Apple Unveils HomePod, Voice Activated Smart Speaker For Home And Office

Zubi KhanJan 23, 2018
Apple Unveils HomePod, Voice Activated Smart Speaker For Home And Office

Apple will be releasing a new and innovative wireless speaker, the HomePod on February 9, 2018.

Apple promises that their HomePod speaker will be able to deliver stunning audio quality wherever it’s placed. The speakers have been designed in such a way, that it can accommodate and deliver great sounding audio in any room of the house.

Like other popular smart devices, the Apple HomePod will be able to be used by just using your voice, through Siri. The Apple HomePod will have full support with an existing, or new Apple Music subscription, giving users access to a huge catalogue of classic and contemporary music.

“HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer, and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalog and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We’re so excited for people to get HomePod into their homes, apartments and businesses to hear it for themselves. We think they will be blown away by the audio quality. The team has worked to give Siri a deeper knowledge of music so that you can ask to play virtually anything from your personal favourites to the latest chart-topping releases, simply by saying ‘Hey Siri.’”

A full list of features can be read below:

Apple Music
HomePod is designed to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to hundreds of genres, moods and activities. It also learns preferences and tastes that are shared across devices. Using Siri to deliver deep knowledge of artists, songs, albums and more, HomePod can handle advanced searches within Apple Music’s catalog, so users can ask questions like, “Hey Siri, when was this song released?” or “Hey Siri, can you play something totally different?” to change the mood. Apple Music subscribers can enjoy a catalogue of more than 45 million songs, combined with their entire iTunes library, for online or offline listening — completely ad-free.

Home Assistant
HomePod is a convenient way to send messages, set timers and reminders, check the weather and listen to shows on Apple Podcasts. The latest business news, headlines and sports updates stream directly to HomePod from NPR, CNN, ESPN and others. HomePod can also be used as a speakerphone with iPhone for crisp and clear audio quality.

With support for HomeKit, HomePod can control hundreds of home accessories or set scenes like, “Hey Siri, I’m home,” to control a number of different accessories at the same time. HomePod can turn on the lights, raise the shades, set the desired temperature or make other adjustments and serves as the perfect home hub, enabling remote access and automation.

SiriKit for HomePod
Through SiriKit, HomePod supports third-party messaging apps, so users can ask Siri to send a message to a friend or colleague using apps like WhatsApp. Reminders, note-taking and to-do list apps like Things and Evernote will automatically work with HomePod, so Siri can set reminders, create a new list, mark items as complete, or create and modify notes. For developers interested in adding SiriKit support, more information is available at developer.apple.com/sirikit.

Multi-Room Audio and Stereo
Coming this year in a free software update, users will be able to play music throughout the house with multi-room audio. If HomePod is in the kitchen, users can ask Siri to play jazz in the dining room, or play the same song in each room — perfectly in sync. If there’s more than one HomePod set up in the same room, the speakers can be set up as a stereo pair for an even more immersive sound experience.

Security and Privacy
Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of Apple hardware, software and services. With 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.

Those interested in purchasing a HomePod can pre-order the device, prior to the February 9th release.

The Apple HomePod will be available for $349 USD or $423.48 CAD.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Brendan Frye’s review of the Apple TV 4K.

 

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