Apple Inc. is reportedly developing a new device similar to the Amazon.com, Inc.’s Echo, but it will have camera and facial recognition capabilities.
Source familiar with the company’s plans told CNET that the self-aware device would detect the people in the room through its facial recognition technology. The device would automatically pull up a person’s preferences, “such as the music and lighting they like.”
Apple seems to be following Google which earlier this month unveiled Home hardware and Assistant platform at its Google I/O developer conference.
It still it is not clear how Apple’s device will look like. A news report from The Information suggested that Apple’s device will be a standalone hardware product. According to a report from VentureBeat, the company will build the Echo-like features into a next-generation Apple TV.
The Amazon Echo is a $180 tube cylinder smart home platform. The company in 2014 decided to launch a brand new Internet-connected home gadget that comes with a digital personal assistant named Alexa. Its success has encouraged other tech titans and app makers to jump into the smart home market.
A new study from market research firm Argus Insights, using 576,000 smart home reviews since January 2015, found that Amazon Echo is commanding the conversation. Amazon Echo is steering the ship, which means it’s owning the infant smart home industry.
When Apple Launching Its Smart Device?
According to reports, Apple Inc. will reveal its smart device at the end of 2016, but it is more likely to arrive in 2017.
However, CNET also warned that the company could scarp plans for a camera in the device because it is a potential privacy risk that may not be favorable with consumers. Also, there is a chance that the tech company could scrap its Echo competitor entirely.
$59 Billion Smart Home Market
The smart home market is in its early stages. There is no denying it. It’s not so much about disrupting the industry right now, but making your name synonymous with it, which is what Amazon is currently doing.
Amazon may also be playing the long game. A Markets and Markets report on the smart home gadgets market projected that the industry could be worth $58.68 billion within the next four years. Other reports have pegged the number at $71 billion by the year 2018.
In other Apple news, the company is likely to unveil the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. Rumors suggesting that the new iPhone will be similar to the iPhone 6s, but it may be a little thinner. According to the rumors, Apple will release four new models this year. In addition to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, a third new model will also make a debut at the company’s September event. The fourth model will arrive later this year. What makes the two new model different from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus? We didn’t get an answer from the rumors mill. There are some reports that the third model’s camera technology will be dissimilar to what Apple offer in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Shares of Apple Inc. closed 0.06% down on Friday.