Apple’s latest “innovation” is a new HomePod intelligent speaker, which kind of looks like a mesh-wrapped Mac Pro. The Homepod is a direct response to Amazon’s popular Echo device and GoogleHome all of which are meant to serve the same purpose. It comes in black and white, and has seven tweeters in the bottom, along with a four-inch woofer, and six microphones at the top.
The HomePods were showed off the the public in the demo area of their Developer conference that happened yesterday. And the Homepod is expected to ship in December for $349 (UGX 1.3 million). The speaker is powered by an A8 chip that does automatic EQ and echo cancellation with beamforming for the tweeters — it detects the size and shape of a room to tune the best sound.
It will respond to the same key word you use on your iPhone, “Hey, Siri,” and it will light up at the top with a little waveform, and you can ask for a lot of Siri-type things, like reminders, timers, and random questions.
Apple’s also took time off to promote the privacy aspects of the HomePod — it reportedly doesn’t send anything to Apple until you say “Hey Siri,” and then it sends data using an anonymous encrypted Siri ID.
Apple’s billing the HomePod as a home music speaker first of all, connecting it to the iPod, iPhone, Apple Music, and AirPods. So there’s a lot of focus on Apple Music integration.