Posts tagged Echo
Siri Speaker Manufacturing Has Begun

Mark Gurman and Alex Webb are offering further confirmation that Apple will be releasing a Siri Speaker next Monday to compete with Amazon's Echo lineup and the Google Home.

Gurman and Webb reporting for Bloomberg:

"The iPhone-maker has started manufacturing a long-in-the-works Siri-controlled smart speaker, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple could debut the speaker as soon as its annual developer conference in June, but the device will not be ready to ship until later in the year, the people said. 

"The device will differ from Inc.’s Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Homespeakers by offering virtual surround sound technology and deep integration with Apple’s product lineup, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss products that aren’t yet public...

"Introducing a speaker would serve two main purposes: providing a hub to automate appliances and lights via Apple’s HomeKit system, and establishing a bulwark inside the home to lock customers more tightly into Apple’s network of services. That would help combat the competitive threat from Google’s and Amazon’s connected speakers: the Home and Echo mostly don’t support services from Apple. Without compatible hardware, users may be more likely to opt for the Echo or Home, and therefore use streaming music offerings such as Spotify, Amazon Prime Music or Google Play rather than Apple Music."

If manufacturing is already in progress, I hope to see this new product available for preorder in coming weeks.

Read on Bloomberg.

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Microsofts Announces Windows-like Approach to Smart Speakers

Microsoft is taking an expressly Windows-like approach to getting their voice assistant, Cortana, into people's homes. They are providing the software and backend infrastructure, and third-party OEMs are making and selling the hardware. 

Harman Kardon's has already announced their product, a Cortana speaker called Invoke, and we now know that HP will be making a competing home speaker.

Read on The Verge.

Amazon officially unveils touchscreen Echo Show

James Vincent for the Verge:

"Amazon has officially unveiled its latest Echo product: a touchscreen device with built-in Alexa called the Echo Show. The device was extensively leaked this week, but is now available to preorder from Amazon for $229.99."

Amazon is building out their Alexa/Echo product family to take advantage of their lead in the market. They want us to have an Echo device in every room—Echo can go anywhere, Echo Look in your bedroom/closet, Echo Show in the kitchen, Echo Dot connected to fancy speakers and  Echo Tap to carry onto the porch or backyard.

Once users have one or more of these devices in their homes, it makes it much harder for them to switch to competing devices from Google, Microsoft or Apple. It's still early days, but Amazon is taking the home assistant market very seriously.

Read on The Verge.