Apple is preparing to lock horns with arch-competitors Amazon and Google by releasing a microphone-equipped smart speaker. Its ‘HomePod’ will go on sale in a matter of weeks, the tech giant announced today.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: What started with a trickle of innovation technology to dazzle the eye has now become an all out flood as every major tech company on planet Earth makes a mad dash to wire your home with ‘always on’ audio and video surveillance listening devices. Remember how people said this day would never come? Well, it’s here. Disguised as “home innovation” to “make our lives easier”, we are being wired at a rate never anticipated by the now-antiquated idea of the “FBI file” that the government had on everyone.
The new smart speaker works a bit like the Amazon Echo, which is operated using voice commands, and features microphones so sensitive they can pick up your words even when loud music is playing.
When switched on, the device is always listening for orders, which it then encrypts and sends back to Apple’s servers to be interpreted and sent back to the speaker. Privacy advocates are becoming increasingly wary of devices which can record what’s going on owners’ homes. But the tech firm assured potential customers that its HomePod would only begin recording when it hears the words ‘Hey Siri’. Apple wrote: ‘Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of Apple hardware, software and services.
With HomePod, only after “Hey Siri” is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier.’
The gadget is also designed to play music and features seven tweeters for treble and a honking great subwoofer to blast out the bass. It can be used to control devices around the smart home and is connected to Apple Music so it can play more than 45 million songs.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said: ‘HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use.
‘We’re so excited for people to get HomePod into their homes, apartments and businesses to hear it for themselves. We think they will be blown away by the audio quality. The team has worked to give Siri a deeper knowledge of music so that you can ask to play virtually anything from your personal favourites to the latest chart-topping releases, simply by saying ‘Hey Siri.’’
Facebook is rumoured to be working on a device which features facial recognition cameras, which led to Mark Zuckerberg being dubbed ‘Big Zucker’. The HomePod will be on sale from February 9 and cost $349.00. source
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