Apple TV’s missing feature

A few days ago, from Mark Gurman’s rumor Apple working on combined Apple TV, HomePod, camera:

The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

I struggled to wrap my head around this concept. Was this for the TV room? If so, does it replace your existing speakers? If it’s an all-in-one, how do you place a combo camera/HomePod, since both have different placement needs.

Now this from Michael Firth (from a few months ago, well before this rumor surfaced), writing about the need for a camera for your Apple TV:

  • The camera doesn’t have to be built-in to the Apple TV itself. It could be a miniaturised version of something like the XBOX Kinect, connected via USB-C and designed to sit neatly aloft your TV.

  • When you walk into a room and sit down in front of the TV, the LIDAR scanner could detect your presence and automatically switch the TV on. It can identify you, it can sign into apps based on your identity. The home screen can show custom content for whoever just sat down – if it’s just you on your own, it shows that show you’ve been binge watching. Someone else? It’s their favourite show.

Bing. This clicked for me. This feels like a concept that would be a welcome addition to my TV room. A camera with Apple’s promise of privacy, doing all kinds of clever Apple TV tricks, a quality webcam for FaceTime/Zoom calls, with HomeKit compatibility perhaps.

Still not seeing the HomePod angle, but definitely an interesting take.