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.
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.