At last week’s developers’ conference, Apple announced its new smart speaker: HomePod. Though equipped with smart functions, HomePod is a speaker first, virtual assistant second. The 7-inch-tall device includes an upward-facing woofer for low distortion, the A8 chip found in iPhones, and six microphones to allow the device to understand users from far away or in loud environments.
Siri is along for the ride as the virtual assistant, performing its usual tasks like scheduling and Internet searches. It can connect with IoT devices for remote control of household electronics. The device answers to “Hey, Siri” and a waveform appears at its top when Siri is engaged.
One interesting feature sets HomePod apart from other similar devices: automatic room-sensing technology. The speaker can sense where it is and optimizes its sound to the area.