During todays World Wide Developers’ Conference (WWDC), Apple unveiled a rival to Amazon’s Echo, the Siri-controlled HomePod. The tech giant describes it as “a powerful speaker that sounds amazing.” Speaking at the WWDC conference, Apple’s marketing SVP Phil Schiller boldly said, “This is a chance to reinvent music.” He then asked, “Why hasn’t this happened yet? First it needs to rock the house. Second, it needs to be spatially aware. Third, it needs to be really fun to use and have a built-in musicologist.”
Apple has put specific focus on making sure the sound coming from the HomePod is as high-quality as possible. It utilizes 360º audio and a complex algorithm that analyzes the music in order to level out frequencies for completely clear and distortion-free listening. Apple’s unmistakable digital assistant, Siri, is there to be your own “musicologist who helps you discover every song you’d ever want to hear.” It boasts many complex features like a seven-speaker array of tweeters that “create an immersive sense of space — no matter where HomePod is or where you’re sitting.” HomePod is also designed to work with the newly-announced AirPlay 2 multi-room audio solution, which allows the two to automatically detect and balance each other for a more “lifelike” sound.
The HomePod builds recommendations around what you like. As you speak to Siri and dictate which songs you do and don’t like, it will adapt to your personal tastes. But it’s not just about music; Siri is still there to be your everyday assistant. You can voice command the HomePod to perform various tasks, such as turning off lights, sending messages, providing weather updates, editing calendars, and other helpful things.
Available in two colors, the device itself if 6.8 inches high and 5.6 inches wide, weighing a total of 5.5 pounds. Priced at $349, the HomePod is poised to ship later this year just in time for the holidays. Check out a teaser video below.