Apple’s Echo Featuring Camera/Facial Recognition Functionality
Apple is said to be working on an Amazon Echo rival which according to reports may feature a camera and facial recognition functionality. The device with the in-built camera would be capable of detecting who will be in the closeness of the speaker using facial recognition technology and automatically activates that individual’ preferences like choice of music and lighting.
The hardware would be released by the end of the year though it is likely to be made available in 2017. However, they have warned that Apple would change its plans to include a camera or may even scrap the device completely. Apple had refrained from commenting. Due to the Echo together with its built-in voice assistant known as Alexa, Amazon tends to play a vital role in the transition in the homes of people.
Apple finds itself behind even though it had launched Siri before the digital assistant had come in. Presently neither Echo nor Google’s recently proclaimed devices, Google Home, tend to have cameras. They are both voice-activated speakers which enables you to control the home appliances by loud communication commands.
Intelligent Cameras in Devices – Risky
Apple’s device also tends to obey voice commands via Siri, Putting intelligent cameras in devices seems to be risky for companies since it tends to raise questions regarding privacy. Intel intended to release a TV box with a camera though it ditched the plan for its first product.Intel had informed that it was owing to the cost as well as the time taken to build the device though the company also encountered backlash over concerns that the box would be watching you all the while. Intel eventually had sold the business, OnCue to Verizon which did away with the hardware in support of a streaming service known as Go90.
Supporters of smart cameras in devices, state that there is little privacy or security risk to consumers as long as the camera is kept turned off by default and consumers have the option to use it. Apple has been the leader in the drive for more security and privacy for its consumers and its combative battle with the FBI earlier in the year had drawn attention to the requirement of stronger security on devices. It is doubtful that Apple would include a camera in a smart home speaker unless it could also ensure the device is secure.
New Model of Apple TV Set Top Box – Built-in Mic/Speaker
Though the Independent had reported that the device would be Siri-based and would be a standalone device, another report later in the week claimed that the device would be coming to homes as a new model of the Apple TV set top box that would have a built-in mic and speaker.
But a main drawback to an Apple TV based Echo competitor would be the hard wired connection to a television set which would eradicate an attractive feature of the Echo, the facility of putting it anywhere in the house. Though the earlier reports had not revealed a possible delivery date for the device, Sources had indicated that it could probably be by the end of 2016 but 2017 would be a possibility.