Face ID might be coming to second-gen HomePod
Taiwan-based Inventec Appliances stated at its most recent earnings conference that it expects “facial and image recognition” features coming along as a new trend in smart speaker products.
Nikkei Asian Review reports that Inventec is the contractor that is making AirPods and the HomePod for Apple. While its president did not mention Apple’s HomePod specific in reference to his forward-looking comments, the press has inferred that we could see the TrueDepth camera from the iPhone X get imported to a 2018 model HomePod.
The TrueDepth camera allows for Face ID authentication and facial-mapping for features and applications like Animoji. The camera is also expected to make it to 2018 iPad Pro models.
It’s important to note that Inventec also makes voice assistant-powered speakers for other clients and that AI camera-enriched speakers have already shipped. While we don’t know the ODM of the devices, the Amazon Echo Show and Echo Look are just two examples.
Meanwhile, the first HomePod is to launch next month in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States with up to 4 million units produced through 2018. 20 million AirPod units have shipped in 2017 and analysts are banking on 50 percent more moves next year.