Bloomberg reports that Apple, like Google and others, is developing its own version of Amazon’s surprise hit, the Echo home personal assistant. The report, citing unnamed sources, says the new Apple product has now graduated from the research and development lab and has entered prototype testing. The device would act as a freestanding vehicle for the Siri personal assistant and would do many of the things the Apple Home app now does, including controlling lights and appliances, security, and perhaps heating and cooling.
One person told Bloomberg the Apple device used facial recognition to identify users in the house. The report also says the new device is far from being a real product, and the initiative could be scrapped. MS