Apple TV: Tech giant Apple is working on a new accessory that would combine the features of Apple TV and that of HomePod speaker and camera to facilitate video calls. Reports have suggested that Cupertino is also looking to develop a smart speaker equipped with a display, something like Amazon Echo Show and Google’s Nest Hub. But it seems that both these products are currently in their early stages, and the iPhone maker could change its plans.
According to a new Bloomberg report, the Apple TV accessory will be able to perform a variety of roles, offering access to games and streaming video services that Apple TV currently supports. Meanwhile, its built-in speaker will probably be an upgrade over the speakers that most TV sets have. This accessory will also provide HomePod features like Siri voice assistant controls and music playback, something similar to what Sonos Beam provides with Google Assistant and Alexa. Lastly, the TV accessory is also said to act as a video calling device with the help of a camera. If the product is in fact being developed and in this manner itself, then a single Apple accessory is slated to provide a lot of functionalities.
On the other hand, the second device that Apple is purportedly working on is a smart display that will possibly combine the features of iPad and HomePod. This device will also allow for video chatting, but that will be accomplished with its built-in screen instead of it having to be connected to a TV. Cupertino is also said to be looking at a robotic arm that will rotate the display as well as track users, much like what Amazon already offers with its 2020 Echo Show.
The development, if it proves to be true, is significant because so far the home devices offered by Apple are limited in their focus, looking at one or two key areas. On other hand, these home devices will offer a much broader spectrum of functionality. The rumours are making rounds after Cupertino merged its HomePod group and its Apple TV engineering group last year.
Notably, Apple’s devices for its smart home lineup have been asking for a boost for a long time. While the Apple TV hardware hasn’t been upgraded since 2017, Cupertino has discontinued its HomePod, which was a high-end product, to focus on HomePod Mini.