Apple Unveils HomePod Smart Speaker

Posted Mon Jun 5, 2017 at 01:10 PM PDT by

The wireless speaker features new spatial awareness technology.

Apple has revealed its latest tech product, the HomePod. The wireless home speaker offers support for Apple Music, voice control, home assistant functions, and advanced audio quality features.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a beautiful speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home."

The HomePod measures just under 7-inches tall and uses a custom array of 7 beam-forming tweeters along with a 4-inch upward facing woofer. Under the hood, the speaker is powered by Apple's A8 chip providing bass management through real-time software modeling and other advanced audio functions, including the new spatial awareness feature. With spatial awareness, the HomePod is able to sense its position in a room -- whether it’s in a corner, on a table or in a bookshelf -- and then optimize its audio output for that location. To help achieve this, the device is also able to detect and separate center vocals, direct energy (instrumentation), and ambient audio (like backing vocals and reverb) within a music track, and then beam each piece directionally and blend them together specifically for the room's unique dynamics.  

In addition, the speaker also includes a six-microphone array with advanced echo cancellation for Siri voice control and home assistant functions, allowing users to ask questions and access podcasts, news, weather, traffic, sports, reminders, timers, messages, and more. Finally, the HomePod has been designed for use with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs.

The Apple HomePod is set to launch in the US, UK, and Australia this December for $349. Models will be available in white and space gray.

Source: Apple

Tags: Apple, HomePod, Speakers, iOS, Siri (all tags)