Apple’s Amazon Echo Competitor Said to Be Refreshed Apple TV: Report

Sources tell Venture Beat Apple’s so-called competitor to the Amazon Echo, the latter’s voice-powered speaker assistant, will actually come in the form of a refreshed Apple TV:

Apple is working on its answer to Amazon’s Echo, the voice-activated assistant packaged inside a speaker, but it may come in the form of a refreshed Apple TV, rather than a new hardware product, VentureBeat has learned.

The fourth generation Apple TV launched last year saw the debut of Siri on the big screen, and the next iteration aims to better implement issues related to the existing hardware and remote control, claims an unnamed source, saying “They want Apple TV to be just the hub of everything.”

Currently, the new Apple TV remote is the only place for the unit’s microphone, and the controller requires charging. The future version will have a mic built into the main unit itself, and be able to handle more complex computing to process voice queries.

Just yesterday The Information reported Apple was set to open up Siri for developers and release an SDK, while also had planned new hardware to rival the Amazon Echo. Earlier this month, Google released Home, their own voice-powered Echo competitor in the U.S.

Earlier this week, Brian Roemmele claimed Apple’s upcoming plans for “Siri2” will be based on the company’s acquisition of VocalIQ, a small Cambridge, England-based voice artificial intelligence firm, from last fall.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Bleep Bloop

    I always figured this is how they would proceed with the Apple TV – they have said for years that the TV is the hub for the home life and I tend to agree. I can’t see myself ever buying another standalone device but I can understand the rationale for some people wanting it. Siri is always around us, whether it is the Apple TV, the iPhone and/or the iPad with always-on Siri. I think this was alway’s Apple’s plans for Siri; with an unobtrusive flick of the switch to their own backend, BAM! Siri everywhere, doing entirely new things.

    The main thing I am curious about is what Siri will be able to do from the Apple TV, given that it may be used by many people in a home who have different settings (app logins, etc). Regardless, I’m excited to see what happens in just a few short weeks!

  • fredf1

    I’m sure Apple TV will be able to be set up for different users just like the Echo is.
    The issue is, though, that it has to be accessible from everywhere without having to hold the remote or any other physical device.
    I have an Echo and I can access it from everywhere on my main floor. If I should loudly I can even access it from my second floor.
    It’s really cool