There’s mounting speculation that Apple is working on its own version of the Amazon Echo or Google Home with Siri inside, and this weekend we got another hint about what that device could look like – and it may well come with an integrated screen.
In an interview with Gadgets360, Apple executive Phil Schiller espouses the benefits of having a voice-controlled smart assistant and a screen in the same device – and of course a display is noticeably absent from the speakers put together by Amazon and Google.
“There’s many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial, but that doesn’t mean you’d never want a screen,” says Schiller, citing the example of getting directions that are both spoken out and displayed on a map. “So the idea of not having a screen, I don’t think suits many situations.”
Screen there, done that
“So I think voice assistants are incredibly powerful, their intelligence is going to grow, they’re going to do more for us, but the role of the screen is going to remain very important to all of this,” says Schiller. Perhaps the rumored Siri speaker is just going to be a glorified iPad?
We’re doing quite a lot of reading between the lines here – Schiller doesn’t even get close to confirming a Siri speaker is indeed on the way, let alone whether or not it’ll have a screen. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting look at some of the thinking going on inside Apple about how Siri could extend to other devices, and potentially a home hub.
Another reason why Schiller’s comments are notable is that Amazon is also said to be working on a new version of the Echo with an integrated screen. Will Jeff Bezos or Tim Cook be the first to show off a smart speaker and home hub with a built-in display? We’ll have to wait and see.