It also includes new technology like Apple's AirPlay 2 protocol, which allows multi-speaker support that will enable multiple HomePod devices to wirelessly communicate with each other. Amazon has heavily dominated the field with its home speaker called Echo, which uses the digital assistant Alexa.
The Cupertino company described the 7in device - which comes in white and "space grey" - as a "breakthrough home speaker" created to "rock the house". (Last month, Microsoft announced the Invoke, a smart speaker powered by its Cortana voice assistant, set to go on sale in the fall.) Of course, you could also count the Sonos, the Beats Pill, and the Jawbone Jambox as home speakers that will have to compete with Apple HomePod now.
Apple's Phil Schiller said the device combines a great compact speaker with a smart speaker. Tim Cook took the stage on Monday and will be joined on stage by other Apple executives and possibly the disembodied voice of design chief Jony Ive, as is tradition.
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The HomePod will work alongside Apple Music, where users can subscribe to over 40 million songs. A Siri face will show more info from the assistant, like flight times, controls for smart home devices and third-party notifications.
REUTERS/Stephen LamPhotographers take a close look at the Apple HomePod which the company unveiled at the WWDC 2017 in California. Or if someone texts you about owing money, it will ask if you want to pay from your Apple Pay account.
Different from a giant media player with a scroll wheel and large hard drive - which you might initially think it was - the Apple HomePod is a wireless speaker that uses sensors to analyse its location in the room and adjust the sound profile accordingly.
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Following Echo being a runaway success, Google copied it with its Home assistant.
Siri is getting a new voice on the iPhone - and will come with a male option for the first time. This is helped by its included A8 chip, which Apple claims is the most powerful processor to ever be found in a speaker. The Siri digital assistant has been updated to understand more spoken requests focused on music, he added. It also means Siri will learn a lot of new tricks and, all of sudden, become useful. Apple also assures that the speaker's data will remain encrypted for maximum security. By saying, 'Hey Siri, I like this song, ' HomePod and Apple Music become the flawless musicologist, learning preferences from hundreds of genres and moods, across tens of thousands of playlists, and these music tastes are shared across devices. The HomePod speaker has six built-in microphones compared to 1 on Siri, so response rate should be much better.
Apple's Siri Smart Speaker: What Is It? Spending on smart home related hardware, services and installation fees will reach US$155 billion by 2022, up from nearly US$90 billion this year, with devices accounting for about half of that, the consulting firm also estimates.
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Apple is introducing an iPad Pro in a new size in an attempt to revive interest in its once hot-selling line of tablets.