Apple has announced that HomePod, its Siri-enabled smart speaker, will be available for Rs 19,900 in India soon. What’s interesting is that it will be available at a cheaper price as compared to the US where it can be purchased for $299 (approx. Rs 21,300). HomePod was launched in January 2019 and is set to make its way in India a year after its unveiling in the US, Australia, the UK, and other European countries.
Just like any other smart speaker in the market, HomPod can be used for an array of tasks, including sending a message, setting a timer, playing a podcast, checking the news, sports, traffic, and weather, and even controlling a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories by using your voice. It works together with an Apple Music subscription to let users access music libraries.
HomePod is about 7-inches tall and is powered by Apple’s A8 chip. The smart speaker utilises software for real-time acoustic modelling, audio beam-forming, and echo cancellation. It uses spatial awareness to sense its location in the room and then adjusts the audio output. It has a woofer and an array of seven beam-forming tweeters for output. There are six microphones that listen to ‘Hey Siri’ commands from any direction in a room. Apple says that these microphones can listen to commands even during loud music.
‘HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. It brings advanced audio technologies, like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer, and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use,’ Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Apple, said at the launch of the device.
To connect, just hold an iPhone next to HomePod for a few seconds and you are good to go. You can use HomeKit to use HomePod to control home accessories. HomePod can turn on lights, raise the shades, and set the desired temperature, among other things. Through SiriKit, HomePod supports third-party messaging apps, which means that you can also text your friend using apps like WhatsApp.