According to a Bloomberg report, Apple might announce a new hardware that may be termed as the “Siri Speaker” at this year’s WWDC. An earlier report by The Mac Observer said that the supposed smart speaker could have a visual appearance similar to the Mac Pro.
The Siri speaker in the making would primarily address two purposes. Firstly, it would include advanced virtual surround sound technologies to provide an edge over other smart speakers and to produce sounds that are crisp, loud, and clear. Sources said that “Apple has also considered including sensors that measure a room’s acoustics and automatically adjust audio levels during use.”
Secondly, the Siri speaker would also act as a central hub for Apple’s home integration and automation dreams, powered by their HomeKit system announced last year. This would allow users to control lights, windows, and other compatible devices using the speaker.
Additionally, the Siri speaker is also being viewed as a hardware that would serve as a platform for the promotion of Apple services. Most of the rival smart speakers often lack support for Apple services such as Apple Music. So, users are likely to switch over to alternatives like Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, etc. The report says that Apple would allow third parties to build services for the speaker.
Apple is already far behind in the smart speaker race when other giants like Google and Amazon have been flaunting their versions of smart speakers since last year. Recently, Google Home was updated with a calling functionality and Amazon Echo got a brother with a touch screen called Echo Show.
However, in the case of Siri Speaker, the sources who have seen the product have ruled out the possibility of a touchscreen which is present in its newest competitor- the Essential Home.
People familiar with the matter have said that Apple employees are already testing such devices at their homes. Regarding the manufacturing, the report says, Inventec Corp. which already makes AirPods will be producing the Siri speakers. However, we should expect the Siri speaker to arrive later this year.
WWDC 2017 is scheduled to happen next week between June 5 and June 9. Other major announcements could include an updated MacBook Pro or iPad Pro, iOS and MacOS updates, or some new devices.
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