Apple Unveils 'HomePod' Speaker, First New Product in Years

Posted June 06, 2017

The voice-activated-speaker market is projected to reach $2.1 billion by 2020, according to an October report from the analysis firm Gartner. We'll be updating this article as and when we know more so please stay tuned. Yes, you can do the same thing with an Amazon Echo or a Google Home, but remember: this is an Apple gadget.

It also uses spacial awareness to adapt and ensure a better sound, depending on its environment, and it works closely with Apple Music. "The speaker comes in at just under 7" tall, and is cylindrical and covered in a 3D mesh fabric available in either white or space grey. The event has been in San Francisco in recent years.

The top of the HomePod includes integrated touch controls and also shows the Siri waveform when voice-control is active. It does this with the help of the A8 chip, the same processor found in iPhones.

The company is casting Siri as a music connoisseur that will learn and cater to the tastes of the HomePod's owners, as well as answer questions about the songs as they are played.

Today at WWDC, we finally got a look at Apple's rumoured smart home speaker, the Homepod. You will be able to send a text with apple Messages, control the household lights and hook up with other connected devices through HomeKit.

"HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a attractive speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior VP of worldwide marketing. The Homepod will launch in December 2017 in the UK, US, and Australia.

HomePod will go on sale in the U.S. in December for $349. The service, which has been available on the iPhone for more than a year, will use machine learning to adapt automatically to a user's routines, serving up prompts for running apps for those who regularly run in the morning or afternoon. While Siri is one of the first modern voice assistants, Apple is one of the last of the tech giants to release a smart speaker, following Amazon Echo in 2015 and Google Home past year. Apple says that makes the Mac a great platform for developing virtual-reality experiences.

The Music application on the Apple Watch has received a new interface as well.

It is created to work with the Apple Music subscription service and can produce rich sound while tapping into the artificial intelligence power of Siri. Apple will let people play audio in multiple rooms while Google works on introducing that feature to all speakers that have Chromecast built in.

At $349, HomePod is significantly more expensive than the $199 Amazon Echo and the $179 Google Home.

As part of the announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple touted upgrades for the Siri personal assistant in the fall update to the IOS mobile operating system.

The Apple's Siri is now available with only six types of apps. It will also offer "virtual surround sound" technology.