Siri tubeFriday, Jun 2, 2017 · 500 words · approx 3 mins to read
I’m a big home automation fan, and my current setup is mostly centred around voice control via a trio of Amazon Echoes. I’m aware that they’re always listening, yet despite that large attack surface on my privacy I’m content to use them.
With WWDC 2017 just around the corner, I’ve come to wonder if Apple will release a similar product. If they do and all it does is ape the Echo’s basic feature set of voice assistant in a tube, then I’m not interested. Siri isn’t good enough to just give her a better way to constantly listen to you, with only a speaker for her to respond.
However, if they made a Siri tube with the following extra features then I’m all in, even if Siri doesn’t get much better from a listen-to-me-and-do-some-stuff perspective. Oh, and if it does happen, I don’t actually expect it to be a tube, it’s just that tube is a nice word and satisfying to type.
If Apple come back to the home Wi-Fi equipment market and equip the tube with home Wi-Fi mesh ability, so that it becomes a hotspot with mesh-based backhaul to other tubes, so you don’t have to have Ethernet all over your house for multiple access points, that’d be amazing. Has to support multiple SSIDs on different VLANs.
Router and Firewall
If it could do what my EdgeRouter X can, talking to a modem and providing the edge bit of a modern home network — so a firewall, ability to create IPv6 tunnels, VLANs for multiple Wi-Fi networks, DHCP, and VPN support — all the better. Two 1GbE ports please, to support wired networks as well.
I don’t want a big screen that runs full iOS, but a small vertical screen that can show things like the time left on timers, the weather, basic stats on the networking stuff above like the number of connected clients, throughput and signal strength of the main radio and the mesh, plus textual answers to questions Siri can’t read out for whatever reason.
Time Capsule and network cache
I have a home NAS, but they could add Time Capsule support and I’d use it. Maybe even a local caching thing for iCloud Drive, and things like iOS device firmware updates to speed up local clients. It knows what clients connect to it, so it could preload device images for those device types transparently when they come out.
How about an Apple Watch charger on the top?
Siri needs to get a lot better before a simple Echo clone would work. But put mesh networking, secure, full-featured edge networking for home networks, and Time Capsule in there as a spiritual successor to the old Airport line, and I’d throw my money at my iPad when I watch the keynote on Monday.