https://www.forbes.com/sites/ianmorris/2017/05/17/apple-siri-speaker-is-coming-soon-heres-how-i-think-it-will-look/#3c2c70ab387a

Apple Siri Speaker Is Coming Soon, Here’s How I Think It Will Look

A mockup of how an Apple Siri Speaker might end up looking.

Mockup: Ian Morris, Original photos: Apple

A mockup of how an Apple Siri Speaker might end up looking.

What might Apple want from a Siri Speaker? Well, first and foremost I suspect that this device is going to offer several different features. It will need to do this to support what will almost certainly be a more advanced price point than, say, Alexa or Google Home. But Apple’s focus will be on industrial design, with sound quality being key too.

Having spoken to some people the idea seems to be that Apple will follow the cylindrical approach to its speaker design. Which is why my mockup above features Apple’s own Mac Pro design, the Beats logo and a speaker grille I found on Google Images. I would imagine Apple’s industrial design team is more competent than I am in Photoshop. Probably took them longer than the three minutes I spent on my version too.

But the design as an idea might not be far off. Apple will want any Speaker with its name on it to sound beautiful. It will need to have decent bass – if it’s going to carry the Beats logo – and because Apple is famed for music, it will need to be incredibly strong in this area. The one area that I might have missed is a screen, with Apple’s Phil Schiller having mentioned that having a screen on a voice assistant is a good idea.

If Apple wants this speaker to be a rival for Amazon’s Echo, the Siri is going to need to be a little bit smarter. I don’t think this is news to anyone, and Apple would be working on a massive improvement to Siri this year anyway, to help support the launch of the iPhone 8 in the summer. But really we need Siri back on form with more humour, and able to do more.

It stands to reason too that Apple will push all of its devices, Apple TV and a new speaker, to integrate together and make Apple’s Home a much more compelling product. If Apple can leverage the devices which are joining the HomeKit programme and tie them all together within this speaker, then it might really push that platform forward. Bear in mind that Alexa isn’t a complete ecosystem yet, it relies on other companies devices to be tied together either with native skills, or If This Then That integration. Apple may be able to simplify this, and make a real push for both Apple Home and this speaker.

I would guess that Apple would want this speaker to support both Bluetooth and its own AirPlay. It’s, of course, a done deal that any Apple speaker would support AirPlay, the inclusion of Bluetooth would open the speaker up to more homes than those which exist in the Apple ecosystem.

So what are the chances of Apple launching a Siri speaker soon? I’d say pretty good actually. Rumours online suggest that Apple staff are already testing a device in their homes. Because it’s likely Apple will need developer support for this product, there’s an even better chance it will get some sort of mention at WWDC. A proper product launch wouldn’t happen – I would guess – until the end of the year.

 

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