The first generation of HomePods, Apple’s intelligent speaker, isn’t shipping until December, but according to a report by Nikkei, Apple supplier Inventec Appliances is already making projections that future models might have facial and image recognition.
David Ho, the president of the Taiwanese company, recently told reporters, "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," and that "such AI-related features are set to make people's lives more convenient and to make the product easier to use."
Although the HomePod was not specifically mentioned in Ho’s comments, it’s obvious that was the product he was referencing. When rumors about the HomePod started circulating last year, facial recognition was among one of the features Apple was supposedly considering. If integrated into HomePod, the unit could theoretically perform automatic adjustments to a room, depending on who it senses is present.
It’s not completely unlikely that future versions of the HomePod will have Face ID, given that Apple is rolling out the tech to iPads in 2018. The system, introduced on the iPhone X, uses a dot projector that maps a face using up to 30,000 points, allowing users to unlock their phones, make payments, and yes, send Animoji.