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4 new smart home products Apple is rumored to be developing

Published Apr 8th, 2024 8:59AM EDT
Apple smart home
Image: Apple

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Last week, Bloomberg reported that Apple could plan personal robotics as it focuses its interest in the smart home field. With the Apple Car and in-house microLED projects canceled, Apple is eager to find its next big source of revenue. Still, the company hasn’t decided yet where it’s going to spend billions of dollars next.

The efforts could be anything from an Apple TV with a camera, an iPad-like device for smart hub tasks, a robot that handles chores like cleaning dishes, and so much more. Per the report, Apple clearly doesn’t have a focus on smart homes yet.

Then, with this weekend’s Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman talks more about Apple’s efforts in this field.

Smart Home: Here’s what Apple might unveil – eventually

tvOS 17 betaImage source: Apple Inc.

Apple TV with a camera: After introducing the FaceTime app with tvOS 17, Gurman suggests Apple has “discussed automating household functions and offering a revamped Apple TV set-top box with a built-in camera for FaceTime videoconferencing and gesture-based controls.” Still, I’m unsure if Apple would add a camera to the Apple TV for privacy reasons.

Smart display: This low-end iPad could be “shuttled from room to room as needed and hooked into charging hubs stationed around the house.” This rumored Apple smart home device could be a great competitor for the Amazon Echo Show. Although one could argue that an entry-level iPad could already do all that, it would be interesting if Apple added a specific device with StandBy mode, a better Home app, and other simpler features.

Personal robot: Gurman suggests that Apple could get into humanoid technology for household chores. This project would need at least ten years, but it might have been just a brainstorming session in a meeting and not an actual project the company would pursue.

Table-top product with a robotic arm: Similar to the smart display, this one could be “used to mimic a human on the other side of a FaceTime call, shifting the screen to recreate a nod or a shake of the head.” However, whether Apple’s executive team will support this idea is also unclear.

I think Apple should focus on existing products rather than complicate its product lineups

HomePod with a screen rumored to launch in 2024Image source: José Adorno for BGR

It’s impressive how a successful company like Apple could have so many issues with certain products. In the smart home field, you could say the company offers low-end iPads, two different HomePod models, and an Apple TV.

Personally, the Apple TV is where Apple shines, as it brings the best TV experience – even for modern-day televisors. I have a 2022 Samsung NeoQLED 8K, and Tizen just looks clunky compared to the tvOS 17 experience.

I also have several HomePod models across the house, but I hate how Apple makes the future of this device uncertain. It hasn’t updated the HomePod mini in ages, and HomePod 2 is a mix of a better and worse original HomePod.

At the end of the day, I thought the new Matter standard would improve the Home app experience, and Apple would release more smart home products, but these latest reports suggest the company doesn’t know where to go next.

Thankfully, with WWDC 2024 just around the corner, we might know where the company is heading and how its focus on AI might reshape its products in the short term.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.