Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Future HomePod Models Could Include Face ID Technology

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,072
11,343



A new rumor out of Apple's supply chain over the weekend suggests future iterations of the HomePod could come with 3D-sensing cameras supporting Face ID, similar to the front-facing technology on the iPhone X. Specifically, Inventec Appliances president David Ho mentioned recently that the company sees a trend towards both facial and image recognition technology being incorporated into smart speakers, without specifying which speakers in particular (via Nikkei).

Ho made the comment following Inventec's latest earnings conference, and analysts listening predict that he was likely referring to "the next generation of Apple's HomePod." Inventec Appliances is currently the sole supplier of both Apple's AirPods and HomePod, but also makes Xiaomi smartphones, Fitbit devices, and Sonos speakers, among others. Given the company's ties to Apple, analyst Jeff Pu predicts Ho's comments could suggest a Face ID-enabled HomePod in 2019.

"We see trends that engineers are designing smart speakers that will not only come with voice recognition but also incorporate features such as facial and image recognition," President David Ho told reporters after the company's earnings conference.

Jeff Pu, an analyst at Yuanta Investment Consulting, said Apple could roll out HomePods with 3D-sensing cameras in 2019.
Ho said that facial recognition features "are set to make people's lives more convenient and to make the product easier to use." He further clarified his comments, however, citing hesitancy about whether smart speakers "with more AI features" would become popular.

HomePod is set to release in December, although Apple has yet to confirm a specific release date for the new device. The upcoming smart speaker was first revealed during WWDC in June, where Apple explained it would be a music-focused speaker with high quality sound, deep Siri integration, and spatial recognition for providing the best sound in any space. Even before it was officially announced, rumors of the device's production were connected to Inventec Appliances.

Over a year before its unveiling at WWDC 2017, Apple's "Siri Speaker" was rumored to include facial recognition of some kind as another leg up on competing Echo products from Amazon. At the time, sources with knowledge of Apple's project said the device would be "self aware" and able to bring up different user profiles as people walk into a room, "such as the music and lighting they like." The HomePod launching next month will lack any such features and instead be controlled mainly through voice-enabled user prompts with Siri.

Article Link: Future HomePod Models Could Include Face ID Technology
 

ryancgoodfellow

macrumors newbie
Apr 21, 2015
11
33
I don't believe it (for now). 30k points on your face when you are holding the phone makes sense. 30k points shot across a living room? nope. they would need to increase the density drastically.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HiRez and prasand

Glideslope

Contributor
Dec 7, 2007
6,538
3,656
A quiet place in NY.
LOL, what? A link from your phone I assume? You're not going to walk up and look down at your HomePod, right? No way a sensor is going on the side. I mean, that would just be, well, goofy. :apple:
 

springsup

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2013
1,139
945
Personally, and I'm not trying to be funny here, but I'd prefer if they added a 3.5mm jack so my non-Apple friends could also plug-in to my $350 speaker system from time to time.

That's the only thing that makes me hesitate about this. I'd be okay paying that much for a speaker if it sounds great, but not if it can't accept audio from a standard analog source.

Comparison by The Verge, no 3.5mm jack listed: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbre...ker-vs-amazon-alexa-google-home-sonos-playbar

Specs from Apple, no 3.5mm jack listed:
https://www.apple.com/homepod/
 
  • Like
Reactions: donrsd

GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
9,053
12,977
As an option that can be completely turned off for those who don’t want it, fine. But if it adds to the cost, I can say I don’t want it. It would be more practical if I could speak a password or have it recognize my voice upon command or somehow actively initiate my profile rather than have this activated passively by virtue of my walking into a room and possibly have my presence disrupt the listening experience of someone else who was already occupying the room before me.

Really, how is this going to work amongst roommates or a family when more than one person is occupying the room?

And here is a concern that I think I’m in the extreme minority in having, but I don’t think I necessarily want IR beams flying across the room and hitting the eyes of my toddler grand nieces and nephews when the jury is still out on the safety of this technology (yes, I’ve looked into it) especially around small children’s eyes.

It’s like they’ve got this cool new technology and they want to stick it on everything as a selling point whether or not it really is going to enhance the experience for the consumer.

But I’ll withhold final judgment until I see the finished products.
 

Swampthing

Suspended
Mar 5, 2004
651
575
A new rumor out of Apple's supply chain over the weekend suggests future iterations of the HomePod could come with 3D-sensing cameras supporting Face ID, similar to the front-facing technology on the iPhone X.


Can we at least get the first product out the door before we start talking about future iterations of the product?

The Homepod might turn out to be a complete failure for all we know. And that would kill the chances of a HomePod 2.

 

Lepton

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2002
840
277
Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Face ID has a max range of what, like a meter? I don't see that being very useful in a speaker, which is probably across the room. With all its mics, it might be better to recognize my voice, which by the way could probably be just a software upgrade.
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,384
6,465
Toronto, ON
Am I the only one who sees no use for Face ID on a home speaker...?

Really? The major obstacle in home technology shared by multiple people is identifying who’s the one interacting with it.

While voice recognition is one avenue, facial identification is more accurate and comes with growth opportunities like non verbal communication.
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,783
1,620
I don't believe it (for now). 30k points on your face when you are holding the phone makes sense. 30k points shot across a living room? nope. they would need to increase the density drastically.

It would just be the same as the xbox, but the Kinect was huge.
 

deanthedev

Suspended
Sep 29, 2017
1,287
2,406
Vancouver
I’m more interested in what other upgrades are coming to the HomePod (Siri, for example).

There's no reason to delay it until December, unless there’s something else they’re waiting on. It’s not like the HomePod is difficult to manufacture or used some new technology (like the FaceID hardware in the X).
 

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,115
981
Wherever my feet take me…
Am I the only one who sees no use for Face ID on a home speaker...?

Nope, I was thinking the same thing. What would FaceID really accomplish on the speakers? Plus, even if there was a use, how would it work? It's not like an iPhone X where you just lift up or press the side button to let it know you want to unlock it. Is it always watching? If so, good thing I don't walk around naked. Plus, where on the HomePod would you have to look, and how close do you have to be?
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,783
1,620
Really? The major obstacle in home technology shared by multiple people is identifying who’s the one interacting with it.

While voice recognition is one avenue, facial identification is more accurate and comes with growth opportunities like non verbal communication.

I am frequency in another room when I engage one of my Echos.
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,198
3,486
Twin Cities Minnesota
Considering the fact that they haven’t even brought Demo Units to the stores for this device yet, why not just include the tech now?

Still find it odd that we can’t go to a retail store and give these a listen now. Already have a Google Home Mini in my home (came free with my Pixel 2) it’s bigger brother, is starting to look like a more attractive option, as well as many of the other Airplay2 compatable speakers starting to come out to the market.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.