Apple's Echo rival could recognise your face

Apple TV
Is Apple planning an Echo-like device?

The Amazon Echo's reputation and prowess just keeps on growing, so much so that Google has copied it and Apple is about to (or so the rumours suggest). Now we've got a few more details about what we can expect from the 'Apple Echo'.

Sources speaking to CNET say the device (which may or may not be an overhauled Apple TV) is going to have face recognition technology that spots you as soon as you walk in the door. Apple itself has made no comment at all on its plans, as usual.

Such a feature could be used to automatically disable an alarm, for example, or to set up separate profiles for different members of the family. It could also be used to start up some music or set the lighting to match a personalised list of preferences.

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Facial recognition would also help Apple's upcoming kit distinguish itself from both the Amazon Echo and Google Home. However, CNET's sources say these plans aren't set in stone, and could change before the device finally appears at some point in 2017.

That pours cold water on the idea that we'll be seeing something at WWDC 2016 in a couple of weeks, though Apple might offer up an early preview of the device ahead of its actual launch (as it did with the Apple Watch).

If such a device does exist, no doubt Apple's existing Siri and HomeKit technologies will play a major role, and it'll obviously have AirPlay too, we would have thought. We'll be covering the news as it happens from WWDC in California, which starts on 13 June.

Will 2016 be the year of the connected home?

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.