Rumours of Apple preparing a new artificial intelligence device for smart home applications resurfaced after company’s marketing boss Phil Schiller dropped acid comments about his potential competitors – Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Asked about his thoughts on the competing products he remarked “Well, I won’t talk to either one specifically, [I] don’t want to. My mother used to have a saying that if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all.”
He also pointed out something that we’ve been wondering about a lot – why do smart devices lack the screen. Sure, voice controls are nice but the range of usability would certainly increase if the Echo had a screen.
Apple has already developed Siri intelligent personal voice assistant software and HomeKit which is a software framework used to configure appliances (such as Ecobee smart thermostat) via your iPhone. So it would only make sense if Apple continued development and created a gadget that would directly compete with Google Home and Amazon Echo.
There’s also been a recent info leak, speculation or rumour, if you like, that there’s a high chance Apple is going to reveal a smart home device this summer. This was reported by MacRumors which and they get most of their predictions right.
Apple’s answer to the offerings of other two tech giants is said to be having a significantly higher price tag – another reason to suspect it will feature an LCD screen (like the 1993 MessagePad virtual assistant). As far as its main features are concerned, the first generation is unlikely to have anything groundbreaking included – so just the regular music streaming and voice-control over your smart home devices.
Internet of Things (IoT) has virtually endless possibilites, so it’s weird that the tech giants are playing it safe and keeping their AI devices so feature-light.
If we look at the possible developers and manufacturers for the upcoming smart device, it would have to be Inventec – a Taiwanese-based development firm that also worked on Apple AirPods which incidentally feature voice control, too. It seems that it’s not a question of when they will launch an AI speaker for smart home – it’s a question of when.