Apple’s Amazon Echo rival said to include includes built-in cameras to read users’ emotions, recognize faces

“Apple’s long-rumored answer to the Amazon Echo smart speaker is now being tested in secret in the homes of Apple engineers, Bloomberg reports,” Ry Crist reports for CNET. “The report, which cites sources familiar with the matter, also says that the device includes built-in cameras capable of distinguishing between users and even detecting their emotions, which would corroborate a CNET report from​ earlier this year.”

“Apple’s device would obviously feature Siri, and Bloomberg reports that the Cupertino company is hard at work on improving her conversational intelligence to fill a larger role in the home,” Crist reports. “Dedicated voice controls for Apple Music and for devices designed to work with HomeKit, Apple’s smart home platform, both seem like very safe bets.”

Crist reports, “If the cameras end up making the final cut, they could help to differentiate the device from the Echo and from the Google Home, another smart home speaker currently making its way to retail.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It had better have some stark, plainly obvious differentiation or Apple will get reamed even more than usual by the general tech media.

Apple’s Siri-powered Amazon Echo-like device reportedly now in prototype testing – September 23, 2016
Why an ‘Apple Echo’ would be a hit – June 15, 2016
New Apple TV to take on Amazon’s Echo, source says – May 26, 2016
Apple preps Amazon Echo rival, opening up Siri – May 24, 2016
Apple should make a stationary voice command device like Amazon’s Echo – May 19, 2016
Google unveils its Amazon Echo knockoff called ‘Google Home’ – May 18, 2016
Where’s Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo? – March 31, 2016
Amazon Echo leads mindshare in smart home platform war – February 29, 2016
Why did Apple buy a startup whose tech can read emotions via facial recognition?/a> – January 7, 2016
Apple buys Emotient, maker of artificial-intelligence tech that reads emotion by analyzing facial expressions – January 7, 2016


    1. ??

      How is this supposed to “pump-up [sic] Amazon”? It is talking about Apple’s own rumored solution that is supposed to rival Amazon’s Echo. If nothing, people who read this might decide to wait for Apple, rather than go buy Echo from Amazon today.

      1. Every so called new tech product from Google, or Amazon, is a tie in to the Apple a doomed because someone coming up in the rear view mirror, used to be Microsoft in that role.

        1. Every so called new tech product from Google, or Amazon, is a tie in to the Apple is doomed because someone is coming up in the rear view mirror, used to be Microsoft in that role.

  1. I still don’t understand why I would want Siri plugged into the wall instead of on my phone and watch.

    People talk up the Echo’s “success” way too much. I don’t know a single person who has one. Nobody. Wow what a game-changing “success”. Amazon won’t even tell us how many have been sold. And the only reason it exists in the first place is because nobody bought Amazon’s Fire phone.

    Siri on your phone which is never more than 5 feet from you is where she belongs. (Not to mention that Siri is also strapped to your wrist if you wear an Apple Watch.) What the hell would a Siri box stuck to the wall outlet do for me? Having to get up and go into the other room to talk to Siri is just dumb when she’s right there on your wrist and in your pocket.

    1. If you look at Amazon’s earnings report there isn’t any profit with the Echo it is just more smoke and mirror’s like the Fire-Phone, from day one Wall Street has been pumping the Echo as great and then asking when’s Apple going to do one because if they don’t they are doomed.

      1. Since Wall Street produces nothing and only makes its profits off rumors; It stands to reason that they have to make up stories about capabilities that actual design, industrial, and manufacturing engineers will place in a product. Think of Carl Icahn as the Kim Kardashian of the financial world and Wall Street analysts as the Wall Street equivalence of paparazzi. Then you will begin to understand why these people need to be regulated and treated with contempt.

    2. But what if you could have said: “Hey, Siri, place an order with Apple for an IPhone. 7 Plus in jet black with 256GB storage on the AT&T network on September 16 at 2am.” ??? That’s a bit more than what you can do with an Echo and I have lots of friends who are Amazon Prime who have and echo and use it for just that. I have one myself. I’d argue that it’s PRIMARY reason for existing is to make it so easy to order from Amazon that you’d use it before driving a block to WalMart or Kroger. Groceries being tested in markets right now btw. So don’t undervalue the echo. I don’t underestimate Apple’s ability to outdo it as long as they release the first version with high quality. First impressions, Apple.

  2. Perhaps the Echo is preferred by those that don’t want to keep EMR emitting devices on their person and like the convenience of voice control. I personally know 2 people with the Amazon Echo and they rave about it all the time. Neither fit the profile I describe above and they also love their iPhones and iPads. They just like what they like and use what is convenient for them.

  3. Siri 9000: “Look TowerTone, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

    Me: “Then QUIT fscking up my Music playlist and available songs! Quit claiming Apple owns them!! Quit removing songs that were ON my phone yesterday but now have to be re-downloaded, even though the rest of the album is still there!!!”

    Siri 2000: “I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.”

    Me: “Ahhhhhhrgggggg!!!!!. Siri…Green…Isn’t…People!!!”

  4. Is this going to be a 360º camera? Or do you have to be within its viewing angle? Are we going to see posted pictures of people making faces at it? Will the NSA be hacking into it to identify psychopathic tendencies? When more than one user is giving it conflicting orders, who wins? Can A.I.s have mental breakdowns?

    1. There’s copying…
      Then there’s improving upon…

      Technology evolves. If operating systems stopped dead at the original UNIX, we’d be stuck with only a character line interface. *GAG*

      Now we have macOS, which is a direct descendent of the original UNIX. Thank you Apple and all those who contributed to the evolutionary project before Apple…. And to those who will contribute to its further evolution…

  5. With a camera and the ability to send notifications to users’ phones, this sounds like it could handle the DIY security that a lot of people are looking for these days. We know Apple is looking at personal security based on Watch SOS. Incorporate that tech into a home device that can communicate to your phone that there’s movement in your house when no one is home and it’s a winner. And if it can recognize faces, one would think it can differentiate between humans and pets. The always-on mic could also record sound and send it to the phone and of course video and audio could be saved to iCloud for evidence. Just a few thoughts. Brings Apple into the home security market and competes with Logitech, DLink, et. al.

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