The Apple HomePod (2nd generation) has four microphones to automatically adapt the sound to the room it’s in, but according to a recent patent, Apple wants to do more to make things sound just right. The patent, which is approved, can see the HomePod modified before telling it what to do.
with incoming HomePod 2It looks like Apple is ready to include a bunch of new and more important smart home features Thing Compatibility. But this new patent he discovered Camel (Opens in a new tab) Entitled “Multimedia Computing or Entertainment System to Respond to User Presence and Activity,” you’ll see the HomePod interact with anyone in the room without even being addressed.
This can be expressed through hand gesture movements, such as waving to play/pause or conductor-style gestures to raise and lower the volume, playing something flashy when it detects dancing, or even noticing when the room is empty to turn off. Apple states in the patent that “a system can better approximate and satisfy the desires of the user, whether they are expressed verbatim or implied.” However, this may be using more personal information than you would expect a smart speaker to need.
Apple cites an example in the patent: “If an older user is detected and that user explicitly requests a higher volume, the system may decide that the user needs better discrimination of the audio axon in the system’s output. Therefore, the system may alter the relative spectral distribution of the system’s output rather than increase average size”.
While this equalizer style tweak will no doubt be welcomed by some, many will be wary of inviting Apple into their home to such a degree. It is of course worth noting that a successful patent filing does not mean that the system will be implemented and that this level of information is similarly stored in the Apple accounts of already iPhone users.
These features aren’t the first time Apple has incorporated gestures to control its devices; You can control certain aspects of your Apple Watch using hand gestures. However, this new patent looks to take things further, and could make the HomePod not just a good music device, but a device more relevant to the aging community — much like how AirPods can be used as a hearing aid.