Siri Comes Home in the Form of a New Voice-Activated Speaker

May 2, 2017 - 2 minutes read

It’s a testament to Apple’s supremacy in the marketplace and culture that rumors about new products tend to drum up more excitement than most other companies’ big launches. Internet of things app developers and Apple devotees were thrilled this week to hear that the company’s answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home may be right around the corner. Leaked by Sonny Dickson, who revealed design details for the iPhone 8 a few weeks ago, the voice-activated speaker with the decidedly unsexy code-name “B238” might be one of Apple’s big announcements in early June at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

This new speaker would bring Siri’s soothing voice into the smart-home experience — and hopefully leave behind her more annoying glitches. If Dickson is to be believed (and usually his information checks out), Apple has been tinkering with Siri’s capabilities with an eye toward a possible smart-home device launch. Users will reportedly be able to play tracks from Apple Music, schedule reminders, check weather, and use AirPlay to stream or mirror content from another iOS device to your TV. Boston iOS app developers curious about the design will be happy to know that it’s said to be reminiscent of the Mac Pro, with a concave top holding the controls and UE boom speaker mesh covering the device. The actual speakers themselves will incorporate technology from Apple-owned Beats.

The software powering the device is expected to be a variation on iOS (think Apple TV’s tvOS or the Apple Watch’s watchOS). It seems likely that Apple will offer a Siri SDK for internet of things app developers to build for the new device. Apple was an innovator in the voice-assistant game, but competitors like Google and Amazon have lapped them when it comes to bringing their voice-assistants into the home. Judging by the excitement already building behind this product, it looks like the tech giant is definitely going to stir up the competition.

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