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

'HomePod mini' and Next Apple TV May Use Ultra Wideband to Track Your Location Around the Home

Ortiz83

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2018
518
272
I have an ATV 4k in my shopping cart for ages - I may have to pull the trigger. Supposedly, Apple has a new 4TV ready to ship for over a year now -don't know what is the hold up.
The hold up is the “supposedly”.
 
Comment

compwiz1202

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2010
2,697
1,473
To auto-pause or lower the volume on Apple TV when you walk into another room?

To have music follow you from HomePod to HomePod as you move about your home?

Just a couple of thoughts using imagination.
The greatest would be if it could delay the further ones so that the sound would reach you at the same time, so we would be done with that annoying echo.
 
Comment

Romeo_Nightfall

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2018
718
740
Vienna
Ah the famous "why would i need this" complaints start coming in, 28 hours before the event!

Let's recap some of the historical failed assumptions people have made about Apple and its products.


"Why would I need an iPod?! Portable CD-players are much easier!" (Apple destroyed MP3-player market)

"Why would I need iTunes? Does Apple want me to throw my CD collection away?" (Apple destroyed all psychical music stores and revived music industry after illegal downloads tanked their revenue)

"Why would I need an iPhone?! People want a phone with a physical keyboard!" (Apple destroyed market leaders Nokia and Blackberry)

"Why would I need a Macbook Air?! It doesn't even have a DVD-drive!" (No manufacturer makes notebooks with DVD drives anymore)

"Why would I need an iPad?! It's just a large iPhone and it doesn't even support flash!" (Apple destroyed Android tablet-market and has become the standard in tablet computing)

"Why would I need an Apple Watch?! Displaying the date and time is all that I need from a watch!" (Apple sells more watches than entire Swiss watch market)

"Why would I need AirPods?! Wired earphones are much easier to carry with me" (AirPods most popular wireless earbuds, copied by hundreds of other brands)


And still there are still plenty of people here screaming "WHY WOULD I NEED THIS!" when Apple launches something new. Give me a break.

but recently the why would I need that makes often more sense. Watch no one needs that crap , force touch was abandoned which would be comparable with u1
Many need no iPad or Mac air

Apple also fails to explain their vision , so the question is legit!
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: DinkThifferent
Comment

CJ Dorschel

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2019
207
370
Berlin
My AppleTV 4K is glaring at me. It needs an update.

As inconsequential as it may seem, with iPadOS it would make sense to rebrand iOS to iPhoneOS.
 
Comment

CJ Dorschel

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2019
207
370
Berlin
Imagine a new device that merges an Apple TV into a soundbar with Homepod music functions. it coupled with a hand full of homepod minis could form a mesh network around your house reviving thw Airport branding.

i’ve been saying this for a while now and completely agree. Apple should never have left the airport line with 90% of their products and services relying on solid wireless networking. They should have developed mesh systems or bought a company that does and brought them in house. Then add mesh networking to their HomePods and Apple TV’s in addition to mesh nodes.

A company this large spends more money on watch bands than a core product line such as their airport line. The decision to leave wireless networking was shortsighted and reeks of Tim Cook. Apple is becoming the Scully era with massive product fragmentation and no leader with a true vision directing the ship. Jobs was the visionary, Ive brought his visions to life, and Cook ran the financials. It was the perfect trio.

So many VP‘s and SVP’s have come and gone in the past few years alone. Without Jobs‘ hard yet effective leadership, Apple is floundering on half baked ideas and products as Cook lacks the vision and leadership to keep the ship running well. Cook cares more about the stock and value has a way of sinking as fast as it rises.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: insomniac86
Comment

jmgregory1

macrumors 68020
It will be interesting to hear Apple's ideas on how we're going to use the U1 chip, or rather how the U1 chip will make our lives better / easier. They've definitely been playing the long game here, only sharing snippets of info about the potential uses. I'm a likely buyer of the HomePod mini, to replace our Google puck we have in our kitchen, and once I upgrade to the new iPhone 12 Pro Max, and my wife gets my current 11 Pro Max, we'll both have the tracking capability.

