Apple’s rumored Amazon Echo rival, which we learned yesterday could actually be an upgraded Apple TV, will have a built-in camera and use facial recognition to detect users as they enter the room, said the people briefed on Apple’s plans who spoke to CNET on condition of anonymity.
Upon recognizing a user, the device would pull up their preferences, such as the music and lighting they like, the sources said.
“The hardware could be released by year’s end, but it’s more likely to be available in 2017,” reads the article. The sources cautioned that Apple could also change its plans to include a camera, or even scrap the device entirely.
Apple declined comment on the story.
The article states that Apple “has explored” putting a camera in the device, which does not necessarily mean that a shipping product would have the camera.
CNET also insists that the device could come in the form of a smart speaker, like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s upcoming Home though VentureBeat said yesterday that the gadget might come in the form of an upgraded Apple TV set-top box with built-in microphones and an improved version of Siri.
“They want Apple TV to be just the hub of everything,” the source told VentureBeat.
Former Wall Street Journal editor Jessica Lessin’s The Information first reported earlier this week that Apple was building an Amazon Echo rival in the form of a wireless speaker with an always-on microphone.
Apple would also open up Siri to app developers so that their apps could be accessible through the digital assistant, as per The Information.