Apple is working on its own smart speaker, similar to Amazon's Echo device, The Information's Amir Efrati reports.
Sources tell Efrati that the company is building a voice-activated device powered through its virtual assistant, Siri, that could let people ask questions or complete activities like setting a timer.
The market for such home appliances, powered by artificially intelligence-enabled virtual assistants is heating up.
At the same time, Apple is also reportedly preparing to start letting outside developers make their services available through Siri. For example, imagine asking Siri to find you a restaurant, which it can already suggest via Yelp, but then also asking it to book a reservation, too, which might happen through OpenTable.
Sounds pretty similar to Viv, a new digital assistant service made by Siri's original creators which shines because of its ability to seamlessly integrate with a bunch of different services like Venmo, Hotels.com, and Uber.
This "conversation as a platform" format is all the rage in Silicon Valley right now, with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and a slew of startups all rushing to find new ways to make it easier for users to connect to all the services they need through a single interface or chat. It would make sense that Apple would want to make sure Siri kept up with the competition.
The company declined to comment.