Apple's Echo-like smart appliance may use a camera for facial recognition


Amazon's track record with hardware has been a little hit-and-miss, and after the spectacular failure of the Fire Phone, you'd be forgiven for thinking its glory days of Kindles and Fire tablets had passed it by. Then one year ago the company released the Echo smart appliance, a voice-controlled speaker/smarthome hub. Not only has the Echo been a surprise success, but it's inspired a new wave of similar devices, like the just-launched Google Home. Earlier this week we heard Apple could be developing its own spin on the smart-appliance concept, and now we're learning new details about just how this device might work.

That previous rumor described Apple's hardware as including a speaker and a microphone, making it sound like it would closely match the Amazon Echo in terms of how users would interact with it.

Now insider sources suggest that Apple's device won't be purely audio-driven, and that it could also include a camera that would allow it to see the room around it. Through the use of facial-recognition technology, it would be able to recognize users and even start configuring smart-home connected devices (like lighting) to their preferences – all without them having to issue a single spoken command.

The idea of a camera monitoring your living quarters 24/7 is bound to rub some people the wrong way, but Apple's been doing all it can lately to establish itself as a company interested in protecting its users' privacy, so we're optimistic that it could find a way to position the feature that makes it feel useful without venturing into Big Brother territory.

Supposedly, this device could be on Apple's hardware roadmap for release sometime next year, though a late-2016 launch may still be possible. There's also the possibility that Apple could revise its hardware plans between now and then, and this camera-observation mode could be dropped before the final feature set is established.

source: CNET

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24 Comments

1. Unordinary unregistered

SOMEOME ELSE DID IT FIRST! AHHHHHH f**k APPLE! EVIL CORPORATION DUMB PHONE STUPID OS APPLE IS EVIL AHHHHH COPY CATS AMAZON ECHO WAS FIRST ERMAGAHD APPLE IS CORRUPTION I HATE APPLE

2. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

The sarcasm is strong with you my child :D.

17. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Sarcasm? I didn't see any

6. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

TOO early

7. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

What? That's an interpretation of an Android Fanboy my friend. How the hell didn't you notice that lol?

8. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Sounds more like a fanboy in general to me ;)

10. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Also very accurate :D.

23. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Exactly. But the stupid cult following lunatics, aren't going to call themselves fanboys.

24. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I don't like always listening and now always watching... Creepy. I like my voice activation via manual pressing.

3. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

They bought Primesense a few years ago, so it sounds like that purchase will pay off! This is the Apple TV I was waiting for!!

4. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Buahh, just another gimmick. Like TouchID ain't already enough:D

5. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

What I don't understand is why these things have become so coveted all of a sudden. The majority of people don't own many smart appliances, and personal assistants, while useful, are still pretty bare bones. Having said that, I can't be the only one who thinks Alexa is the sexist name ever right? Just putting this into context, I've dated three women named Alexis, but come on guys, Alexa sounds sexy AF :D.

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Alexa has a nice meaning too, its origin comes from the Greek word defender of man

11. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Even more reason to love her :-D.

12. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

My sister is called Alexandra (Alexa is short for that) and she's a total bitch lol so there you go

13. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I don't know what it is about the Alex-(insert ending here) but I just find them attractive. Granted most of the have "complexed" personalities (the second Alexis tried to throw my cousin off the bolcany at a family get-together, good times :-)) but they are genuinely intriguing to me. It's probably a fetish of some sort I need to see a therapist for lmao.

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Sounds like my sister haha. Perhaps I should introduce you to her. Added bonus, she studied psychology so you have a gf and therapist in one lol.

18. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

That's an awesome tidbit

15. ph00ny

Posts: 2069; Member since: May 26, 2011

um no thanks to camera

16. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

google home not including a camera was a bit of let down. felt like a catchup product to echo

19. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Ppl don't want a camera. Just look at the success of the kinect

20. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Awaiting stolen sexvidz online. :)

21. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Ok, please, it's easy... add a pair of arms and a pair of legs, build a f*cking robot and I'll buy it!

22. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

I could imagine, that all family members need to register their iTunes accounts to be able to use this non existing device. Each time one person gives a command, Siri would answer, "sorry, you are not logged in and I can not process your request."

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