The Australian voice assistant market is about to get a whole lot more vocal with the recent launch of Apple’s offering; Apple HomePod
After a significant period of testing and an unveiling last year, HomePod was officially released in Australia on February 9, signaling a whole new era in the adoption of voice activators and smart home use.
So, what is HomePod and what does it offer?
HomePod is Apple’s take on the smart speaker, combining a sound system with voice control capability and the insightfulness of the brand’s ever-accommodating assistant Siri.
Apple touts the speaker as: “the ultimate music authority, bringing together Apple Music and Siri to learn your taste in music”.
“It’s also an intelligent home assistant, capable of handling everyday tasks – and controlling your smart home. HomePod takes the listening experience to a whole new level. And that’s just the beginning.”
The device will enable users to listen to music on demand, have texts read to them, create lists, check the weather, and control other smart products.
It will also cater to “scenes”, enabling users to start multiple smart home devices and lights at once with a simple voice command.
“Just say ‘Hey Siri, turn on the lights’ or ‘Hey Siri, turn off the lights in the kitchen’,” Apple explains.
“You can even ask Siri to set scenes, like ‘Good Morning’, that put multiple accessories to work — all at once. A wide range of accessories works with Apple’s HomeKit platform. Just add an accessory to the Home app, then control it with your voice on HomePod.”
The long-awaited entry of Apple HomePod into the voice activator market means Australia now has access to all the big brands. Google Home was the first to sweep the nation and remains the most popular. Its comfortable monopoly was only recently challenged by Amazon Echo which also arrived in Australia in early February.
Now, HomePod means lovers of all-things Apple have a voice activator in a smart speaker that caters to their tastes.
HomePod is flagged as the ultimate music authority, but its real area of expertise extends far beyond the latest tracks and tunes.
Apple notes HomePod…” can also tell you the latest news, traffic and weather. Set reminders and tasks. Send messages. And hand off phone calls. It’s also a hub for controlling your smart home accessories — from a single light bulb to the whole house — with just your voice”.
Meanwhile, NewsLtd tips its arrival is set to spark an “artificial intelligence battle, and double smart home gadgets in Australia”.
They explain Apple spent six years perfecting the product, with a specific focus on its audio and sound system capabilities.
They further note the arrival of Apple in the voice assistant arena means one in every five Australian households could use an artificially intelligent device by Christmas.
“We think Apple HomePod should increase the appetite overall for smart speakers and will resonate with Apple-buying households that don’t just have Apple devices but services,” Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said.
“It’s neck-and-neck with smart speakers from Amazon and Google and we anticipate that Apple will be a strong third-party player in the market.”
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