Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Apple Announces Their Own Smart Speaker, HomePod

During there Worldwide Developer Conference keynote today, Apple announced HomePod a "Siri Speaker" that’s meant to redefine music in the home the same way that the iPod redefined portable music.HomePod is designed to bridge the gap by bringing premium speaker sound to the home as well as using Siri to browse and select music from Apple Music, control the home through HomeKit, and answer questions. The device is just under 7 inches tall and looks like a piece of furniture. It will be available in both space gray and white, and has one other great feature, it also acts as a hub for HomeKit devices to provide remote access to home automation. 

There's an upward facing 4-inch woofer and a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters. Each of those tweeters has its own amplifier. Powering everything is an Apple A8 chip that helps to sense each room that a speaker is in, and optimizing the music for that room. Siri "hears" your commands through a six-microphone array with advanced echo cancellation, and a Siri waveform appears on top of the HomePod when it is listening to you. If you've been concerned about Amazon's "always listening" Echo devices, you'll love HomePod. Only after it hears you say "Hey, Sir" will any information be sent to Apple's servers, and at that point it will be encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier. HomePod will be available in December for the US, UK and Australia for $349.

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