The battle of the home speaker AI assistant is coming to Canada

Amazon Echo, Google Home Devices Raise Privacy Questions
The battle of the home speaker AI assistant is coming to Canada
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11 June, 2017

Similarly to Amazon Echo and Google Home the device will also be able to send messages, receive updates on news, sports and weather, have a chat with Siri and control smart home devices which are connected using Apple's HomeKit.

Apple has entered the competitive smart speaker market with the HomePod, a seven-speaker unit which is controlled by Siri and plays tracks on demand from Apple Music. Siri can serve as a musicologist for music lovers as it can quick provide answers to questions like "Who is singing this song?" and "Who is playing the drums in this song?"

"This is a chance to reinvent music", said Apple's marketing SVP Phil Schiller.

Apple has confirmed it will release a smart speaker called HomePod, so you can chat to Siri all the time and not just on your phone.

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space grey starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.

The primary technology here is "direct and ambient audio beamforming", which allows the HomePod to learn the space of the room and optimize its audio.

Apple's claim on the privacy front is that the speaker doesn't start sending any information to Apple until you issue a "Hey Siri" command. "I would bet that Apple will sell a lot of these at Christmas and into next year", said Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson in a note.

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At just under 7 inches tall, HomePod can be placed nearly anywhere in the home and is available in white and space gray. He told the newspaper that the HomePod is "a little different philosophically" from his own company's Amazon Echo.

In addition, Cook said Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, Northern California, now has 16 million registered software developers worldwide for its consumer electronics, including smartphone known as iPhone, and 3 million of them were added a year ago.

Powering the HomePod is an Apple A8 processor, which handles all the heavy lifting demands of the real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam forming, and multi-channel echo cancellation.

A prototype Apple HomePod is seen during the annual Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017.

Apple also revealed new safety systems for using iPhones within cars, featuring an enhanced "do not disturb" function.

Siri now also has a male American voice, and is said to be more expressive due to a new visual interface.

Apple has in several areas, including smartphones and music players, joined markets after entrenched rivals and ultimately dominated them.


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