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Apple's rumored product designed to compete with the Amazon Echo could come equipped with a camera and facial recognition capabilities, reports CNET. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, CNET says the device would be "self aware," able to detect the people in the room through facial recognition technology.

Once the device determines who is in the room, that information could be used to pull up each person's preferences, "such as the music and lighting they like," allowing for a customized interactive experience for each member of the home. Facial recognition is something Apple has previously expressed interest in, both through patent filings and acquisitions.

News of Apple's work on an Amazon Echo competitor first surfaced earlier this week, when The Information reported such a device was under development. The Amazon Echo is an in-home personal assistant device that features a built-in speaker and a robust artificial intelligence system, and a product from Apple would likely be similar, with AI capabilities based on Siri along with its own speaker and microphone.

It is not clear what form Apple's in-home hub will take. While The Information's report suggested it was a standalone hardware product, a second report from VentureBeat has said Apple will built the Echo-like features into a next-generation Apple TV.

Apple is laying the groundwork for a robust in-home AI-powered product through its work on Siri, and major Siri improvements could come in iOS 10. Apple is said to be preparing to release a Siri SDK, which would make the personal assistant available to developers for the first time and greatly increase its functionality.

Today's report is the first to include details on a potential release timeline, suggesting the device could launch at the end of 2016, but 2017 is a more likely target. CNET cautions that Apple's plans for a camera could change as it is a potential privacy risk that may not be favorable with consumers. As with all Apple products still under development, there's also a chance Apple could scrap its Echo competitor entirely.

Article Link: Apple's Amazon Echo Competitor Could Feature Camera, Facial Recognition
 

ee13lbp

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2012
92
6
What'll probably happen is we will keep hearing rumours about it for the next 10 months and then Google will release the new Google Home with a far more sophisticated computer vision system than Apple could ever produce. They already have several API's available to recognise objects and people, and it would tie in far better to their Photos and assistant than it would to Siri.
 
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KingofGotham1

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2012
89
114
Apple lately has sure turned into a "Me too" company.

I think they need to focus on what got them here in the first place, with a refresh line of the Macs and focus on innovation of the iPhone.

Wasn't the iPhone entering a "me too" segment? With Nokia and black berry dominating the market, apple jumped in and brought something new. That's typically what they do.
 

npmacuser5

macrumors 68000
Apr 10, 2015
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I think Apple leaked this info after everyone was asking where is Apple and why are they late to the game.
The problem with that strategy, Amazon is getting a good deal of free advertising. Imagine this free advertising going on for 6 more months. :(
 

travwill

macrumors newbie
Mar 22, 2013
26
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If it is still an Apple closed ecosystem on whatever they release, it'll do well just to the extent of Apple fans. Love Apple products here, but we have Amazon Echos - getting better all the time, integrates well into Amazon for orders, is very open on IFTTT, etc.
 
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Dr.Chroma

Suspended
Apr 11, 2016
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Wasn't the iPhone entering a "me too" segment? With Nokia and black berry dominating the market, apple jumped in and brought something new. That's typically what they do.

Right. But the iPhone was the first introduce multitouch and change the iPhone forever. They need to continue to focus on innovative features such as multitouch, FaceTime, or other various software development. Some smart phones are still using the same technology and software from five years ago, when the iPhone at least attempt to introduce new features, such as 3-D touch, and touch ID.
 
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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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The problem with that strategy, Amazon is getting a good deal of free advertising. Imagine this free advertising going on for 6 more months. :(

I just imagine some marketing types at Amazon just chuckling every time there is a another article like this. About every one of them compares these upcoming devices to the Amazon Echo, kind of implying that is the standard to beat.

7448c91d7066721c47ed034fa4d7639934ab4b9004e9286be749df092e2f4924.jpg
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Oh, so not only will it listen to everything you say, it will also be watching everything you do? Noooooooo thanks.

It's not Ceiling Cat. It's not even transmitting video to the cloud, I would expect—but rather processing it locally, IF this rumor is true. Like the way iPhoto recognizes faces without transmitting anything.

Right. But the iPhone was the first introduce multitouch and change the iPhone forever. They need to continue to focus on innovative features such as multitouch, FaceTime, or other various software development. Some smart phones are still using the same technology and software from five years ago, when the iPhone at least attempt to introduce new features, such as 3-D touch, and touch ID.

Are you betting that future Apple products will no longer introduce useful new features?
 

MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2011
2,155
980
Sweden
Self aware is a bit sensationalist journalism there. The thing is always on and recognises facial matches to pre-programmed/saved advanced algorithms. Woo...

In order for this to be any good Apple
Is going to have to upload all your iDevice and Mac usage history into iCloud so it is available to this new Apple Homebase station, and all the accounts you want to use with it will have to be connected in some way to be recognised as residents, which most probably going to be through Family Sharing or being signed in to Home Sharing, as the video setting work now.

Anybody excited for that?
 

justas21

macrumors member
Apr 6, 2009
48
0
I think they should stay away from Siri as a brand for this device. Here is my recent interaction with her:

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