Apple is working on its own version of the Amazon Echo, and it could include a facial recognition capability, according to new leaks.
Like the Echo, Apple’s product is aimed at becoming an AI-infused hub for the smart home, allowing users to manipulate connected devices like lights via voice interaction. But its facial recognition capability could make it stand out, with the current goal being to enable the device to identify the individuals in front of it and respond by aligning to their particular user preferences.
Together with Google’s recently-announced Google Home, Apple’s efforts demonstrate the major IT companies’ preparations for the coming Internet of Things and the smart home, with each aiming to make its own platform central to a given user’s ecosystem. And while Apple’s exploration of facial recognition for its own device remains tentative and unofficial, Google’s efforts in replacing Andriod devices’ password security with other factors including face biometrics could signal a growing focus on facial recognition for that company, too.
Amazon, meanwhile, continues to refine the technology underlying its Alexa AI assistant, which is central to the Amazon Echo, and to connect the technology to other devices like wearables. It seems that as more devices connect with each other, they will also be connecting more with users.
May 27, 2016 – by Alex Perala