Apple unveils new technology at WWDC in San Jose

Posted June 10, 2017

Although Apple has had Siri on its iPhones for years, for it to appear in smart home speakers stands as the company's first move of developing a new technology to meet customer demand.

At its World Wide Developer Conference in San Jose Monday, Apple (AAPL) - known for arriving fashionably late - announced its presence with some authority by unveiling HomePod, which will be powered by its Siri voice assistant.

Another disadvantage it has is that music support only comes from Apple Music.

"It's the biggest brains ever in a speaker", said Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller.

HomePod is backed by Apple Music, which contains a library of songs from over two million artists. It also needs to have "spatial awareness" to make the music sound good no matter the room size.

To be available on the market in December this year, the compact wireless speaker has some identical functions offered by similar products made by other companies, such as Amazon Echo, but promises to produce sound with higher quality.

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

Back in early May, we heard that Apple may be expanding its foray into the Smart Home market with its own Amazon Echo competitor.

Like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the HomePod will play music and also help people to manage their lives and homes.

It can do the usual list of tasks we've come to expect from smart speakers, though it appears to have minimal third-party integration. The HomePod won't be coming before the end of this year and will carry a price tag of $349 ( Approx Rs 22,500). It is also compatible with Apple's HomeKit, allowing users to control connected home devices with speech.

Overall control of the HomePod can be maintained from the Home app, and Apple also revealed users will be able to pair their phone with HomePod by holding it next to the speaker.