The speaker will look to take on Google Home and the Amazon Echo
That’s according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in an investors report obtained by AppleInsider notes there is a 50 percent chance that the Cupertino Company will release a Siri-orientated speaker-come-hub device.
The speaker looks to be aimed at the higher-end market, compete with Apple’s traditional premium pricing, sporting seven tweeters and a subwoofer for handling the sound side of things, and a custom ARM processors for ensuring Siri has the compute power to handle questions and commands directed at it.
Kuo notes that Apple will likely use its W1 Bluetooth chip to allow for easy connectivity between Apple devices and the speaker when they are logged into the same iCloud account. Apple’s streaming over WiFi service, AirPlay is also expected to be present and correct.
With the Siri supporting 18 languages in its current guise, and support for iOS and macOS integration, Kuo expected the speaker to be able to provide a tough challenge to Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo.
While this means consumers will have more choice than ever on the kind of virtual assistant equipped speaker they have in their homes, for developers it means yet another platform to build apps and integrate services for.
A Siri speaker could enable a swathe of iOS apps to have more functionality across iPhones, iPads and smart home setups, thereby boosting their capabilities and thus their appeal.
As the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms and systems continues to progress, it is likely we will see an ever expanding range of software, hardware and services that make use of smart agents, intelligent systems and data crunching capabilities.