As we get closer to Apple’s annual developer conference in June, rumours regarding upcoming products and services from the company are coming in at a rapid clip.
Earlier in the week, a report stated Apple is working on a toolkit to allow developers take advantage of Siri’s voice control funcionality across Apple’s products. The report also indicated Apple is working on a standalone voice-controlled product similar to the Amazon Echo, or the newly announced Google Home.
However, in a different report from sources talking to VentureBeat, Apple isn’t currently planning to release a standalone device, but is instead working on incorporating additional Siri technology into the Apple TV. According to the rumour, the new updated Apple TV is poised to feature a built-in speaker and microphone, and will also act as the hub for Apple’s smart home ambitions. Given the Apple TV might not necessarily always be near users, the Siri remote is rumoured to also be able to tap into this voice-activated functionality. Since the remote requires battery power, however, it would likely not be able to listen passively for “Hey Siri” all the time.
There has been a significant amount of speculation surrounding Apple’s HomeKit since it was announced in 2014 at WWDC. While some devices on the market make use of Apple’s smart home tools, there’s no unified way to control all the compatible smart devices in a home so far, apart from Amazon’s efforts with the Echo.
In other smart home hub related news, Google recently revealed its own voice activated device at I/O 2016, Google Home.