I'd say the HomePod mini is low on my list of items to buy, but if the price is $99 and it offers some interesting new features, that makes it an easy decision to buy.
 
Comment

Freeangel1

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2020
223
232
Too much technology exits to be used for the wrong reasons like spying on you.
I don't even like being tracked by my cell phone
The IRS is under investigation for tracking people by their cell phones


MANY PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THE USA FOR OTHER BETTER PLACES
I MAY ALSO DO SO IF THINGS DO NOT GET BETTER
 
Comment

hobocamp456

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2017
45
159
Please god let this allow for room sensing. Turn on lights when I walk into rooms. Would be awesome
 
Comment

jmgregory1

macrumors 68020
i’ve been saying this for a while now and completely agree. Apple should never have left the airport line with 90% of their products and services relying on solid wireless networking. They should have developed mesh systems or bought a company that does and brought them in house. Then add mesh networking to their HomePods and Apple TV’s in addition to mesh nodes.

A company this large spends more money on watch bands than a core product line such as their airport line. The decision to leave wireless networking was shortsighted and reeks of Tim Cook. Apple is becoming the Scully era with massive product fragmentation and no leader with a true vision directing the ship. Jobs was the visionary, Ive brought his visions to life, and Cook ran the financials. It was the perfect trio.

So many VP‘s and SVP’s have come and gone in the past few years alone. Without Jobs‘ hard yet effective leadership, Apple is floundering on half baked ideas and products as Cook lacks the vision and leadership to keep the ship running well. Cook cares more about the stock and value has a way of sinking as fast as it rises.

Although at first blush, it may seem like a great idea to combine a mesh wifi chip into HomePod and AppleTV's, but not every home would have a setup where the extenders are placed in areas that was beneficial to wifi signals. You could have a setup where a person has two AirPods (with a mesh wifi chip in them) and an AppleTV (also with a mesh wifi chip) all in the same room, potentially where the base wifi router is too. That wouldn't be helpful at all as a whole home networking setup, thus requiring additional HomePods or AppleTV's to be added in other rooms / floors. Or to then also need to have separate extenders.

I used to use an Airport Extreme base station with two Airport Expresses as extenders, that mostly worked great, but have since retired them and switched to an eero mesh system and haven't looked back (mainly switched for speed and better networking).

Perhaps Apple will bring back wifi networking at some point in the future, but I it doesn't currently seem to be something that Apple could make better in some way that would give them an edge over other brands and make it easier for consumers to use. Getting my eero system set up was SO simple, far easier than even my old AirPorts were and they update automatically so I don't need to think about them.

If I had to look into my crystal ball, I'd say that the future (within the next 5 years) will see more internet connectivity happening through 5/6G wireless. A rep I know from a mid-sized cable provider mentioned to me that they're already in the planning stages to shift from co-ax distribution to wireless.
 
Comment

CarlJ

macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
5,107
8,593
San Diego, CA, USA
I have an ATV 4k in my shopping cart for ages - I may have to pull the trigger. Supposedly, Apple has a new 4TV ready to ship for over a year now -don't know what is the hold up.
I expect they have several viable designs for a new AppleTV that could be sent to manufacturing whenever they decide to. They design a lot of things, but only ship a tiny handful of those designs, when they think the market warrants it.

The last rumors for an Apple TV pointed towards a more radical design, with an A14-series processor with a gaming controller, designed to potentially compete with gaming consoles - if they did take this route, I wouldn’t expect to see that before the spring, because it’s not just hardware, it’s developing the ecosystem more and getting gaming companies to buy in to writing games for it (unless they expect Apple Arcade to be enough support at launch).

Personally, I’d be happy to see a modernized but “conventional” upgrade, with 3-years-newer chips and standards, and the same remote in a new more ergonomic chassis (Jony Ive made it very elegant looking, but I don’t look at it, I hold it - the control layout is good, the feel in the hand, and ease of picking it up off a table, leave much to be desired - it’s too thin, too slippery, and too slab-sided). That is something they could announce tomorrow (no additional third-party support needed).
 
