The first HomePod has yet to be released, but we are already learning more things about Apple’s plans for future versions of its smart speaker. According to Nikkei, Apple may include its facial recognition technology in future HomePod versions as early as next year.
Apple supplier Inventec Appliances is projecting future HomePod models to include 3D facial and image recognition. The current version of the HomePod solely relies on voice dictation, but future variants may add the layer of Face ID to recognize users.
“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,” related Inventec Appliances president David Ho. “Such AI-related features are set to make people’s lives more convenient and to make the product easier to use.”
Ho didn’t specifically mention the HomePod in his comments, but it is pretty clear which product he is talking about. Adding Face ID to the HomePod would increase its functionality of telling apart who is using it at the moment.
The belief that the HomePod will receive Face ID technology lines up with Apple’s roadmap of adding the tech to various other products beyond the iPhone. It’s already expected to arrive to the iPad in 2018. The next logical step would be something like the HomePod.