Apple has announced it will be going the home AI unit arms race against Google and Amazon with the launch of its HomePod later in the year.
According to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, the focus will be on music in the first instance: “Just like we did with portable music we want to reinvent home music.” The HomePod will launch in the US, UK and Australia in December. It will be priced at a (surprisingly expensive) $349 and come in white and space grey. Combined with Siri you’ll be able to ask it to “play more from this band” or ask for more songs with the same guitarist and the like.
You will also be able to use it to set a timers and give you reminders. You will be able to send a text with apple Messages, control the household lights and hook up with other connected devices through HomeKit. And needless to say it will also read the news and weather to you.
The competition is hotting up in the home AI unit space and many Apple fans will be interested and excited to have access to a new device to add to the suite of gadgets they offer. That’s probably how they will justify the higher price tag. But with an end of year launch date, Apple has some catching up to do.