Comment

CJ Dorschel

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2019
207
370
Berlin
Although at first blush, it may seem like a great idea to combine a mesh wifi chip into HomePod and AppleTV's, but not every home would have a setup where the extenders are placed in areas that was beneficial to wifi signals. You could have a setup where a person has two AirPods (with a mesh wifi chip in them) and an AppleTV (also with a mesh wifi chip) all in the same room, potentially where the base wifi router is too. That wouldn't be helpful at all as a whole home networking setup, thus requiring additional HomePods or AppleTV's to be added in other rooms / floors. Or to then also need to have separate extenders.

I used to use an Airport Extreme base station with two Airport Expresses as extenders, that mostly worked great, but have since retired them and switched to an eero mesh system and haven't looked back (mainly switched for speed and better networking).

Perhaps Apple will bring back wifi networking at some point in the future, but I it doesn't currently seem to be something that Apple could make better in some way that would give them an edge over other brands and make it easier for consumers to use. Getting my eero system set up was SO simple, far easier than even my old AirPorts were and they update automatically so I don't need to think about them.

If I had to look into my crystal ball, I'd say that the future (within the next 5 years) will see more internet connectivity happening through 5/6G wireless. A rep I know from a mid-sized cable provider mentioned to me that they're already in the planning stages to shift from co-ax distribution to wireless.

Fair point, yet it wouldn't be much more to add mesh networking into their devices as they act as HomeKit hubs already. If cost is an issue, perhaps a variation with the extra computing power most mesh nodes utilize. As it stands, they can act as simple wireless hubs without much modification as they already have "ac" Broadcom modules.

I live between the States, Berlin, and London, it's very interesting to see how different the States is currently operating the communications market(s) especially as mergers and acquisitions in recent years has eliminated more choice for wireless carriers (Sprint and t-Mobile should never have merged) and ISP's (Spectrum now owns roughly 75% of the US market after the Charter and Time Warner merger was approved). It certainly hasn't produced lower price points or improved technology. AT&T's marketing 4G LTE technologies like three-way carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO, and 256 QAM as 5Ge and charging more is an example of why Ma Bell was broken up in the 80's. My Time Warner bill in NYS went from $189/mo to $298/mo under Spectrum after the merger. Yet my internet speeds didn't change as they did not lay down new lines in my market nor did the channel lineup change. I recall being in close contact with friends who used to work for Time Warner as they provided me with inside info on the changes meant to come in February 2017 as well as saved emails and letters regarding what to expect. Spectrum planned - in writing to customers and mailed account updates - to lower monthly bills, not require charging for cable converters after scrambling coaxial signals under the claims of going "fully digital" (they already were yet now I can no longer use my EyeTV Hybrid's on my Mac Pro's to watch and record channels I pay for and have to pay $4.99/mo per tv box just to get a signal), and provide fiber optic internet with new lines in my area. Before this administration deregulated the telecom industry under the false pretense of fighting terrorism, my friends who worked at TWC/Spectrum informed me they tipped off Spectrum thus the February 2017 release date of new plans was pushed back to March and the rates were far more than TWC's. Yet they are the only ISP available. Greenlight Networks is trying to lay down new lines in Rochester NY but Spectrum is fighting them and that's only for internet. Other than Spectrum, I have DISH TV. That's it. Many in my area also noticed OTA local channels have been harder to receive since the merger. This is what happens when corporations put politicians in elected positions and the Supreme Court rules that "Corporations are Private Citizens" in their 2010 5/4 "Citizens United" decision.

Overseas, it's far different. In fact, I don't pay for cable tele as I can get most everything using my tuners. So I don't have much faith in what telecom companies promise in the States. Removing coaxial/fiber systems for wireless is a big mistake. The speeds may catch up in a few years but wireless systems are much more difficult to operate when markets have so many differing wireless devices. It's bad enough I have limited choice in my Stateside wireless carrier and ISP/Cable tele, I don't want less choice especially as Spectrum is strong-arming the wireless market (and I have solid info Spectrum is considering a Verizon merger which would destroy competition and consumer rights).

