A proposed HomePod speaker with a built-in screen, and another device combining HomePod, FaceTime camera, and Apple TV, remain in “early development” at Apple, a Bloomberg report Friday states.
The report, which also includes details of Apple’s AirPods roadmap, describes the pair of devices as being part of Apple’s “broader home, audio and accessories strategy.” Unfortunately, there’s no word on when either might arrive.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about these devices. Back in April, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman noted that Apple was weighing up the possibility of a “high-end speaker” that could be a HomeKit hub, with an iPad-style touch screen to compete with models made by Amazon and Google.
It also noted that Apple was considering “connecting the iPad to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room.” (Which sounds like a fascinatingly high tech twist on the iPad Pro’s Center Stage feature.)
Today’s report doesn’t add a whole lot more to that story — aside from suggesting that Apple hasn’t thrown in the towel on the idea just yet. But it’s good news for those HomePod fans who were sad when Apple seemingly ditched the HomePod smart speakers earlier this year.
Personally, I won’t get too excited about it until a) Apple announce it and b) Apple convinces that it’s serious about this technology. Smart home automation, Apple TV, a Siri speaker, and videoconferencing are all areas Apple has helped pioneer — but rarely shown it’s 100% committed to. I’d love an all-in-one ultimate smart home device from Apple. But I’d hope to know that Apple really wants one as well.
What do you think? Does this pair of products sound like they’ve got hit potential to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.