Apple HomePod Joins Amazon Echo, Google Home In Smart Speaker Arms Race

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It was only a matter of time before the biggest voice in artificial intelligence joined the fight for smart speaker supremacy.

Apple revealed HomePod, its Siri-powered smart speaker, during the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, according to CNET. But while consumers likely will view the device as the latest addition to a market currently dominated by Amazon and Google, Apple has bigger plans for its new product.

Reportedly releasing in December for $349, HomePod will cost nearly twice as much as the Amazon Echo and almost three times as much as the Google Home, which cost $179 and $129, respectively. The reason for the higher price tag is Apple’s apparent emphasis on sound quality, something sorely lacking from Amazon’s products.

“Just like with portable music, we want to reinvent home music,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at WWDC.

In addition to the various types of aid current smart speakers provide, HomePod features what Apple calls “spacial awareness,” which allows the device to sense room size and occupying furniture to adjust audio as needed, according to CNET.

With the heavy focus on audio, HomePod appears positioned more to rival Bose and other similarly priced home speaker units. The fact that HomePod isn’t copying some of Amazon’s recent Echo updates seems to further support this notion, which was rumored by industry experts in the weeks leading up to HomePod’s reveal.

Only time will tell, though, if the voices of Siri, Google and Alexa will be the soundtrack to our high-tech apocalypse.

Thumbnail photo via YouTube/CNET

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