Future HomePods Could Feature Touch-Sensitive Controls on Its Sides

Apple HomePod
Although Apple’s first smart speaker has the best audio quality among all the rivals, it didn’t turn out to be as successful as the company had expected, mostly due to the lack of enough features. However, the company is testing out various features that it could integrate into future versions of HomePods.

According to a new patent filed by Apple with the USPTO (United States Patent And Trademark Office), the company seems to be working on a solution that could allow touch-sensitive controls on the fabric that covers the smart speaker.  The patent talks about conductive strands that could be woven inside a fabric that covers the sides of future smart speakers from the company.

As you can see in the image below, special conductive strands inserted into the fabric could offer capacitive touch controls. This makes it much easier for users to control a smart speaker rather than reaching out to the top of a HomePod every time. Whether the user wants to control volume or music playback, they could do so by just touching or swiping on the sides of the speaker.

Moreover, the patent also talks about displaying controls on the fabric. Apple says that it could be done by either printing them directly on the fabric or by emitting light from inside the fabric. This patent is not just limited to a smart speaker, though. The same technology could possibly be used in other devices such as smartwatches and smart battery cover for an iPhone.

Apple Patent Conductive Fabric For Touch Controls

Our Take

While Apple files hundreds of patents every year, not all of them make it to the company’s actual products. However, we think that the technology explained in this patent has a high chance of making it to a future version of HomePod. We say this because it makes user interaction much easier compared to the current-generation smart speaker from Apple.

What do you think about the HomePod? Do you own one? If not, what features do you think Apple should include in its upcoming HomePod for it to be attractive enough for you to buy it? Let us know in the comments section below.

[Source: USPTO]