In a recent update, Apple has been granted a patent by the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) for a HomePod with an integrated camera. The purpose of the camera, according to the patent description, is not for FaceTime video calls or home security monitoring, but rather for facial recognition to provide personalized and simplified control over smart home devices.
The core issue that Apple aims to address is the need for users to accurately remember the names of their smart home devices in order to control them effectively. With a growing number of devices in modern households, this can be a daunting task for many users.
The patented technology simplifies the process by allowing users to issue commands like “turn on that light,” with the camera following the user’s gaze to identify which light they are referring to. This approach aims to offer a more intuitive and seamless smart home experience tailored to individual users preferences.
However, Gizmoweek’s think there are concerns regarding privacy, as the addition of a camera to the HomePod may make potential buyers uneasy about the possibility of privacy breaches in their personal spaces, Apple will need to address these concerns if they plan to implement this technology in future HomePod products.
As iOS 17 is expected to bring major adjustments to the control center, it is possible that this patented technology will play a role in the upcoming updates. Stay tuned for more information on how Apple plans to utilize this newly acquired patent to enhance the smart home experience.