About HomePod, the company’s first smart column was first announced earlier this year. Initially, Apple planned to release it in late 2017, but recently the release date was moved to the beginning of 2018.
Now the Bloomberg edition was able to find out more information about the HomePod project and the history of creating the column. There are several interesting points concerning the origin of the device. For example, the smart column was a side project of Mac audio engineers who invented it five years ago. They wanted to create a column that sounded better than everyone else.
“Initially, the HomePod column was a side project, which five years ago was created by a group of Mac audio engineers. They wanted to create a column that sounded better than those produced by Bose, JBL and Harman Kardon. At Apple a lot of side projects. Employees are encouraged for unique ideas on the condition that their main work remains for them in the first place. Engineers wanted to create a device that would surprise audiophiles. It was involved several employees of large companies, producing speakers. “
One of the prototypes of the device was 90cm in height, and it had many speakers. The code name for the column is B238, and it appeared just a couple of years ago.
” Apple ‘s audio engineers worked on the early version of HomePod for about two years by 2014, when Echo appeared – the Amazon smart column Inc with a virtual assistant named Alex. Apple engineers jokingly accused each other of having disclosed details of their project to Amazon. Then they bought Echo speakers to disassemble them and see how they work. They quickly figured out what sound quality Echo had, and went back to creating a column that should be better. “
Apparently, the fact that Amazon worked on its smart-column and released it before Apple became a surprise for the company. Apple has been developing for a very long time, and Amazon especially emphasizes this:
“More than two years have passed. During this time, Amazon Echo became a sales hit among users, impressed by Alex’s abilities to answer questions, order pizza and turn on or off the light. Meanwhile, Apple still trembled over its column. “
In addition, Apple’s ambitions for smart speakers are not so great:
” HomePod will not be able to do many things that Echo can. Amazon offers thousands of “skills” that allow users to execute many commands (including purchases on Amazon ). Google Home, which was presented this year, works the same way. HomePod will be limited to playing music from Apple Music, managing the Home application and sending messages via the iPhone. “
“This is a huge missed opportunity, ” says one of the company’s employees, who wished to remain anonymous. Apple declined to comment.
Apple advertises HomePod as a column with better sound quality. The fact that this is a smart column with Siri support and the ability to manage applications is not the main thing in it, but rather a nice bonus to a good sound.