As expected, Apple has announced their version of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, a voice assistant – called the HomePod (releasing in December). Announced at the WWDC 2017 show, Apple has added quite a few hardware to their ecosystem besides the Homepod, but that’s for another story. The voice assistant, HomePod, will hopefully put Apple in the game. While they missed all the excitement of this technology, the question is can they do it better? One would hope so with all the money Apple can throw behind it. However, their voice activation software “Siri,” has fallen from grace since it first debuted in 2011. I mean you could make the case that Apple had the voice activation technology in the household first, but it had no purpose. Amazon had provided more purpose, Google has provided more depth in data, and maybe Apple will combine the 2 and wrap it in a futuristic look.
So to be clear, Apple has released this technology as a great “connected speaker,” and not a voice activated command center. This rivals the Sonos type speakers that have been out for some time and connect well throughout the house. Sonos is expensive and so is Apple unfortunately – $349. Although, the smart marketer in me says this is a way to incorporate it into your home under the guise of a speaker with a purpose. And then let the concept of a sound device become a necessity for the home. I mean who can live without 7 tweeters?
At the end of the day this supports Apple iTunes which has been falling out of favor as well. But those die-hard Applers who live for Apple’s ecosystem, this will provide a new channel for the consumer to interact with the ecosystem. And of course buy stuff. I think this is a big question for Apple. Can someone use it outside the ecosystem? Or does this divide the Apple/Android market even more?
“Apple is a technology company that leads innovation with their products and software platforms, providing seamless experiences across devices, and empowering people with breakthrough services.” – Interbrand 2016
The answer is yes and no. For music, it will be tied into iTunes and the apple store. Control of your home can use third party devices but Apple will make it very attractive to use everything tied into their Home Kit. And again when you stay in the Apple ecosystem it can be a great experience. One that usually edges them over the competition from a user experience standpoint. My gut feeling is that Apple will won the race on sound and compatibility.
If Siri, doesn’t get way better, Amazon and Google will continue to dominate the information/data feedback to consumers. People love to ask questions to their robots. Even silly stupid stuff. In 2016 it was “What is Pokemon Go?” But there is so much more you can do with your robot without legs. Here is a list of commands from a previous story.
So, to all the robots without legs out there, “there’s a new sheriff in town.” Well in December anyway. The HomePod will add a rich sound in your house, provide answers to those silly questions, and lock the doors on your house. For me, this Apple utopian ecosystem and robot that controls my life – this idolizes the future as described in Ray Bradbury books. We’ll reconvene in December to ask Siri the hard questions.
HomePod as explained by Apple
HomePod Sexy Pictures