Published: Sat, June 10, 2017
Sci-tech | By Javier West

Apple debuts HomePod speaker to bring Siri into the living room

Apple debuts HomePod speaker to bring Siri into the living room

The Siri-enabled speaker links up with the Apple Home app, allowing users to control their connected smart home devices by voice, without touching their iPhone or iPad. Introduced at Monday's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple's HomePod will combine the latest in speaker technology with the artificial intelligence trappings of its Siri system.

The new gadget will be a direct rival to both the Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers.

"I'm dispensing with the updates, other than to tell you, Apple's doing great", Apple CEO Tim Cook said in brief opening remarks as he took the stage at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif.

Speaking about the "HomePod", it comes with around 7 inches of height and a large woofer designed by Apple.

Other features include a room-sensing technology that will automatically adapt the sound to the size of its location. The HomePod supports an upgraded version of Siri which can provide a number of specialized music-related features, such as discovery by genre or mood, and supplemental information such as recording credits, history, and related music.

Just as "Alexa" and "Ok, Google" spurs the Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers into life, Apple's HomePod is awoken with "Hey, Siri".

The HomePod will go on sale later this year and costs $349. If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015.

Powering the HomePod is an Apple A8 processor, the same used in the iPhone.

The HomePod will work as a home assistant, for sending messages, getting updates on news, sports and weather, or controling smart home devices by simply asking Siri to turn on the lights or activate a scene.

Apple is also updating the operating software for its Apple Watch, including new watch faces, more personalized alerts that use machine learning to tailor information to you based on your routines and tastes.

HomePod will be initially available in the US, UK and Australia this December.

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