As for networking, I wrote up a rundown on systems after Apple ditched their AirPort line and spent roughly a year testing every brand I could from Netgear to Google to Ubiquiti to Linksys:

As for the other comments on systems:

I used Apple routers for years, holding on to 5-6 last gen AirPort Extreme Base Stations for as long as I could. After Apple announced they were dropping their Airport line (which still baffles me as Apple pushes further into IoT support and streaming services, I don't know why they simply didn't update to mesh systems or at least buy out a company and focus on their wireless systems - even adding wifi to the Apple TV and/or HomePod would be perfect). I tested every system you could possibly think of as I had time and didn't want to invest in something that would end up not being up to par, bricked/ruined with firmware updates as Netgear's systems, etc. From Ubiquiti Systems (AmpliFi HD to UniFi Pro), Netgear Orbi, Eero, to Linksys Velop Tri-Band (at the time Apple's only approved systems sold via Apple). Handsdown, the Linksys velop's won every time. I read too many forums with owners of Netgear's Orbi having continuous problems after numerous firmware updates. AmpliFi HD was the only other system I was considering but Linksys nodes have ethernet for a backhaul and I wasn't crazy about plugin nodes. I've since invested in Linksys WiFi 6 nodes as I thought a dead spot in my ~6,000 sq ft place was the cause of two August Smart Locks disconnecting (it turned out the Connect Bridge was defective which August replaced without question). Instead of buying more Velop Tri-band nodes, I was able to grab a pair of WiFi 6 nodes for $499, $200 less than normal price, and my Velop Tri-band nodes are fully compatible and do not drag down speeds, etc. I haven't had a problem since (knock on wood).

I haven't owned a Linksys product since the 90's so I was VERY cautious. In fact, I was surprised to learn Belkin now owns Linksys. I'm also surprised more people don't seem to give the Velop's a chance. I know I know, everyone's mileage varies. Just thought I'd lend some help.

 
Last edited:
Comment

schwartzki

macrumors newbie
Jul 6, 2008
28
3
But can I track my cat around the house and get a notification when he is somewhere he shouldn't be?
 
Comment

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,821
84
Uuuuugh, if apple is really not releasing a new Apple TV u til next year, I guess I’m going to have to buy something else. I’ve been waiting over a year and can’t keep waiting.

all this tracking stuff sounds dumb at best, but otherwise I’d prefer going with apple since I trust them for security and privacy more than google/Roku/Amazon, but geez.
 
Comment

insomniac86

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2015
393
547
Perth, Western Australia
Sorry, but tracking me in my own home is one rumor I want Prosser to be wrong about

I assume you don't understand the technology along with majority of the comments i'm reading here.
It's local tracking that wouldn't be an invasion of privacy.
Your cell signal, GPS and Wifi can already see where you are. With cell being information your carrier can see.
This just allows for accurate tracking inside your home to allow your smart home to run automations.

Examples:
Turn on your lights as you walk into a room with a HomePod mini.
Pause the TV if you are the only one watching and walk out the room.
Have music follow you as you walk around the house.
 
Comment

insomniac86

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2015
393
547
Perth, Western Australia
New Apple TV with a UWB chip could potentially track your intensity/movement along with the sensors on your Apple Watch to provide an epic Fitness Plus experience.

Could this be disguised by Apple in plain sight as movement 'intensity'?

A quick Google search reveals that "UWB indoor positioning systems are able to pinpoint location in real time to within 20 centimetres or less."

View attachment 965437

In regards to the screenshot that's clearly just a leaderboard on the average score of the workout based on how far ahead you are in calories burnt. It works with existing Apple watches that don't have UWB.

Though I'm sure they could use some metrics from UWB in Apple Fitness in the future.
 
Last edited:
  • Disagree
Reactions: GadgetBen
Comment

Commodore 64

macrumors member
Mar 12, 2009
62
19
IKEA had a sale on their smart home line, so I got a lot of those bulbs around the house now. And quite often I have found it odd/annoying that when opening Apple’s Home app it doesn’t automatically show the preset scenes for the room I’m in. Would be a lot more convenient (yeah, it’s not a real problem in the big picture...) if the app would know that I’m in the kitchen, and then I could get right into adjusting if I don’t want the presets, instead of flipping through all the rooms to get to the right panes.

I think home positioning is just a natural development in smart homes.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.