Apple’s final keynote announcement at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference was all-new hardware, continuing this year’s trend of hardware taking over what has historically been a software-oriented event (case in point: Mac and iPad announcements).
Called the HomePod, Apple’s Phil Schiller says the company’s new “breakthrough home speaker” boasts spatial awareness, meaning it can adapt its settings to the room its in to automatically offer the best possible sound given its environment..
The HomePod also features Siri, or as Schiller describes her, a “musicologist.” Siri can help users discover new music, as well as answer “complex” questions related to what’s currently playing, such as who is playing the drums for the song.
“Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a beautiful speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home.”
The powerful speaker utilizes Apple’s A8 chip and features an in-house woofer as well as a seven beam-forming tweeter array.
The HomePod will cost $349. Available in white and grey, the device will be available in select markets in December and worldwide early next year.
“This will take your home experience to the next level,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook on stage.