Apple’s Echo Specs & Spoilers: Apple To Rival Amazon’s Echo With Camera, Facial Recognition [PREVIEW]By Darren Domirez, UniversityHerald Reporter
Tech giant Apple plans to incorporate a camera in its product which could come in the form of a smart speaker to rival Amazon's Echo. This new technology will make the device "self aware" and detect anyone in the room through facial recognition technology.
According to CNET, these new features would allow the device robotically gets its user's preferences specifically in the music and lighting they prefer. The hardware could be released by the end of 2016. However, it would more likely be available in Q1 of 2017. But Apple could still change its plans to comprise a camera or even plunk the device completely. Apple has declined to comment.
An emerging area called the "Internet of Things" is becoming the new battleground for tech giants. It is a new place that links together just about everything that plugs to an electrical outlet so the gadgets can correspond with one another, CNET added.
Amazon has trailblazed the central role in that transition in homes with its built-in voice assistant called Alexa. Now Apple trails itself behind the pack amid Siri's launch before digital assistants came into trend.
The Echo and Google's Google Home are both voice-activated speakers that allow you control your home appliances through speaking instructions aloud. Apple's rumored Echo version will also obey voice commands through Siri, The Information reported.
Meanwhile, Apple's plan of putting intelligent cameras into devices can be a risk because it raises questions on privacy. When Intel planned to launch a TV box with a camera, it ditched the plan for its first product, CNET said. The Intel Company said that was due to the cost and the time it would take to build the device, but it also received a major backlash over concerns that the box would watch you constantly. Intel eventually sold that business, called OnCue, to Verizon, which did away with the hardware in favor of a streaming service called Go90.