Rumors have been circulating for some time about a possible Apple speaker with Crab built-in and operation very similar to that of the Amazon Echo.
After Apple released the assistant’s SDK, everyone thought it would really surface. In the end, they were just preparations for improvements to the virtual assistant in the company’s new operating systems, which were presented at WWDC 2016.
However, it seems that the rumors were not so wrong. This is because Bloomberg published an article today saying that Apple would actually be working on Siri’s own smart home device.
After the great success of Echo, several other companies have also entered this market, for example, the recently announced Google Home. Anonymous sources claim that the Apple device would differentiate itself from others by better quality microphones and speakers, as well as a camera with facial recognition technology, which we have heard about previously.
In terms of operation, the speaker with the virtual assistant would bring both Siri functions that we already know on iPhones, iPads and Mac, as well as new functions related to smart devices in the house such as lights, curtains, locks, etc. Another anonymous source cites that it would also be possible to obtain information from Apple Maps, most likely to let the user know the best time to leave the house.
Before thinking of a separate speaker model, Apple tried to embed them on Apple TV, as three people said. The idea was discarded, but many of Siri’s functions reached the new generation of set-top box in October 2015. Even so, the initiative to allow the assistant to control every corner of our homes has not stopped; the project is already in the prototyping phase, and many of the company’s engineers are already testing the device in their own homes.
Despite the good intention, Apple will certainly need to bring significant improvements so that Siri can level off or surpass Amazon’s assistant, Alexa. According to more people, Apple is also working on a project called «Invisible Hands» (something like “Invisible Hands”) whose intention is to allow users to control and access any information on the systems without having to call an app or call Siri several times. An example of this would be the user opening a web page and sharing with friends without having to touch his device. Another example would be to say “print” on a document while it is open.
Whether we will actually see any of these products appear to us is not yet certain. However, we need to recognize that Apple has given a lot of attention to smart home automation with HomeKit and now also the Casa app (Home), and several advances are already appearing to further improve your virtual assistant.