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Future Version of HomePod Could Feature Face ID

Apple HomePod Space Gray

After the iPhone X, Apple is possibly looking to include Face ID in future versions of HomePod. Inventec Appliances’ President David Ho, which will be making HomePods for Apple, told the media at the company’s earnings call that the current trend points to smart speakers coming with not only voice recognition but also facial and image recognition.

A smart speaker is vastly different from a smartphone and will be used by multiple family members in a day. Plus, since it will be placed in the common area of a house like the living room, I fail to see how the inclusion of facial recognition would benefit smart speakers in any way. Thanks to powerful microphones, smart speakers can pick up a user’s voice from across the room but with facial recognition, a user would have to be near the speaker thereby making the whole technology moot.

Analysts, however, believe that Apple could release a refreshed version of HomePod with 3D sensing cameras in 2019. While Inventec Appliances will be the sole manufacturer of HomePods this year, Hon Hai Precision a.k.a Foxconn is expected to join the smart speaker’s supply chain next year.

Currently, HomePod does not support voice recognition or any kind of facial recognition. In comparison, Google Home — Google’s own smart speaker running Assistant — features support for multiple users. Apple is expected to release its Siri-powered smart speaker by the end of this year which is when we would know more its functionality.

[Via Nikkei]

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