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WWDC 2017 | Apple announces HomePod smart speaker

Source: Apple
Source: Apple
The HomePod is a competent speaker built around Siri. The speaker can recognize where it's placed in a room in order to direct sound for a fuller, richer music experience. The speaker also includes full Siri interaction.
Sam Medley,

First, it was a digital assistants. Now, it’s a WiFi-enabled speaker housing the digital assistant. Amazon developed the Echo with Alexa, Google has the Home with Assistant, and now Apple has the HomePod with Siri.

The HomePod looks like a capable speaker on paper. The 6.8-inch by 5.6-inch, 5.5-pound machine features 7 tweeters arranged in a ring along the bottom of the unit and a subwoofer suspended in the middle. While these speakers should offer stellar sound on their own, the main draw is the inclusion of Apple’s A8 SoC beating at the heart of the device. The relatively powerful chip makes the HomePod “smart enough to sense where in the room it’s playing,” according to Apple.

In essence, this means that the HomePod is able to detect where it’s placed within a room and better direct the audio output for a fuller, more focused overall sound. The speaker can also alter individual aspects of whatever music it’s playing to tweak and optimize the sound profile.

In addition to being an advanced speaker, the HomePod can also connect to the internet via 802.11ac WiFi. This also brings the other main feature of the device into play: Siri. The HomePod can be controlled by Siri and also fetch music and information, much like the digital assistant can on iOS. There are six microphones built into the HomePod that allow Siri to hear a user say the familiar “Hey, Siri,” keywords over the music that it’s playing. The HomePod can also control any smart home appliances that are connected to the network through Siri, and can sync up with another HomePod for improved spatially-tailored sound.

The HomePod will be available in Space Grey and White in the US, UK, and Australia “later this year,” according to Apple, and will retail for $349.

The HomePod features a ring of speakers with a central sub. (Source: Apple)
The HomePod features a ring of speakers with a central sub. (Source: Apple)
The HomePod can direct audio output based on its location. (Source: Apple)
The HomePod can direct audio output based on its location. (Source: Apple)


Apple WWDC

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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1171 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
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Sam Medley, 2017-06- 6 (Update: 2017-06- 7)