Hardware

Apple HomePod: 3 business uses for the smart speaker

Businesses can use Apple's HomePod, too. Here are three ways the smart speaker can improve offices.

Although Apple's new smart speaker is called the HomePod, businesses can use the device's intelligence and capabilities, too. Here are three ways businesses can deploy HomePods to benefit office environments.

SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)

1: Enable better quality conference calls

Not all offices feature conference room telephones (which can cost $1,000 or more), and even those that do often find attendees holding impromptu conference calls by placing an iPhone on top of the table and enabling the iPhone's speakerphone mode.

For offices without fancy speakerphones, Apple's HomePod offers a convenient method of handing off calls to the speaker's high-quality components. Boasting direct and ambient audio beamforming and a complex microphone array, the HomePod offers quite an upgrade over the standard smartphone speaker.

applehomepod2.jpg

Apple HomePod smart speaker

Image: Apple, Inc.

2: Generate ambient sound

This is a no-brainer. Multiple studies, including one reported by The New York Times, demonstrate that listening to music can enhance focus, improve creativity, and boost productivity. Others prefer subtle white noise or unobtrusive ambient music play in offices to improve their concentration, provide some privacy, and mute varied conversations, HVAC sounds, and other environmental noises that are common in offices.

SEE: How to implement AI and machine learning (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Regardless of your preference, the HomePod permits playing such soundtracks. With a well-designed woofer and dynamic processing, the device delivers quality sound and is more than up to such rigors. Consider that multiple HomePods can join together and automatically detect and balance one another, and you have a fairly sophisticated, multifunctional sound system that can generate needed ambient sound, while also offering a host of other features, if desired.

3: Receive industry information and perform hands-free tasks

If the HomePod is used within an office where speaking to the speaker and listening to responses isn't disruptive to others, the device makes a great addition. The HomePod becomes a natural Siri extension you can tap to provide all kinds of information.

The device's thoughtful engineering helps ensure Siri accurately hears and responds to commands. Whether you need a current stock price, seek the result of a calculation, wish to set a reminder or record a task, or must send a message, the HomePod can help you perform all those tasks hands-free.

SEE: HomePod can wait: Three reasons we depend on Alexa (ZDNet)

Say a business trip requires you travel to the Glass Capital of the world. You can ask Siri "what's the weather tomorrow in Toledo, Ohio?" The ability to ask natural questions to frequently needed information can save office workers time, which we all know equates to money.

Here's another example: Do you need to send a colleague an instant message? Alert Siri and let the HomePod do the work.

The hands-free options the HomePod offers are wide ranging; in the right office environment, the device can add convenience, save time, and improve productivity, not to mention morale.

Also see

apple-wwdc-2017-homepod-speaker-3964.jpg

Apple HomePod smart speaker

Image: James Martin/CNET

About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox