The following is an excerpt from Tiernan Ray | June 5, 2017 | Barrons.com |
Apple (AAPL) executives today hosted software developers in San Jose for the company’s annual conference, this time in San Jose, where it unveiled new iMac desktop computers, new MacBook Pro laptop computers, new iPads, and updates to its desktop and mobile operating systems, and new features for its Apple Watch wearable, including watch faces.
Chief executive Tim Cook, adding “One last thing,” invited marketing veep Phil Schiller to the stage to unveil the long-awaited home appliance, under the banner of “reinventing music."
Schiller teased a “breakthrough home speaker,” called “HomePod.” The mesh-covered canister has features such as 7-beam forming speakers and a 4-inch woofer. The device uses Apple’s own “A8” chip, which Schiller referred to as the “biggest brain ever in a speaker."
Schiller said the HomePod will use spatial awareness to create a better sound depending on where the speaker is placed. The HomePod is plugged into the Apple Music service, to pull up one’s existing music catalog, he said. An array of six microphones will respond to the phrase “Hey, Siri."
The speaker can also be a “great home assistant,” said Schiller, responding to requests for news and weather, information (“When do the Red Sox play next?) HomePod can also control “Smart Home” devices that utilize Apple’s “HomeKit” programming tools.
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