Apple TV with camera and built-in HomePod speaker reportedly in the works

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 12
The next evolution of the Apple TV could be a device that also adds in more functionality, a report claims, including a camera and borrowing the features and speaker from the HomePod.




In March, a report alleged Apple was looking into new devices that could help in a smart home in a variety of different ways. On Monday, it seems Apple has narrowed down the selection.

Apple is working on a product that combines the Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker, to create a do-all device for the home. People familiar with the work speaking to Bloomberg claim it would offer multiple smart-home functions within a single box.

The device would be able to function similar to a HomePod in playing music, but would also be capable of being connected up to a television. A built-in camera would enable it to be used for video calls, and it would also act as a Home Hub for smart home management.

The set-top box won't be the only item Apple is continuing to investigate in the field. Resurfacing in the new report, Apple is also looking at combining a speaker with a touchscreen, which would bring it in line with Amazon's Echo Show and the Google Nest Hub.

The speaker would effectively combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker, complete with a camera for video chats. Apple has also thought about attaching it to a robotic arm, allowing the screen to follow the user as they move around a space.

Both products are apparently in the early stages of design and production, and could easily have features removed or added, or be killed off entirely.

It seems plausible for Apple to combine the product categories into one device, given rivals are already operating in the space. For example, Facebook's Portal platform already includes a set-top box with camera for video calling, which Apple would directly compete against with such an offering.

Apple's tvOS operating system also works quite similarly in many respects to HomePod's software, complete with existing smart home control functionality, making an integration more plausible.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,102member
    HomePod Pro? Apple Home TV? ApplePod? RoboPod?
  • Reply 2 of 53
    kayesskayess Posts: 35member
    Is it possible Apple might be considering competing in the software space?  Zoom could be much improved on. FaceTime has a foot in the door. 
    watto_cobran2itivguy
  • Reply 3 of 53
    “In the works?” What does that mean? With a $16 billion research and development budget, you can be assured that any relevant product you can imagine, and a dozen that you can’t, are “in the works”. 95% of them will never see the light of day.

    An iPad-like device was first proposed (Alan Kay’s Dynabook) almost forty years before it came to be. 
    cornchipStrangeDaysramanpfaffwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 53
    n2macsn2macs Posts: 81member
    Bravo! Bring it on.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 53
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,634member
    Stick it in a soundbar, that'll leave plenty of room for the storage and cooling to make a kick ass digital media centre and gaming platform.

    They've already got a Fatboy version of the industrial design in the bank:


    dewmetokyojimuentropyswatto_cobran2itivguycornchip
  • Reply 6 of 53
    mobirdmobird Posts: 545member
    The beauty of the Homepod was the versatility of its placement within the home, with this proposed device you are going to be tethered to the TV therefore limiting placement.
    cornchipRayz2016watto_cobran2itivguy
  • Reply 7 of 53
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,262member
    This would be a great step forward into the future -- home automation.

    It incorporates all the pieces into one.  But, hopefully, this could also be used as a feed to a home theater system (even if its merely a sound bar).   Much of Apple TV needs sound to be fully effective.  But without a way to connect to anything but TV speakers or low-end HomePods, it can neither present movies or music effectively.
  • Reply 8 of 53
    thedbathedba Posts: 579member
    My eyes!    :(
    That picture of an iPad glued to a HomePod. 
    cornchipmac_dogwilliamlondonhcrefugeemartinp13ramanpfaffwatto_cobran2itivguyTRAG
  • Reply 9 of 53
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 380member
    That’s a whole lotta R&D billions for something that’s already been on the market from Amazon and others. The devil will be in the details. Where will the camera be placed? Where could you place this things around your TV for sound. And for camera, etc. since there’s no new technology at play here, Apple’s just late to the game. 
  • Reply 10 of 53
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,015member
    AI_lias said:
    That’s a whole lotta R&D billions for something that’s already been on the market from Amazon and others. The devil will be in the details. Where will the camera be placed? Where could you place this things around your TV for sound. And for camera, etc. since there’s no new technology at play here, Apple’s just late to the game. 
    This product is already a failure.  The failed with appleTV and failed with the HomePod.   Putting them together isn’t going to work.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 53
    GG1GG1 Posts: 441member
    AI_lias said:
    That’s a whole lotta R&D billions for something that’s already been on the market from Amazon and others. The devil will be in the details. Where will the camera be placed? Where could you place this things around your TV for sound. And for camera, etc. since there’s no new technology at play here, Apple’s just late to the game. 
    Toaster-Fridge!

    I don't care if Apple put this product out, but don't sacrifice development of other products for it, such as AppleTV, AppleDisplay, etc.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 53
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,835member
    crowley said:
    Stick it in a soundbar, that'll leave plenty of room for the storage and cooling to make a kick ass digital media centre and gaming platform.

