Apple joins in the race of voice enabled virtual assistant device with HomePod. It can respond to human commands and control smart home gadgets. However , Apple insists that it is primarily a music device with superior audio powered by it’s long standing voice assistant Siri. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook “The thing that has arguably not gotten a great level of focus is music in the home. So we decided we would combine great sound and an intelligent speaker”.
HomePod will be released in the US, UK and Australia in December 2017. Initially, it would only support English language voice commands.It will be available in other countries starting 2018.
It will cost US $349. That’s more than double the cost of Google and Amazon’s alternatives, typical apple style. However , many apple fans will still be loyal to it and would love to see what it brings to the table. Apple says that when kept in center of room it plays sound in all directions and if kept in corner it will aim the output away from the wall. It can also act as stereo speaker by connecting to other sound devices. If the claims come out to be true , it might be worth the extra cash.
HomePod is a heavy-looking cylindrical gadget nearly 7 inch tall that comes with seven tweeter beam forming array, six microphones , a four-inch woofer for a more immersive experience. It has iPhone A8 chip that determine the size and layout of the room which will adapt sound quality to fit the room.
HomePod is designed for voice control with an array of six microphones, so users can interact with it from across the room, even while loud music is playing. You can tap the top of HomePod to play , pause or adjust volume. LED waveform on top indicate whether Siri is listening.
Since it’s yet unreleased, not much can be said about it’s qualitative aspects.
Security is fundamental aspect of any data based technology, therefore, all data is stored locally on your device and is sent to servers via cryptic methods using anonymous Siri Id. So, there is nothing to fret about with HomePod around. Your identity and information is safe.
It springs into life on hearing “Hey Siri”. It’s personal assistance roles include news briefings, language translation, weather, traffic info, set reminders, play podcasts among others. Simply speaking we can ask Siri , any question we generally need browsing or app launching for.
“Hey Siri , set an alarm for 7 am tomorrow”.
“Hey Siri , Did Delhi Daredevils win last night?”
It will likely work with Apple’s established HomeKit partners: Ecobee, Honeywell, Chamberlain, D-Link, Philips Hue, Lutron, iDevices and more. However ,the only music streaming service that is supported by Homepad is Apple Music. Users of other popular platforms like Spotify will be disappointed. But this is not new for apple users.
HomePod can also send text messages to others. Like it’s counterpart it offers many tools to help around house such as calendar synchronization, kitchen timers and alarms.
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