Bloomberg: Future HomePod May Feature iPad Connected Via Robotic Arm to Track Users Around The Room During FaceTime Calls

In a report outlining a possible Apple TV with a combined HomePod and camera, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that Apple is exploring a future high-end HomePod speaker that could include an iPad connected via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users around a room.

HomePod G4 Feature
From the report:

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant, is also mulling the launch of a high-end speaker with a touch screen to better compete with market leaders Google and Amazon.com Inc., the people said. Such a device would combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker and also include a camera for video chat. Apple has explored connecting the iPad to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room, similar to Amazon’s latest Echo Show gadget.

Gurman had previously hinted Apple was working on a ‌HomePod‌ with a screen and camera as it looks to bolster its smart home lineup. However, today's report builds on that, revealing that the Cupertino tech giant is looking to utilize the ‌iPad‌, possibly connected to the speaker via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users during video calls.

The ‌HomePod‌/‌iPad‌ combination would work similarly to Amazon's Echo 10, which has a tablet connected to a robotic arm and utilizes facial recognition to keep users in frame during conference calls or when summoned for attention.

Bloomberg notes that the development of this high-end speaker is still very much early in the early stages, calling it a "concept" that could ultimately never see the light of day. Apple recently discontinued its original HomePod, saying that it will instead shift resources to focus on the HomePod mini.

Related Roundups: HomePod, HomePod mini
Buyer's Guide: HomePod Mini (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

ErikGrim Avatar
7 months ago
The perfect form factor for a new homepod:



EDIT: The concept art in this news item was added after I posted this, likely taking the suggestion and running with it. :)

Attachment Image
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
koil Avatar
7 months ago
Future AirPods may automatically fly into users ears when a call is received.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marco Klobas Avatar
7 months ago
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Squuiid Avatar
7 months ago
Aren't we too late for an April fools'?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
7 months ago
this makes no sense to me but likely it was worded badly.

either that or mark just burned his sources
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madmin Avatar
7 months ago

Already sounds like it will be worth the $2k price tag..
an arm and a leg ?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

homepod feature triad

Apple No Longer Planning to Launch New HomePod in 2022

Monday March 29, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple was planning to launch an updated HomePod in 2022, prior to discontinuing the original HomePod, according to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. The original HomePod was announced in 2017, representing Apple's first foray into the competitive smart speaker market. The HomePod was never replaced with an updated model, despite the HomePod mini launching with new ultra-wideband...
HomePod With Screen and Arm FaceTime Feature 2

Gurman: Combined HomePod/Apple TV Device Remains in Early Development

Friday May 28, 2021 5:57 am PDT by
Apple's work on a new combined HomePod and Apple TV device is ongoing, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. As has been previously reported, Gurman reiterated that the new device will feature a built-in screen and a camera for FaceTime calls.As part of its broader home, audio and accessories strategy, Apple has also begun early development of a HomePod speaker with a built-in...
HomePodandMini feature

Apple Discontinues Full-Sized HomePod to Focus on HomePod Mini

Friday March 12, 2021 5:14 pm PST by
Apple has discontinued the standard HomePod to focus exclusively on the HomePod mini, reports TechCrunch. First introduced four years ago, Apple's larger HomePod has never sold well because of its high price tag. Apple hoped that the HomePod's high-quality sound would give it an edge over competing products, but sales of the HomePod have always been lackluster with so many more affordable...
homepod mini heat sensor ifixit

HomePod Mini Features Dormant Temperature and Humidity Sensor That Could Be Activated in a Future Software Update

Monday March 22, 2021 3:31 am PDT by
Apple's HomePod mini includes a dormant hidden sensor that can measure temperature and humidity, potentially providing the means to power upcoming features that could arrive in a future software update, according to Bloomberg. Humidity and temperature sensor from a HomePod mini. Source: iFixit (via Bloomberg). From Mark Gurman's report: The company has internally discussed using the sensor...
belkin soundform connect

Belkin Launches Soundform Connect Audio Adapter to Add AirPlay 2 to Standard Speakers

Thursday May 20, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Belkin today announced the launch of the new Belkin Soundform Connect Audio Adapter with AirPlay 2 support, which is designed to turn any traditional stereo speaker into an AirPlay 2-enabled speaker. The Soundform Connect can be connected to any powered speaker or sound system using an optical or 3.5mm headphone jack. A speaker connected to the Soundform Connect can be used like any standard ...
HomePod FaceTime 3D Blue

Apple Is Rethinking the HomePod, Adding a Screen and Camera for FaceTime Calls

Wednesday May 19, 2021 3:19 am PDT by
After discontinuing the HomePod in March, Apple is now working on a new HomePod product with a screen, according to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Render of a HomePod with a built-in camera and a large display. In a recent report, Gurman mentioned that Apple has "been developing new speakers with screens and cameras." This suggests that Apple could be at least exploring the...
deezer homepod support

Deezer Announces Siri Voice Control Support for HomePod

Thursday May 6, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Music streaming service Deezer has announced that voice control support for Apple HomePod and HomePod mini speakers is now available for Premium, HiFi, Family, and Student subscribers. The update means all paying subscribers with iOS 14.3 and later and the latest software on HomePod can ask Siri to play any song from Deezer's global catalogue of 73 million tracks. Voice control also allows...
homeOS2

Apple 'homeOS' Mentioned in Job Listing Ahead of WWDC

Wednesday June 2, 2021 4:39 am PDT by
An Apple job listing has mentioned "homeOS," an otherwise never-before heard of Apple operating system, ahead of WWDC next week. Spotted by developer Javier Lacort, the Apple job listing for a Senior iOS Engineer in Apple Music explicitly mentions "homeOS" on two occasions, alongside Apple's other operating systems including iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.You'll get to work with system engineers...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Launching in Additional Countries in June

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:09 pm PDT by
Apple today announced that the HomePod mini will be launching in additional countries in June, including Austria, New Zealand, and Ireland. Pricing is set at €99 in Austria and Ireland, and $159 in New Zealand, with the usual space gray and white color options. HomePod mini first launched in October 2020 in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan,...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Launching in More Countries, Can Be Used as Apple TV Speaker Starting This Fall

Monday June 7, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the HomePod mini can be set as a default speaker output on the Apple TV 4K starting later this year. Apple also announced that the HomePod mini will be available to purchase in Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand starting later this month, followed by Italy later this year. The speaker first launched in November 2020. In March, Apple announced that the full-sized ...