    They've already got a Fatboy version of the industrial design in the bank:



    That was such a sexy product. 

    I’ve been craving a couple HomePods but just haven’t been able to justify the $$$. But now with that new WiFi standard coming down the line, I think I might just hold off and see what this update looks like since we’ve been thinking about springing for an Apple TV too. On the other hand, who knows how long it could be. Maybe just get a pair and an TV off eBay and enjoy in the interim. ߤ䦬t;/div>


    mobird said:
    The beauty of the Homepod was the versatility of its placement within the home, with this proposed device you are going to be tethered to the TV therefore limiting placement.


    That’s a fair point, but we’ll just have to wait & see what the product actually is.
    edited April 12 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 53
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,634member
    mobird said:
    The beauty of the Homepod was the versatility of its placement within the home, with this proposed device you are going to be tethered to the TV therefore limiting placement.
    It wasn't all that versatile because you still needed to cable it to an outlet.  With that restriction most people are still going to put it next to a wall anyway, so the 360˚ aspect was largely useless.
    gatorguyd_2tokyojimu
  • Reply 14 of 53
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 878member
    thedba said:
    My eyes!    :(
    That picture of an iPad glued to a HomePod. 
    Same. 🤣🤣🤣
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 53
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    Apple could improve on Roomba too!  :)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 53
    muaddibmuaddib Posts: 76member
    MacPro said:
    Apple could improve on Roomba too!  :)
    Yes a HomePod Roomba hybrid.
    tokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 53
    kkqd1337kkqd1337 Posts: 337member
    interesting but amazon and others have attempted similar and it's never worked well

    a sound bar similar to sonos beam could be good.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 53
    I would like to see an Apple TV with (optical) audio out. As it stands, it’s kind of awkward to use an Apple TV in conjunction with a stereo system and projector. I finally arrived at a decent solution, but it involves a 9-year-old DAC with HDMI pass-through (NAD M51) that I bought on eBay. It sounds great when I AirPlay music to my stereo, but doesn’t fully support current HDMI standards, so no HDR or 4K. There are other ways to solve this problem, but it becomes even more awkward, with more boxes and cables and plugs, or inferior sound (which I learned the hard way). With optical output on the Apple TV, I’d still use the DAC, because my other components are older and don’t otherwise have digital inputs at all, but at least I could run the video signal directly to my projector and wouldn’t lose anything in between. And anybody with a newer system that supports optical input could just plug it directly into their preamp/integrated amp/receiver, etc.  Some people would probably just buy one to use as an AirPlay streaming device with their stereo, and not connect to a TV at all—it’s great for that. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 53
    thedba said:
    My eyes!    :(
    That picture of an iPad glued to a HomePod. 
    Nah. That's MagSafe magic in action!
    BeatsretrogustoMplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 53
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,531member
    This would be a great step forward into the future -- home automation.

    It incorporates all the pieces into one.  But, hopefully, this could also be used as a feed to a home theater system (even if its merely a sound bar).   Much of Apple TV needs sound to be fully effective.  But without a way to connect to anything but TV speakers or low-end HomePods, it can neither present movies or music effectively.

    If it supports HDMI-ARC and and HDMI-CEC and if you can add wireless satellite speakers (HomePod Mini) and a wireless subwoofer it will serve quite nicely as a nice home theater system for a very large number of users. It won't be up there with a dedicated AV receiver based setup, but it will bring a lot of people into the home theater space who would otherwise be too intimidated to mess around with the higher end gear. The main limitation then becomes getting a TV with a sufficient number of HDMI ports, one of which is ARC supported. Having the Apple TV functionality build-in frees up an HDMI port on the TV, so depending on your needs you could even get by with as few as 3 HDMI ports:

    - Apple TV Max (with HomePod, HomeKit, HomeCam) + Cable TV App
    - Gaming Console
    - BlueRay Player

    If you have additional HDMI port you could add a Mac Mini, Intel NUC, or Raspberry Pi for couch computing. Been there, still doing that (right now in fact - doing this from a RPi4 running Firefox on a 55" 4K TV using a Logitech K600 kb/trackpad). If you need a dedicated cable/sat set top box you'll need another HDMI port. But any way you cut it, this would be an easy to configure entry-level home theater setup that would more than satisfy a boatload of users, and especially those who are intimidated by an AV receiver based solution.

    If Apple wanted to really surprise & delight us they would provide a controller with more features. But as long as it supports Bluetooth there are other options, like the K600 which works with Apple TV, Mac, Windows, and Raspberry Pi as well as some smart TVs.
    GeorgeBMacmattinozcornchip
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