Apple is apparently realigning its range of entertainment electronics: The company is developing a new category of devices that crosses the functions of the Apple TV set-top box with the networked HomePod speaker system and adds a camera, like the financial news agency Bloomberg reported with reference to informed persons. The device serves as a streaming box for the television, can be controlled via the Siri voice assistance system, can also be used for music playback and for video chats.
At the same time, a networked loudspeaker with a touchscreen is being developed that also enables video calls through an integrated camera how Bloomberg executes. Similar to Amazon’s Echo Show 10, Apple is considering attaching the display with camera to a motorized arm that can follow the user while video chatting in the room.
Apple without a clear home strategy
Both products are still in a very early stage of development and could therefore ultimately also come onto the market with other functions or even be discarded before they are ready for product, the financial news agency restricts.
Last year, Apple apparently merged the teams familiar with the development of Apple TV and HomePod and merged the underlying software – the speakers now also rely on tvOS.
Consumer electronics and smart home devices have only played a subordinate role at Apple in recent years: WLAN routers, in which the company was once a pioneer with its AirPort base stations, have not been available from Apple for a long time. Apple TV continues to be sold, but was last updated in 2017. Apple recently discontinued the large HomePod, but with the HomePod mini the company remains active in the networked loudspeaker market – the sphere also serves as a control center for smart home hardware from other manufacturers.