The use of virtual assistants for the home has been a surprising success, as demonstrated by the Echo speakerphone, created by Amazon, based on the assistant of the same company, Alexa. And as expected, now other firms are looking for this new market and Cupertino’s company could not be the exception. According to Sony Dickson, Apple could soon bring out its competitor for Amazon Echo, which is most likely already in the final stages of product design.
The product is expected to be marketed as a Siri AirPlay device, said Sonny Dickson on Twitter, while noting that it should use some kind of Beats technology, and run an iOS variant.
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Information about this new product lost importance in February, when several reports cited conversations with Apple executives, who were not identified, but who claimed that the company had “no apparent interest” in the development of a competitor of Echo, despite earlier rumors to the contrary.
Dickson didn’t go into any more detail, but his comment is considered valuable, as he has been accurate about some predictions in the past, such as several details of the renewed interface of iOS 10.
Regarding the operation of the Siri-based assistant, it is presumed that AirPlay support would allow Apple hardware to control music, radio and podcasts via Wi-Fi, which normally offers better quality than Bluetooth.
Based on the assertion that the product is ahead of schedule, it is presumed that this could be another of Apple’s surprises for this year, although it is not clear when the product will be shipped. However, Apple is prepared to showcase new technologies at the Global Developer Conference on June 5-9.
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As we said before, the Echo speaker, based on Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, is the main reference of success in this market; in this sense, Alexa is rapidly migrating to other devices such as phones and set-tops. The next smart thermostat from Amazon, the Ecobee and the Ecobee4, are expected to be equipped with Alexa.
An Apple version of Echo’s concept would ensure that Siri is not relegated to the sidelines among voice assistants, another rival is Google Assistant, found in devices like Google Home.
Can Apple conquer the market of virtual home assistants?