Apple retailer eyes intelligent speakers with facial recognition

TAIPEI — Apple HomePod builder Inventec Appliances pronounced on Friday that it expects destiny voice partner products to offer 3-D intuiting features, including facial and picture recognition.

“We see trends that engineers are conceptualizing intelligent speakers that will not usually come with voice approval though also incorporate facilities such as facial and picture recognition,” President David Ho told reporters after a company’s gain conference. “Such AI-related facilities are set to make people’s lives some-more accessible and to make a product easier to use.” He added, however, that he was uncertain during a impulse either intelligent speakers with some-more AI facilities in a destiny would turn a strike in a market.

Ho did not mention that product he was articulate about, though analysts pronounced he is expected referring to a subsequent era of Apple’s HomePod, a $349 voice-activated orator that will contest with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Inventec Appliances, a auxiliary of Taiwanese electronic agreement manufacturer Inventec, now monopolizes orders for a HomePod as good as AirPods, Apple’s wireless earbuds, according to analysts. It also creates smartphones for China-based Xiaomi, wearable products for America’s Fitbit and intelligent speakers for U.S.-based Sonos and others.

Jeff Pu, an researcher during Yuanta Investment Consulting, pronounced Apple could hurl out HomePods with 3D-sensing cameras in 2019.

Apple’s recently expelled iPhone X is a initial product to come with a 3D-sensing facial approval underline that allows users to clear phones and make payments, as good as  so-called animojis, or emojis that counterpart users’ possess facial expressions by a front camera.

Meanwhile, Ho confirms that his association will boat a “new voice-enabled intelligent speaker” by a finish of a year to accommodate a holiday deteriorate demand. He combined that his association creates intelligent speakers for some-more than one customer and some of them already shipped in mid-2017.

Apple pronounced progressing this year that HomePod will be accessible in December, primarily in Australia, a U.S. and a U.K. Inventec Appliances will usually boat about 50,000 units of a device by a finish of this year, pronounced Arthur Liao, an researcher during Taipei-based Fubon Securities.

“According to supply-chain checking, Apple is set to make 4 million units of HomePod in 2018, though we are now a bit regressive about either a direct would be that good,” pronounced Liao.

For 2018, association officials pronounced Inventec Appliances’ sum shipments of intelligent and connected inclination would expected grow singular digits from this year’s estimated turn of around 70 million units. They did not mangle down shipments among smartphones, Apple products and others, though pronounced direct for audio wearable gadgets will continue to swell.

Fubon’s Liao pronounced shipments of AirPods would sum around 20 million units this year and could boost to around 30 million units in 2018.

China-based Luxshare Precision Industry is operative tough to gain orders to make AirPods for Apple in 2018, while Inventec will also need to separate orders with vital iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry for production a HomePod subsequent year, according to attention sources.

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