Jun 06, 2017 06:30 PM EDT
Apple on Monday has revealed the HomePod smart speaker. Siri-powered smart speakers are revealed with the major focus on audio quality.
The highly anticipated HomePod smart speaker is a squat, cylinder-shaped speaker which is powered by Apple's Siri digital assistant. Google, Microsoft, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung are all jumping into the mix to try to catch up to Amazon which is popularized smart speakers with its Echo device in late 2014. Now it's Apple's turn, according to CNET.
Apple's pitch for Siri-powered HomePod is focused heavily on music. The company appears to bank on consumers paying for smart speakers, which deliver high-quality audio sound as a sort of gateway into the world of smart home assistants.
The wireless, 7-inch-tall HomePod that responds to the greeting "Hey Siri," will be available starting in December in the US, UK, and Australia for $349. That's above the price of Amazon's $180 original Echo and Google's $130 Home speaker. HomePod is seven times of the smaller $50 Echo Dot.
The HomePod is powered by an Apple A8 chipset that enables real-time acoustic modeling, audio beamforming, and multi-channel echo cancellation. The user can set up two HomePods and will automatically work together. TheSiri inside the HomePod will be able to do more than just play music from Apple's streaming service.
Apple HomePod Smart speakers are said to surge in popularity, with global sales reaching 15 million units by 2020, up from just 1.8 million last year, according to Strategy Analytics. These voice-activated, stationary speakers can be used to play music, order a pizza, dim the lights or even tell a knock-knock joke. The devices are powered by artificially intelligent digital assistants that can be updated regularly with new functions.
With this WWDC 2017 also seen the latest version of Apple's Safari browser will be able to stop automatically playing videos as well as online trackers used for advertisers. Apple is also launching new models of both the iPad and the Mac computer.
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