HomePod 2 May Get A Display and Face ID
A new patent has resurfaced online which could show off some features that may be coming to future versions of the HomePod.
The patent filed back in July of 2017 describes a voice-controlled smart speaker which includes some sensors and cameras that could gather hand gestures and other three-dimensional gesture input.
“Gestures described herein include focus gestures and unlock gestures. A focus gesture enables the user to engage (i.e., take control of) an inactive non-tactile 3D user interface. An unlock gesture enables the user to engage a locked non-tactile 3D user interface, as pressing a specific sequence of keys unlocks a locked cellular phone. In some embodiments, the non-tactile 3D user interface conveys visual feedback to the user performing the focus and the unlock gestures.”
The patent also talks about an ambient light sensor being used, and even a display which could show off the current weather information or sports teams logos with the score next to them — something we already see on Alex and Google Assistant bright displays.
The new HomePod could also use FaceID to recognize users in the vicinity of the speaker allowing it to respond to who is asking. If you asked how your favourite team did in last nights game, it would give you the score for the Toronto Maple leafs, where if I asked it would give me the Vegas Golden Knights.
Overall there is lots we can learn from the patent, but in the end, it doesn't point to Apple releasing these features in a future product. It does give us an idea though of what Apple could do in the future. I think the idea of a HomePod with a display would be great. Something you could chat with Siri, but then she could show you simple information. Also maybe when not in use, like the google home, it could show your iCloud photos from your library, that would be a great feature.