This week, Applea introduced the worldHomePod, your first smart speaker.
Yet, unlike competitors, the approach taken at the opening keynote of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017 did not focus on device intelligence andCrabwas scarcely addressed. The essence of the keynote and product positioning was the quality and power of the audio, something that Rafael, Breno and Eduardo addressed in the last MacMagazine On Air. This is rare: Apple generally focuses on the ease of use of the product and not on the technical specifications.
While the industry (readAmazonandGoogle) positions your devices (readEchoandHome) As personal assistants to your home with a secondary function of playing music, Apple did the opposite and introduced the HomePod as a powerful speaker that happens to help you with your daily activities.
But make no mistake: Apple's goal with HomePod is not to reinvent the speaker market. Apple's goal to make technologyomnipresent and invisible, starting with a device that controls your entire residence. As with any plan, the maxim follows:never reveal your true intent.
The product announced on Monday is the first part of that plan. To understand it, we have to answer two questions: 1. why didn't Apple position the product as a personal assistant, like the competitors ?, and 2. what is Cupertino's strategy to allow us to control our entire home through the voice ?
It is known that Siri is not smart enough to have an entire device dedicated to it. Alexa and Google Assistant, although they have a slightly higher IQ, still do not justify mass consumer adhesion. But this is not a problem for Amazon and Google, because these two companies usually launch relatively unfinished products, discreetly and at a low price. Apple doesn't have that in its DNA.
It would make no sense for Apple to launch a ?SiriPod? as Siri is useless for almost anything. The device would be collecting dust on the table. Creating a gadget with a sound far superior to that of the competition guarantees the adhesion of the product, after all, everyone listens to music but not everyone uses virtual assistants. The simple reasoning: Apple is using music as bait to put HomePod in the home of users while working to make Siri smarter.
This strategy is an old acquaintance. Apple often uses music to make consumers adhere to its products: the public bought the first iPod and the first iMac exactly because of the music store and the iTunes Store, respectively. This happens to othersgadgetsalso: the App Store was the key to making the iPhone a worldwide phenomenon.
As I mentioned in another post, iPod was designed by Jobs to be the first portable device of the ps-PC era. In other words, the iPod was the first step in putting the personal computer in people's pockets. HomePod is the first initiative so that we can control our entire home through the voice.
For the launch of HomePod, Apple performed an old move from the world of startups: to create a niche product, which a relatively small part of the population likes a lot and then to increase the product with new resources until executing its initial vision.
To summarize the grand plan:
- Sell ??a smart speaker, with audio quality, branding and compatibility far superior to that of competition;
- Put this box slowly in many people's homes, since everyone listens to music;
- Evolve Siri;
- Slowly integrate new functions into the HomePod, gradually switching to Siri instead of a speaker;
- Launch HomePod 2, 3, 4
- The rest is history.
As always, it remains to be seen whether the plan will work. The company has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence andmachine learning, creating chips dedicated to this and buying companies with this focus. Let's stay tuned for the next few moves.
In 15 years, much of the technology will be invisible like oxygen and HomePod is one of Apple's first steps towards this.