Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman recently published a report on dormant hardware discovered in HomePod mini. It is found that Apple has shipped the mini smart speaker with sensors to measure temperature and humidity. In addition, the report also mentions that Apple is working on new speakers with screens and cameras.
The Cupertino tech giant launched the 3.3-inch HomePod mini speaker in November 2020 with dual passive radiators, multi-room audio, full-range driver, stereo pair capability, and more. And after the release of the cheaper and compact smart speakers, the Cupertino tech giant has discontinued the OG HomePod due to slow improvements and “lackluster sales” as claimed by Bloomberg. Now, the company wants to compete with rival products by adding screens and cameras.
Apple wants to add screens and cameras in future smart speakers
Apple’s rivals Amazon and Google have already captured a good share of smart speakers industry. The Echo by Amazon and Nest by Google smart speakers already come with temperature sensors support to adjust thermostats and Nest Hub Max by Google, and Echo Show by Amazon come with screens and cameras to display weather information, calendar, stream Netflix, and more. And now Apple wants to advance its smart speakers with similar features. Bloomberg writes,
It has also been developing new speakers with screens and cameras, but such a launch isn’t imminent. Apple is also working on an update to the Apple TV set-top box. Until that time comes, Apple will likely try to unlock the most functionality from the HomePod mini.
Having said that, Gurman clarified that the Cupertino tech giant will not launch the next-generation speaker any time soon.
In addition, a newly granted patent revealed that upcoming HomPods would be able to detect users’ speed, position, or vital signs by using radar sensors. Titled ‘Electronic device with circular radar-antenna array’ the filing details that “generally, to radar measurements by an electronic device, and techniques for performing radar measurements using an electronic device having an array of radar transmit antennas and receive antennas with a 360.degree. field of view.”