The first rumors of a HomePod with a screen reached us several months ago from Mark Gurman. The Bloomberg reporter told us about some hybrids between Apple TV and HomePod and also between HomePod and iPad. A device quite in line between the Amazon Echo Show and the Amazon Echo Spot.
Based on the latter, Ortolani created the concept that we can see in the images in this article. The first thing he considers is to tilt the HomePod mini slightly, so the screen can be seen from more angles. Although we would have to see how it affects the sound of this small speaker, the idea, beyond adding a directivity that it does not have now, is interesting.
From there, the concept explores various possible interfaces. Interfaces to control calls, for example to mute the loudspeaker during a call. Interfaces to regulate HomeKit devices or simply to display the time of day, all very much in line with what we know from Apple Watch.
Does the move make sense?
So, at first glance, one could say that adding a new form of interaction to a speaker designed with a voice interface seems out of place that Apple has plotted for these devices. The truth is that concepts like these were born out of rumors started by Mark Gurman. Rumors indicating that Apple was testing this type of hybrid device.
The way forward to evolve this concept may well be through better interaction between the Apple Watch and the HomePod. Currently, for example, it is not possible to play content from the Apple Watch directly on the HomePod, it must be requested directly from the speaker. With this improvement, we could say that we all wear the screen of a HomePod mini on our wrist.
In parallel, we must speak of the iPad. Sure, the sound quality is different, but for a device perhaps focused on video calls and the like, a HomePod mini with display is too much like an iPad in terms of features.
The truth is that with concepts like these, we have more questions than answers. Apple could be banking on cross-device integration to create something similar to what we see in the images. However, this is not the path that we have seen the company take recently, which is launching very cutting-edge devices and relying on their interaction to offer us more. In any case, we are open to surprises.