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Apple unveils voice-activated, connected home speaker

Apple unveils voice-activated, connected home speaker

Amazon's Echo, released in 2015, now dominates markets like the USA where home speakers are growing in popularity.

Both companies' products, along with similar ones offered by the company Sonos, have been on the market for quite some time, earning many loyal consumers in the process.

Will you be interesting in buying the new HomePod for your home?

Despite Amazon's dominance, the smart speaker market is still considered a worthwhile investment due to its growth prospects. All of a sudden, a voice-controlled device for the home was able to do more things and understand voice better than Siri. With the HomePod, only after "Hey Siri" is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier. During Jobs' last decade, Apple introduced the iPod, iPhone and iPad - all huge commercial successes that both reshaped daily life and swamped previous digital music players, smartphones and tablets. For example, high-end wireless speakers like the Sonos PLAY:5 cost $500 and could be paired with a $50 Echo Dot for comparable functionality for a total cost of $550.

The speaker will sell for about $350 in December in the US, United Kingdom and Australia. Yes, it's the long-rumoured Siri speaker we've all been waiting for. After all, you can see if from anywhere in the room, so you know for sure when Alexa is listening.

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Apple's HomePod speaker is a depth charge dropped into the ocean where Google Home and Amazon Echo sail. In addition, there is also an in-built subwoofer to level the audio frequencies.

Apple is marketing the HomePod as a much higher quality speaker - and it is. HomePod delivers good quality sound without the added complexity of having to figure out where to position multiple speakers in a room to achieve that sound. Using a handful of sensors, HomePod can detect its location within a room by measuring acoustics, as well as whether or not there are multiple HomePods operating together, in order to dynamically adjust its audio output in a way that is optimized for the environment. Apple said that makes the Mac a great platform for developing virtual-reality "experiences", although the company didn't announce any consumer VR products. Will Spotify or your stored music or radio work? It's now the leader in this area with more than 10,000 third-party voice apps called "skills". The number of skills it has, but just how many of them are actually useful is another matter. That Apple has new hardware with limited third-party development support and is exclusive to Apple's own services isn't really that surprising. HomePod is its name, and Siri smarts is what drives it. It's a 7-inch tall round speaker with a microphone array used to listen to your demands. The company says the system uses camera data to find horizontal planes in a room and estimate the amount of light available.

The moves announced Monday escalate Apple's technological battle of wits with Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook.

The restrictions, however, could also make it tougher for partners to build for the Home Pod. This fall, that will be no more as an Amazon video app will finally arrive on Apple TV.

HomePod can be paired up with your iPhone 5s or later running the new iOS 11 and the connectivity works just like the AirPods, all you have to do is bring your iPhone in the range and your iPhone will be connected with your HomePod. The industry is betting this will be the future of how we interact with computers. At $349, it's not going to dominate the voice assistant world.

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