Even though the HomePod has still not been released yet, Apple is reportedly looking into developing a smart speaker that utilizes facial and image recognition similar to the iPhone X’s Face ID.
Inventec Appliances, the supplier of Apple’s HomePod, believes that future voice assistant products will offer 3D sensing features that include facial and image recognition, according to Nikkei, a Japan-based news source.
“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,” said the president of Inventec Appliances, David Ho, in a statement during the company’s recent earnings call. “Such AI-related features are set to make people’s lives more convenient and to make the product easier to use.”
While Ho didn’t mention what product will feature the technology, analysts believes he was referring to Apple’s HomePod.
Apple could roll out a next generation version of the HomePod that features 3D sensing technology in 2019, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst from Yuanta Investing Consulting.
Inventec Appliances, a subsidiary of Inventec, currently manufacturers the HomePod, Apple’s AirPods, as well as Xioami’s smartphones, Fitbit’s fitness trackers and Sonos’ smart-speakers.
Apple’s HomePod is set to be released in the U.S in December 2017. A Canadian launch for the smart speaker has not been revealed yet.