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Apple’s Amazon Echo killer said to pack facial recognition cameras

by Jacob Kleinman | May 27, 2016May 27, 2016 7:30 am PDT

We’ve heard a lot lately about Apple’s rumored smart home hub. The device is expected to do battle with Amazon Echo and Google Home, and it may offer one feature neither of those gadgets can match: a built-in camera.

CNET reports that Apple is exploring the idea of including a camera in the device. Additionally, the Cupertino-designed smart home hub will reportedly offer facial recognition software that could identify you as soon as you enter the room. Then the device could play your favorite music or change the lighting to match your preferences automatically.

That sounds like a pretty awesome idea, but placing a facial recognition camera in your house could also raise some serious privacy concerns. Apple’s always put a big emphasis on protecting customer data, which might be enough to win the trust of consumers.

Apple’s Echo competitor is also expected to feature an improved version of Siri with support for third-party services thanks to an overdue open SDK. Another report claims the smart home hub could actually be a new version Apple TV with enhanced capabilities.

CNET notes that the rumored product might arrive later this year, but it probably won’t ship until 2017. It’s also possible Apple could end up scrapping the project entirely, but that seems unlikely considering the growing popular of smart home hubs.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...