APPLE IS PREPARING TO LOCK HORNS WITH ARCH-COMPETITORS AMAZON AND GOOGLE BY RELEASING A MICROPHONE-EQUIPPED SMART SPEAKER. ITS ‘HOMEPOD’ WILL GO ON SALE IN A MATTER OF WEEKS, THE TECH GIANT ANNOUNCED TODAY.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: What started with a trickle of innovation technology to dazzle the eye has now become an all out flood as every major tech company on planet Earth makes a mad dash to wire your home with ‘always on’ audio and video surveillance listening devices. Remember how people said this day would never come? Well, it’s here. Disguised as “home innovation” to “make our lives easier”, we are being wired at a rate never anticipated by the now-antiquated idea of the “FBI file” that the government had on everyone.
The new smart speaker works a bit like the Amazon Echo, which is operated using voice commands, and features microphones so sensitive they can pick up your words even when loud music is playing.
When switched on, the device is always listening for orders, which it then encrypts and sends back to Apple’s servers to be interpreted and sent back to the speaker. Privacy advocates are becoming increasingly wary of devices which can record what’s going on owners’ homes. But the tech firm assured potential customers that its HomePod would only begin recording when it hears the words ‘Hey Siri’. Apple wrote: ‘Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of Apple hardware, software and services.
With HomePod, only after “Hey Siri” is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier.’
The gadget is also designed to play music and features seven tweeters for treble and a honking great subwoofer to blast out the bass. It can be used to control devices around the smart home and is connected to Apple Music so it can play more than 45 million songs.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said: ‘HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use.
‘We’re so excited for people to get HomePod into their homes, apartments and businesses to hear it for themselves. We think they will be blown away by the audio quality. The team has worked to give Siri a deeper knowledge of music so that you can ask to play virtually anything from your personal favourites to the latest chart-topping releases, simply by saying ‘Hey Siri.’’
Facebook is rumoured to be working on a device which features facial recognition cameras, which led to Mark Zuckerberg being dubbed ‘Big Zucker’. The HomePod will be on sale from February 9 and cost $349.00. source
1 thought on “Apple Joins The Tech Race To Wire Your House With ‘HomePod’ Listening Device With 6 High-End Microphones”
It’s hilarious to see people paying their own money and installing spy devices in their homes with absolutely no idea about how they work and what they might store or send out over the internet. The gladly accept the word of a large corporation that it’s completely safe and secure. Of course, in the fine print of the agreement it will state that any information collected will be turned over if the company is presented with a court order.
While humans are primarily visual beings, there is a tremendous amount of information that can be collected from just listening to a household for weeks on end using the supreme patience and memory of a computer. How many people are in the home. What are their approximate ages. What languages are spoken. Gender. The schedules of occupants. Frequency of conflict. Word choice (is there lots of cussin’). Drug use. Alcohol use. TV and movie choice. The list is very long and the more information that is collected, the more things about you and your family that can be inferred. Don’t have anything to hide? Are you sure that everything you do you would be perfectly fine sharing with everybody else? You would be pretty unique if that were the case.
Many IoT things have been very easy to hack by somebody moderately nearby with just a laptop or even by somebody on the other side of the planet who then sells how to access your home network on the Dark Net to somebody that might have a scam that empties your bank account. Somebody could create map of a neighborhood where this type of device has been hacked and sells a schedule of when people are home and not home for the street? Other information could be used to blackmail or embarrass somebody in the household.
I’ll be looking for seminars at this year’s DefCon security/hackers conference and expect to see one or two presentations on the vulnerability of these types of devices. I have some full articles in mind on IoT security and the attendees at the conference are often IT directors for major corporations and very good at analyzing IT risks.