Rumor: future HomePods could include Face ID

Future versions of the not-yet—available Apple HomePod could come with 3D-sensing cameras supporting Face ID, similar to the front-facing technology on the iPhone X, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

"We see trends that engineers are designing smart speakers that will not only come with voice recognition but also incorporate features such as facial and image recognition," President David Ho told reporters. "Such AI-related features are set to make people's lives more convenient and to make the product easier to use." He added, however, that he was unsure at the moment whether smart speakers with more AI features in the future would become a hit in the market.

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Ho didn’t specify which product he was talking about, but, according to Nikkei Asian Review, analysts said he’s likely referring to the next generation of the HomePod. The smart speaker is expected to go on sale in December and cost $349. The device is just under seven inches tall and looks like a piece of furniture. It will be available in both space gray and white, and also acts as a hub for HomeKit devices to provide remote access to home automation.

With Face ID, the iPhone X unlocks only when you’re looking at it. It’s designed to resist spoofing by photos or masks. Your facial map is encrypted and protected by the Secure Enclave. And authentication happens instantly on the device, not in the cloud.