePod is a speaker system sitting under 7in tall with Apple's virtual assistant Siri at it core. The device is covered in black or white mesh and looks like the top of a microphone.

Technically speaking, the Apple HomePod is a wireless speaker which is capable of using spatial awareness and sense where it is located in the room, and automatically adjust audio output accordingly.

Siri has will also become a "musicologist", learning users' music preferences and answering questions like "who is the drummer?".

Yet Apple wants to directly compete against the likes of Amazon's Echo and the Google Home, and has built its smart assistant Siri into the speaker. Internally, the Apple HomePod boasts of a seven-speaker array of tweeters located to the bottom of its cylindrical enclosure.

At $349 (£240.23), Homepod will be more expensive than Google Home and Amazon Echo, but cheaper than the Sonos Play 5.

The technology, a feature of the wildly successfully smartphone game Pokemon Go, overlays digital information on real-world images and is seen as an area in which the keenly awaited 10th-anniversary iPhone can stand out from competitors.

A deal bringing Amazon Prime Video to Apple TV, announced on Monday at Apple's developer conference after years of talk, shows how competitive tensions among Silicon Valley titans can stand in the way of serving customers.

This has been one major area in consumer electronics lacking Apple's footprint. Although Apple is late to the game, CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber says the new tools come "as the technology hits an inflection point". That's probably how they will justify the higher price tag. It's a software developer kit that allows developers to create augmented reality apps. Just like you would expect from a smart speaker, the Siri-enabled Apple HomePod can perform a large number of tracks.

And if you're a tablet kind of person, besides seemingly being in an exclusive company these days, Apple is trying to hold your attention or wallet with the new iPad Pro.

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