Is Apple’s Newly Launched HomePod Really a Smart Speaker?

Smart Speaker

Apple has recently launched a voice-controlled loudspeaker powered by the company’s popular virtual assistant Siri. The company took the opportunity to reveal the product in Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California. Though the Cupertino-based company is indorsing the device as only a speaker with smart features, experts believe it falls in line with Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Google Home. HomePod comes with several features that are quite similar to the features offered by the other two. Like Google Home and Echo, HomePod is also capable of interacting with some of the smart home electrical gadgets. However, online sources suggest that Apple’s minimum improvements in Siri virtual assistant over the years is the primary reason for the company to avoid a direct face of.

In 2014, when Amazon launched its Echo, it was the first time that such an AI technology was made commercially available. However, in May 2016, Google Home entered the fray, making the particular AI space more exciting.  Apple have been slow in entering the segment and it definitely falls behind when compared with other two. Which is why, Apple has pitched its smart speaker as a high-end music player rather than a device that supports home automation. Despite being powered by Siri, HomePod lacks the efficiency and collaborative capabilities. When describing the device, home assistant isn’t a major highlight and form only a small part of it.  The focus remains on music and how the device can optimize listeners’ experience. With this launch apple now has entered into a slightly different electronic segment, as it will basically be home centric device.

We have a long way to go before such technologies mature. The products that are now available are a mere preview of what the artificial intelligence will be capable of in the future. For many apple fans out there, Homepod may not be what they might have imagined, but it certainly gives the company an opportunity to expand its product portfolio. The company has typically set homepod at a pricing rang similar to its other product and has yet again banked on its reputation as an innovator of luxury and intuitive products. Almost all the home assistant devices are fundamentally voice-activated speakers, some with having more AI capabilities and some having less but the gap remains very small. Some experts may argue and be very critical of Apple’s latest gadget, but for the company it could be the first step towards developing a more interactive machine-human communication technology.

About Suyog Keluskar 5 Articles
Suyog Keluskar is an experienced Market Research, Customer Insights & Consulting professional, covering latest industry and market updates on Electronics, Semiconductor and ICT domain. With over ten years of experience in business/market research, Suyog delivers customer-centric assignments in market-entry, market expansion, partner identification, competition analysis, market sizing, industry insights and customer intelligence studies. When Suyog is not busy unraveling the consumer mind or unearthing market potential he can be found traveling the road less traveled with a fascinating book on contemporary history in his hand. An avid cricket fan, music lover and you will also find him discussing politics with his friends and peers more often.

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