According to a new Apple patent, the upcoming HomePod may have a design similar to a soundbar, which could potentially address the biggest issue with the current HomePod 2.

Recent reports suggest that the next Apple HomePod could feature a longer and horizontally thinner design, resembling a soundbar rather than the traditional cylindrical shape. The patent uncovered by AppleInsider showcases a horizontal HomePod concept with speakers and a central display, differing significantly from the current HomePod and HomePod Mini designs. The new design draws comparisons to popular speakers like the JBL Charge 5 and Sonos Ray, hinting at a shift in Apple’s approach to its smart speaker lineup.

Exploring New Features and Potential Upgrades

The Apple patent design in question. (Image credit: USPTO)

The patent, titled “Audio Speaker System,” introduces a potential game-changer for Apple enthusiasts with its inclusion of various port options on the rear side, a departure from previous HomePod models. This suggests a shift towards enhanced connectivity and flexibility, allowing users to access the device through standard ports instead of being limited to Apple’s ecosystem. The addition of ports could also indicate a strategic move towards converging the functionalities of a HomePod and an Apple TV, a concept that aligns with recent industry speculations.

By addressing the limitations of the current HomePod 2, particularly its reliance on AirPlay and Siri for audio input, Apple seems poised to revolutionize the functionality of its smart speaker offerings. The potential integration of HDMI and Ethernet ports opens up a new realm of possibilities, paving the way for a more versatile and user-friendly audio experience. Additionally, the shift away from exclusive reliance on Siri’s capabilities may signal Apple’s commitment to enhancing its home audio systems, recognizing the need to compete with more advanced smart assistants in the market.

Recent advancements in AI research by Apple, as showcased in a new study highlighting potential breakthroughs in Siri’s contextual understanding capabilities, indicate the company’s ongoing efforts to refine its virtual assistant technology. By leveraging AI to analyze user interactions and screen content, Apple aims to enhance Siri’s responsiveness and offer personalized recommendations, a significant step towards bridging the gap with competing smart assistants.

As Apple continues to innovate in the smart speaker space, consumers can expect an evolved HomePod experience that combines cutting-edge design with advanced functionality, catering to the demands of modern audio enthusiasts. Whether the upcoming HomePod model leans more towards a sleek soundbar design or integrates sophisticated AI features, Apple’s dedication to redefining the smart home audio landscape remains a driving force behind its product development strategy.

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