Tech Times | Bloomberg: Apple prepping Amazon Echo-like device
Amazon's Echo smart speaker may soon have some new competition from Siri.
Apple is reportedly in the prototype stage of developing its answer to Amazon's popular device, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
Similar to Echo, the device would allow users to use Siri to control their home through voice, issuing commands to control everything - from lights to locks to thermostats - something referred to as home automation.
Apple has dabbled in this space the past few years through its HomeKit programme, allowing appliance manufacturers to create internet-connected products that can be controlled from an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV through Siri.
ADVANCED SPEAKER TECHNOLOGY
While similar in overall functionality to Echo, one of the ways Apple's smart device may attempt to differentiate itself is with more "advanced microphone and speaker technology", two unnamed people told Bloomberg, though what this exactly would mean is unclear. Apple also has reportedly been experimenting with putting cameras on its devices to allow for the product to do facial recognition.
Since making Echo widely available in 2015, Amazon has surged to an early lead in the race to control the home. The $179.99 Echo is the top-selling home-automation product on the company's website, with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on more than 43,000 reviews.